Friday, 7 August 2009

Tour of the Machars.

With a sunny forecast in the offing it was down to the Machars for a day trip today.Repeated last weeks drive down via Girvan and then across the Girvan to Newton Stewart road.Stopped in Barrhill for 10 minutes to have a walk around another disused church. The stained glass windows were in immaculate condition and look as if they have been cleaned up recently.I`m guessing that someone bought it to do a conversion on it and it has been put on hold as there was no signs of any activity through the vegetated path leading up to it.An unusual frontage to it and the tower itself has a slightly lopsided look at the top .





Nice colourful pub in the village as well…...




A brief stop in Newton Stewart for the Guardian and a quick bite to eat and it was on to Garlieston....





It had been a long time since I had been here…..can`t honestly remember when to be honest. The only difference that jumped out was the new “sympathetic development” at the harbour itself.The place was a building site and to my eye there was nothing sympathetic at all about it. You can see the builders publicity blurb here….


Garlieston Harbour development



Notice that the nice Flash panorama of the harbour stops short of the "development" :) No time for a pint in the Harbour Inn this trip alas inviting though it looked.




Set out on the path heading south from the harbour and along the coast towards Rigg Bay.This is a fantastic little beach,totally protected from the wind on all sides apart from the East.It was busy today,maybe 15 folk,mainly locals, enjoying the school holidays.There were a few remains of the Mulberry and PLUTO testing site hidden away in the trees behind the beach..According to Wikipedia I was a couple of years too late ….


History of the Mulberry



Couple of pics of Rigg Bay,also know as Cruggleton Bay...







A cracking little “hidden” beach and I`ll be back again.



Back to the car and next stop Isle of Whithorn....




Would you believe it, another development is underway here as well..! More holiday lets by the look of it.It was soon out of sight however as we headed out to the remains of St.Ninian`s Chapel for a snoop around and then over to the Cairn,the white tower on the headland for a spot of sunbathing.

A wee walk along the coast a bit…






St Ninian`s Chapel…



A boat passes by the window of St.Ninian`s Chapel…




It was possible to see the telecom structures on the top of Snaefell on the Isle of Man in the distance.There were a couple of modern memorials in amongst all the early Christian stuff namely two to the crew of the Solway Harvester which was sunk off the Isle of Man a few years back. One of the memorials to the crew of the Solway Harvester.Just look at their ages.....




More detailed information on this tragedy is available here…


Solway Harvester disaster.





Spotted this house with a view over the harbour on the way back to the car.Maybe I should take a leaf out of Bob`s book and buy a lottery ticket myself..!




There is further reading on the Isle of Whithorn website…...


Isle of Whithorn website



Next stop St.Ninians Cave.There is a good car park at NX 431 366 from where a well signposted path leads past a farm and on down to the beach in just over a mile or so.

The path leads downhill through a tunnel of trees and rhodedendrons…keep an eye open for a beautiful eucalyptus tree on the left after going through a gate It opens out a few hundred yards before the beach at which there is a signpost pointing you to the right.


Arriving at the Port Castle Bay....




As a cave enthusiast I must admit to being a bit disappointed in St.Ninians,It doesn`t stretch very far into the cliff maybe 10 or 15 feet at most..It`s certainly popular with religious folk though.All around are stones with messages on them and hand made wooden crosses etc; I particulary liked the one taking centre stage which said “Smudge,the best cat who ever lived “ :-)




There were a few old carved crosses and one engraved name from 1718.Another visitor told me that there had been a rockfall and all the early stuff had been taken away and is on display in Whithorn nearby.


View out from the cave.....




I scrambled up the cliff for the view….





I had intended to stop at Monreith for a walk along the beach to the headland with the otter memorial to Gavin Maxwell,who grew up in this area, and various other things but the sun had taken it`s toll on my enthusiasm,not too mention my bald head,and time was also running out. The Port William area was suffering from the stink of decaying seaweed so Barsalloch hill fort was left for another day also..So,it was back of to Glasgow stopping every now and again for some pics.I`ll sign off with an old scanned slide taken at Gavin Maxwell`s old house in the Highlands.

Sunset looking over to skye from Camusfearna south of Glenelg....





PS: Having a look a the map again I`ve just noticed a place named St.Helena Island on the OS map.Shall maybe bag that along with Galloway`s own Lake Superior at a later date………could make for an interesting conversation if somebody was to ask what I was up to yesterday..!

3 comments:

The Glebe Blog said...

It's great to see my wee corner of Scotland through someone else's eyes Alex.Makes me realise how privileged i am to live here.
I'm amazed at how much ground you guys can cover in a day.But then again,i've just read of Falkirk fans visiting 42 football grounds in just 30 hours.We Scots take some beating at endurance.

Gavin Macfie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gavin Macfie said...

Hello Blueskyers

Just saw your comment on my bothy post tonight - cheers.

Like the blog, the links make it very informative - great photos too. The southwest really is a fine part of Scotland, makes me want to pay it another visit.

Have linked your blog from mine.

Cheers
Gav

Gavin Macfie's Outdoor and Travel Writing Blog