I was back in Scotland, this time planning 3 days continuing my walk around the Rhins of Galloway. I decided to base myself in Stranraer for three nights and hoped to get all but one of the remaining sections of the Rhins completed.
After parking in Stranraer I caught the 8:55 #507 bus to Drummore. The bus ony had a couple of passengers and we made good time down to the south Rhins. The sun was still behind the clouds as I set off past the harbour at Drummore, but not before calling in at the local store for a sandwich and cake. I continued along the Mull of Galloway Trail, but spent equal time walking along the beach. I could see the lighthouse at the Mull from some distance, but I still had to cover 5 miles to get there.
After rounding Calliness Point I came to Maryport Bay, which did not really look like a bay, just another piece of shoreline. As the bracken and undergrowth grew ever higher I headed for the beach again. By the time I reached Portankill, I had to leave the beach and climb the steepening shore cliffs. I passed a sign which indicated that St Medan chapel and cave was nearby. I had a quick look down towards the shoreline but could see nothing. St Medan was an 8th century Irish princess and has a number of stories and myths associated with her. The path led to a delightful cove at East Tarbet and was not more than a 150m from West Tarbet which faces onto the North Channel of the Irish Sea. From this neck, the Mull rose as a gentle slope with the single track road snaking its way to the car park. By the time I reached the car park, the place was very busy. There was a multitude of information signs to read, but one particular caught my eye. It was of a plane crash in 1944 of Bristol Beufighter which killed two RAF airman and reminded me of a similar crash which I had come across in Dundrennan also involving a Beaufighter. I continued past the Visitor Centre and headed down to Lagvag Point the tip of the Mull. From far below I could hear and see a number of tides battling it out creating quite a maelstrom. Views across to the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland were outstanding. After walking around the Stevenson lighthouse it was time to start walking north. This would be my furthest south in Scotland and I was staggered to learn that I was almost as far south as Workington in Cumbria.
I had decided to continue across to Kennedy’s cairn, a large structure from the late 19th century whose purpose is not clear. I continued to walk north along the road. Apparently, the path along the west coast was non-existent and I had read that one farmer had run his barb-wired fence right to the end of the cliff-top. I also noticed that some public-footpath signs were ‘missing’. It is easy to bypass one fence, but having to deal with 30+ of the buggers with stone walls and double electric fences is no joke and it gets very tiring. I walked north along the single track road to wards Kirkmaiden, which was actually quite busy with all the visitors to the Mull. Around two miles after leaving the Lighthouse I passed, unknowingly the 2000 mile mark on my walk around the coast.
When I reached Kirkmaiden I turned left and headed west along a quiet single track road that led back towards the coast at Clanyard. At Clanyard there is nothing much other than a couple of farms/cottages and the ruins of Clanyard Castle. Nothing much remains of this Gordon stronghold which was abandonded in 1684. After Clanyard I turned up a green lane called the Old Post Road, which ran all the way to Port Logan. Half way along this green lane I came across a locked gate with a large agricultural trailer blocking the gate. Alongside the gate was a distinct sign that said “Public Footpath”. I don’t know why anybody would want to do such a thing. Anyway I really enjoyed the walk down into the lovely Port Logan. Although not very busy, a few group of people where on the beach. I headed towards the bus stop, where with an hour to kill I thought I would get a drink. Unfortunately, the Port Logan Inn was closed due to running out of money for the upgrade. I struck up a conversation with a nice Dutch lady, we spoke at length about this and that. Before she left she produced a can of beer from her bag and gave it to me. It was a really nice gesture and I did enjoy it, even if it still was Budweiser! It took 5.75hrs to complete this walk
NB: I also publish all my Scottish Blog entries on the excellent Scottish Hills website, I use the same narrative, but larger photos and a few extra ones. They can be found here:
Distance today = 15.5 miles
Total distance = 2008 miles