Today I was hoping to follow as much of the coastline as possible. However, having read other blogs of people who had tried before, my hopes were not that high.
Again caught the 8:55 #507, but this time getting off at Port Logan, where the weather was dull and calm with overcast skies. As I walked around to Logan Fish Pond I met my Dutch lady friend who had kindly given me a can of beer yesterday. We exchanged a few pleasantries and then went our separate ways. Soon after passing the Fish Pond I got my first taste of what was to come. Having burst through the overgrown path I came upon a deserted Boat House. I walked over the deserted shoreline which was strewn with plastic of all shapes, colours and sizes, picking my way from one small inlet to the next. I could see evidence of someone else coming this way with the grass trodden down, but it was faint and intermittent.
I alternated between walking in the adjacent fields and the gap between the water and the omnipresent electric fence which seems to be everywhere on The Rhins. The cliffs got steeper and I came upon a lovely natural sea-arch, from reading my map it could have been Little Bridge or Devil’s Bridge. I rounded the Mull of Logan and arrived above Port Lochan. I had to drop down to the beach here. Further up the beach I could see an old dilapidated caravan, that appeared as a permanent feature. I saw a small herd of cattle further up the beach, but between me and them was a mass of thick gorse and ferns. I had reached the road end at Port Gill, but could go no further as the occupants of the property had used the track as a duck come geese enclosure. So it was the gorse and bracken for me! It took me about 15 minutes of struggling on my hands and knees to get through the entanglement. Passing by the cattle I took a dirt track onto a green lane which went through a couple of gates to the farm at Drumbreddan. However, just before the farm I took another green lane which ran parallel with the shoreline about a field away. I came to another single track tarmac road, but crossed over into fields. I noticed an old kissing-gate long since overgrown and the ‘tell tale’ finger post with “gone missing” pointer.
I continued past Kenmuir Farm along a track that led into a field. I walked to the edge of the field and looked down a steep drop into Float Bay, where a private cottage with lawns and decking almost down to the water’s edge, barred my route, even if I could get down there. I retraced my steps and crossed a steep ravine and emerged in field heading for the small farm of West Ringuinea. Amazingly, I found a stile with protection from the electric fence totally overgrown. A tiny bridge alongside the stile was obliterated by vegetation but had rotted away. I emerged on the road exhausted and decided to stay on the road for the next couple of miles.
I passed a series of individual farms, all named on my map and chose a track near Kirklauchine going over Bailie Hill to get back to the cliff-line. The track emerged onto the cliff tops amongst a mass of gorse, I continued along the adjacent fields before coming to a steep ravine with thick gorse blocking my way. It was back to the road and I emerged about half a mile further down the road, very weary, I had to slog back through knee-high wet grass. The rain started in earnest, which did not help. I opted to stay on the road all the way into Portpatrick. How
ever, on passing the Knockinaan lodge turning I came across a footpath sign with kissing gate advising me that Portpatrick was only 2miles away. So it was along the coast again. The path was pretty good compared with what I had been walking on for most of the day. The path skirted a campsite and passed by the gloomy ruins of Dunskey Castle perched high
on the cliff-top. A short distance on and the path joins the route of the old and long since dismantled Stranraer – Portpatrick railway. The rail route goes through a very impressive cutting through solid rock. The footpath follows the rail for a short distance crossing an equally impressive wooden footbridge with a huge drop down to the sea. A short while later I am rewarded with a superb view down onto delightful village of Portpatrick.
I had over an hour to wait for the next bus back to Stranraer, so I decided to get a beer. I popped into the Crown Hotel and ordered a pint of 16-21, a local Portpatrick brew, and the number of the local RNLI lifeboat, which the village was celebrating. The walk had taken 5.75 hrs.
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 = 16.5 miles
Total distance = 2024.5 miles