and occasionally rides a bike.
A word of warning. The walk descriptions are not detailed enough to guide you - please take a map. The batteries never run out, and you always have a signal. Oh, And don't take left or right as gospel!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Back to base - Tugby - Loddington - (Skeffington)

With Marta, on Wednesday 22 May 2019. Seven and a half miles, starting from Café Ventoux on the strict understanding that we'd have lunch there, not just use them as free parking! 

"We take our name from the famous cycling Mountain, Mont Ventoux in France, which has been featured in the Tour de France since 1951."

The walk covers much of the same ground as this one.

We set off turning right away from the A47, and after a couple of hundred metres we turned right along a track signed as a bridleway, heading east towards East Norton. We followed this at Little Gunsel. At a junction of paths we continued ahead through more woodland (Hardy's Gunsel this time), with a hedge on our right.  At the next junction we took the right hand  path, heading southeast, crossing a small stream.

There's another meeting of paths and at this point we caught sight of East Norton Hall through the trees.
We turned very sharp left, slightly west of north, taking a freshly marked (weedkilled) path over a field and down to a footbridge, marked on the OS map as a ford. We kept the hedge on our left and walked uphill to the remains of Loddington Mill (just a base as far as I could tell), then along a cart trackwhich bent round to the east toward Loddington village. In the hedge on our left is a stile and a path to Loddington church - conveninet bench here for a break.

Carved heads old and newer.

We went back to investigate the disused railway line - there's a permissive path heading south, but no clear access to head north. We met a woman radio tracking nesting pheasants for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust which has a project nearby.

We decided to follow the path by the church to the village and the road which turns left, then left again at Oxey Farm along Wood Lane. About a mile further on, at the bottom of a hill,  we turned left on to a footpath by the Eye Brook. We crossed the stream - again the map marks a ford, but there is a bridge. 
We climbed gently along a wide track towards Skeffington Lodge Farm, and couldn't resist another pause for a drink.

Time for a selfie!

Typical scenery and sky
Past the farm and a couple of houses we turned left along the Midshires Way - the path is now clearly marked and easy to follow. We arrived close the the A47, and turned left at a right angle, and followed the path to Wood Lane, where we turned right and returned to the cafe - for lunch as we had promised. 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse - a shipwreck and some orchids?

Our last day in Portpatrick was as beautiful as the rest. We decided to walk along the cliff path north of the village, following the Southern Upland Way to the lighthouse, and back again.  Just over 5 miles with about 500 feet of ascent and descent.
The long distance path starts from the northern end of the harbour, and goes up steps to the Portpatrick Hotel, then an old BT building and the golf course.
Looking down on the end of the old railway line.

Be careful about that 'evasive action'!

Port Kale and Port Mora where Dunskey Glen meets the sea

The Coastal Interpretation Centre - though no one was interpreting today.
There are a couple of sections with steps and handrails

Tormentil and spring squill

To the Lighthouse - privately owned, so no coffee here!

"The lighthouse was built in 1900, although the dangerous crosscurrents have still caused some shipwrecks including that of the Craigantlet, a container ship which ran aground in 1982 - the remains can still be seen in the bay below."
Looking away from the sea, this could almost have been Derbyshire.
An orchid...?

...and another one?
Down the steps

A cove

and a cave
Looking down into Portpatrick

The route

And it wasn't flat.

Friday, May 24, 2019

A gentler bike ride - the northern end of the Rhins of Galloway

Thursday 16 May 2019. Thirty one and a half miles, with 950 feet of ups and downs.

A slightly earlier start than on Tuesday, and the intention of taking it time we're in the area the target will be Corsewall Lighthouse. 
Another brilliant ride, with masses of wildflowers again. I love the scent of wild garlic and bluebells.

We rode up the obligatory hill out of Portpatrick, along the A77 as far as the left turn along the B738, which we followed past Portslogan, ignoring a right turn on Rawer Road, where the Southern Upland Way footpath crossed our route and another right turn to Glaick and Stranraer.

We rode through some beautiful woodland, with bluebells and rhodendrons, and turned left at a junction with the B7043 to Leswalt. Instead of taking the Leswalt road we passed farms and settlements of Galdenoch, Knocknain and Cairnbrook.  We paused for a coffee at a grassy junction just before the road turned north (left) at a right angle. 
Oy, oy, what are you up to? We had coffee just across the road from these cows, with Little Cairnbrook in the distance.

Ervie was the next point marked on the map - there's not much there either. We turned left and followed minor roads to reach South Cairn, from where there was a rough road down to the shore - we'd seen warnings that high speed ferries could cause unexpectedly high waves, though we didn't think they'd reach as far up as we were!

Then we tried to get to North Cairn, but it was not easily accessible by bike, so we returned to the road.
When we saw a sign that Corsewall Hotel and lighthouse was three miles away along a road to our left, we considered it, but six miles was a step to far... so we decided to head along the A718 for Kirkcolm, and the possibility of a shop, or a pub, instead. Kirkcolm Community shop was on the village sign, but was closed, probably for good! The pub didn't look any healthier.  Luckily we had brought food with us, and found a picnic site looking across to Cairnryan.
We didn't hang about long, since it was windy.
The next three miles along the main road were hard work, with Loch Ryan on our left while we cycled against a strong headwind. When we arrived at Soleburn Garden Centre we were delighted to stop. Garden Centres with their coffee shops are modern oases.
From there we continued on the A718 for a short distance up to a roundabout. Straight on along a B road, past the other end of Rawer Road, and Glaick, to rejoin our route out, returning to Portpatrick on the B738 and A77. 
Near the Southern Upland Way
Another fabulous day out, and another meal at the Harbour House Hotel.
And finally, just to prove it wasn't flat...

A wander to the local ruin - Dunskey Castle, Portpatrick

Wednesday 15 May 2016
We felt we'd earned an easier day after our 45 miles on the bike yesterday.

Dunskey Castle is a ruin on the cliff top about half a mile from Portpatrick. 

It does involve climbing the steps at the south end of Portpatrick seafront, and about half a mile walk along a clifftop path.

And always the profusion of wildflowers, especially sea pink, bluebells, red campion, birdsfoot trefoil and spring squill.

There is a cove just beyond the castle, but we didn't investigate the way down.
We returned in the early evening for a sketching session.