Adventures of the Early Ooters

Thursday, 29 July 2021

 Alan McQ, Allan, Billy, Davie C, Davie Mc, Hugh, Paul, Rex, Robert

Cairn Table in the background

The heat of the previous days had gone, to be replaced with overcast skies and the chance of some heavy showers but, undaunted, we prepared to set off on our trek up Wardlaw Hill (497m) last done by us in February 2019. Just as we were setting off Jimmy arrived, supported by a walking stick. Yes, his back had gone again. Obviously, he wouldn’t be walking today but it was good of him to turn up to see us off.

After half an hour we were at the Sanquhar Bridge, which we crossed, and followed the old road up to the bench. We’ve taken coffee here in the past, but Alan suggested that since he was going to take us down to the Bible Stane as a wee diversion, and it was only two hundred yards away, we delay coffee until we reached it. You’ve heard of Jimmy miles, but these are nothing compared to Alan yards. On and on we went over rough stuff. Alan had taken us off-piste and just as we were getting well and truly piste off we came across the stone, complete with bible in a cavity, and sat down for refreshments.

From there we found the track we should have taken which led us easily back on to the Sanquhar road. In future don’t turn off at the bench but continue up to the wee cairn and follow the track down to the Bible Stane. Alan was banished to the pack and was not allowed to lead us for the rest of the walk! Derval Davie took over! We continued up the old road until we encountered another wee cairn which indicated that this was where to turn off right up to Wardlaw. Underfoot was as dry as you could get so good progress was made to Baird’s cairn at the top of the hill which was reached just after midday.

Lunch was taken here in the shelter of the cairn as it was exposed up there and there was a chill to the breeze. As luck would have it, we got a wee shower of rain as we were about to leave, but nothing significant. Retracing our steps in fine weather back to the cars we arrived back at two o’clock, having covered just over nine miles in three hours and fifty-five minutes.

The Coach House was closed so we decided to try the Black Bull in Mauchline for FRT deciding that, given current restrictions, we would just have to sit inside at different tables. However, as we approached the front door we spotted a sign, that we had not bothered with before, saying that there was a beer garden out the back. And, so there was, and a very decent one too. The barmaid recognised us as long-lost friends and seemed genuinely happy to see us. A relaxing hour was spent with the usual ‘high-class’ banter.  The perfect end to a good day out in unexpectedly good weather.


Lunch time

Today's reading comes from...

The Bible Stane

Heading up the road

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Arrangements for Wednesday 4th August


Meet at 10am at the Lodge Road car park which is situated where the A719 meets the A77 (see map below). This will be a level walk along Turnberry beach to the lighthouse and remains of Turnberry Castle then on to the village of Maidens. Return route via Shanter Farm (of Tam o' Shanter fame), the old railway line and Turnberry Hotel. Distance to Maidens and back is 6 miles but can be extended into Culzean if desired.

FRT can be taken in the outside areas at Souters in Kirkoswald or The Greenside in Maybole. 

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Maybole 21 July


At the war memorial

Alan McQ, Allan, Davie C, Dougie, Gus, Hugh, Paul, Rex, Robert

 STOP PRESS : Ooters make sensible decision

 It was to be a blistering hot summer’s day so there was little dissent when we decided that eleven miles and three hills would not be appropriate today. Alan was asked if he could amend the walk accordingly, so we set off heading for Kildoon Hill, making a wee detour up to the War Memorial adjacent to the nine-hole golf course. Halfway up the path to Kildoon Hill we stopped to take on fluids, the first of many stops today, before reaching the top and then making our way across to the Fergusson Monument where coffee/water/exploding juice (see Robert for details) was taken.

There was a nice wee breeze here, but it was time to move on and so we made our way down the far side of the hill and across a grassy field until tarmac was reached. Turning left and then right at Lower Burncrooks we then followed the road up to Lochspouts where Alan found us a nice, shaded area for lunch.

We then retraced our steps towards Lower Burncrooks, but on the way there Alan met up with his pal, a farmer, who was driving a large tractor delivering topsoil to one of his fields and stopped to chat to him. The next thing we knew was that Alan was getting a hurl in the tractor back down the road, before eventually getting off. A quick meeting of the committee decided that this constituted a breach of our regulations and that he would not be credited for doing the whole walk. As further punishment he was condemned to return to work next month!

At Lower Burncrooks we took a right and followed the road round Kildoon Hill rather than climbing over it again, but just beyond Spring Garden farm and cottage we made a wee detour off the road down to a shaded area next to a mini waterfall at the burn. We stopped for ten minutes or so before rejoining the road for the last leg back to the cars in Maybole. About eight miles in three hours forty minutes were today’s numbers.

Whilst getting changed, Rex proclaimed that he had lost his phone on the walk and was not a happy chappy. He certainly didn’t get any volunteers to join him in retracing his steps. Just as he was getting resigned to its loss, eagle-eyed Davie said, ‘What’s that on the roof of your car, Rex?’ A delighted Rex would have kissed Davie had it not been for social distancing, say no more! Rex had put the phone there whilst getting ready for the walk and had not taken it on the walk at all, and was lucky that it was still there when he got back. Mind you the colour of his phone cover matched his car so that it was difficult to notice.

FRT was taken at the refurbished Greenside, and what a transformation! A lot of money has been spent both inside and outside turning this into a very desirable bar/restaurant. A most enjoyable hour was spent in the suntrap which was the outdoor area.

At the Greenside



Mochrum Hill in the background

At the Fergusson Monument

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Arrangements for Wednesday 28th July 2021

 Wardlaw Hill

Meet at Kames, Muirkirk at 10am for a walk up Wardlaw Hill (including a short detour to view the bible stane). 10 miles approx. 

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Arrangements for Wednesday 21st July

Meet at 10am in Maybole at the car park beside the Maybole Arms where there's ample free parking. Local lad Alan McQ will lead an 11 mile walk around the three hills of Kildoon, Craigdow and Craigfin plus a visit to Loch Spouts; once the water supply for Maybole and site of an ancient crannog. FRT can be taken at the recently-refurbished Greenside Inn which has an outdoor seating area.