Jen and I are recently back from a week staying in Newton Stewart in Galloway. This is a beautiful and varied area with good, though often rough walking, in the hills and lots of coastline to explore.
The highlights were probably a walk in the delightfully named Range of the Awful Hand and bouldering on the idyllic Labrax beach.
The walk started from the Bell Memorial car park and took in Shalloch on Minnoch, Tarfessock, Carmaddie Brae, and Kirriereoch Hill. This gave an excellent ridge walk. Access on and off the hills makes use of forest firebreaks and the walk is best saved for a dry period or a frosty day. If descending via the West Ridge of Kirriereoch Hill it’s worth heading up to the track on the North side of the Pillow Burn as soon as possible as the firebreak around the burn becomes very rough. We shortened the road walking by going via the buildings at Tarfessock and crossing the river west of here. However, the ford marked on the map doesn’t really exist and it’s probably only an option during a dry spell.
Labrax beach is on the West side of the Rhinns of Galloway North of Portpatrick. It’s reached by a long drive down a rough farm track. There are what look lie very good routes on the slabs there, but we bouldered on very solid sea washed greywacke boulders and pinnacles often with good sandy landings.