2021

Day 3 – Bothies, Standing Stones and the Wells O’ The Rees

New Luce to Bargrennan, 30Km

It was down to the serious business of walking across Scotland today. Little Portpatrick is a distant memory and I’m now up in the hills heading east. Actually, right now I’m in a pub about to eat one of the local lambs. It’s time I became vegan. How could anyone eat one of those sheep after looking at them all day?

Someone has put 50p in the jukebox and chosen a lot of country classics. I went to Nashville on my Greyhound trip across America in 1979 and started a love affair with country music which lasted about two hours.

Anyway today’s walk was interesting. The taxi dropped me at the trailhead at 8.30am. Brian said he’d see me at 4pm at the other end, 30Km away. The weather was slightly cool with a definite hint of moisture in the air. A low mist was hanging over the hills but soon the sun appeared and I had another dry and warm day.

The Southern Uplands are much like Northumberland and they felt like a continuation of my crossing of the Cheviots last year except I didn’t have the pleasure of Troels and his happy gang. Once again I was alone. Brian said he had a walker last week in the taxi, and a couple the week before.

There were three highlights today. First, I came to the first of five bothies on the SUW. A bothy is a basic shelter open to all walkers. You can stay the night too. You’ll certainly not be alone, even if there are no other walkers. Secondly, the two standing stones at Laggangarn, believed to be 4000 years old. Some pilgrims carved a crucifix on each stone in the eighth century. Finally the Wells O’ the Rees are mysterious dome shaped dry stone structures built over tiny springs. No one knows why. Although they were only 100m from the path, I had to miss them because there was no way through the bracken to their location.

On the downside, I walked through a giant wind farm extending across Artfield and Balmurrie Fells, which detracts from the remoteness of the place. Also, the path was mostly broken tarmac and stones through forestry plantations rather than open moorland.

I arrived in Bargrennan at three minutes past four and Brian was waiting for me, the meter running.

Today’s highlights and a selection of wind turbines
The Beehive Bothy
Inside it’s very snug.
The bothy’s visitor book.
The Laggangarn Standing Stones
You can just make out the 8th century pilgrim crosses
These turbines are beautifully positioned up on the fell. They date from 2005
But it’s a fab walk

7 comments on “Day 3 – Bothies, Standing Stones and the Wells O’ The Rees

  1. Peter Mastenko

    Hi Tim.
    Just catching up after a seaside road trip last week, and you’re already on Day 3.
    Your blogs always make me want to take up long distance walking, but what would I do with my bikes? Great insights and pics as usual. Bw Peter.

    • Hi Peter, good to hear from you again. You should do a blog on your incredible bike trips. Tim

  2. Vicky Williamson

    Kia Ora, Tim. Love the views and flowers. The bothy looks just like the DOC (Dept of Conservation) huts dotted all over wilderness NZ, especially in the South Island, and the same rules apply – same house same mouse! Kia kaha, Vicky

    • Hi Vicky, they’re such a good idea and great shelter in a storm. Tim

  3. Dear Tim, great to be back ‘on the road’ with you again, if only virtually for me. It all looks truly wonderful. Best of luck and see you upon your return maybe??? Cheers Torin

    • Cracking little pilgrimage on Orkney coming up. Hope to see you in the autumn

  4. A crucifix from the 8th century?? That’s creepy AF. Would make a good Halloween camping trip!

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