Report on the 5 Lochs & the Merrick
The weather was looking promising as we set off from Ayr in bright sunshine - however, just out of Straiton on the Galloway forest road we came across a “Road Closed” sign – we embarked on a very scenic (if somewhat twisty) detour – visiting remote parts of Ayrshire that none of us had seen before (and are unlikely to see again).
We arrived in Glentrool a little behind schedule – and some a little “car sick” from the twists and turns. Boots were donned and we paid a quick visit to Bruce’s stone – commemorating a victory in 1307 – when the Scots rolled boulders down the hillside onto the unsuspecting English troops below (is that not cheating??) Following a short discussion on the fact or fiction of the battle we headed off up through the ferns following the Gairland Burn towards Loch Valley.
After a short snack stop we then continued towards Loch Neldricken and skirted the edge of the loch past the “murder hole” (a part of the loch which is so deep that it never freezes over - no one was actually murdered here).
A bit of a climb took us past Loch Arron and led to the shores of Loch Enoch – very picturesque with its little islands.
A steep 40 minute climb up Redstone Rigg brought us to the windy summit of the Merrick with 360 degree views over the Galloway hills. Time for a well earned rest and a sit down in the sunshine to take in the scenery.
We descended by the tourist path which took us over Benyellary and down through the forest – the floor of which was scattered with colourful toadstools.On return to the car we decided to take the “straight road” home via Girvan and some more “lesser visited” parts of Ayrshire (Barrhill, Pinwherry, Pinmore & the Riverside Inn!!)
Photos: Mark Kinnon
© 2006 All Rights Reserved