Report on Byne Hill & Grey Hill
7 February 2010
BYNE HILL AND GREY HILL, GIRVAN, 07/02/2010
Attendees: Mark, Gail, Hans, Denise, James and Dorothy, plus Belle the dog.
We met at the car park just on the edge of Girvan and were booted and ready for walking just after 11.30. We walked along the road and then headed along the farm track which would take us past Bynehill Farm. We had just been talking about how hostile the farmer was towards walkers but when we noticed that he now had a farm shop, we thought he must have mellowed. Well, maybe he has but as we approached the farmyard, a woman (we presumed to be the farmer?s wife) appeared and very politely told us that we were not welcome. She insisted that the path no longer runs through here and advised us to go back along the road and turn left at the cemetery, walk along this track to the coast and then find a way up the hill. We could have stood our ground and argued but decided to respect her wishes and turned back.
We followed her instructions until we passed the cemetery and then decided that to go to the coast would take us too far out of our way, so we found a place to cross Bynehill Burn and then crossed the field at the risk of meeting the farmer, or even worse, his wife. After crossing this field there was a barbed wire fence we had to cross before starting our ascent. Looking up at this point, the hill looked very steep but it was definitely the shortest route. Well, it was every bit as steep as it looked and for part of the way it was a scramble on hands and knees. We stopped halfway up to get our breath back and to take in the views.
We finally got to the viewpoint and collapsed in the grass to regain our composure.
The views were great and the weather was being very kind to us, we could see grey clouds in the distance moving fairly swiftly but they seemed to by pass us. From here it was just a short walk to the summit and after checking out the views on the marker, we dropped down out of the wind to have our lunch. From here we could see the cairn on Grey Hill and it looked a long way off. It was really nice to sit and have lunch at the summit of a hill while looking over the water to Ailsa Craig.
Lunch over, we followed a wee track which led us down towards a monument which Mark informed us was in honour of Colonel A C B Craufuird who had played a big part in the taking of the Cape of Good Hope. (hope I?ve got that right, Mark, I was listening, honest). Next we walked towards Drumfairn then Mark walked over Cairnhill while the rest of us walked round the base of it. Next it was up over Fell Hill before the last push to the summit of Grey Hill. It certainly didn?t take as long as we had thought it would take. We sat down for another snack and a look at the map to see which way we descend. We decided to head down towards one of three gullies we could see. This meant climbing a few barbed wire fences on the way, boy, these farmers do not like walkers. There was no track here but we passed a few way markers, so continued steadily downwards. We had to scramble through some gorse before hitting a farm track that led us down to the A77. We crossed this road and after walking along the verge for about 300 metres, we were on the beach and followed the coastal path back to the car. Walking along the rocky beach was really hard going on the feet at times so it was a relief to hit soft sandy bits every now and again.
Finally we arrived back at the car, a full five hours after leaving it. It had been a really good day and the weather had been perfect for walking.