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Puck's Glen and the Black Gates

Puck's Glen and the Black Gates

Postby JTweedie » Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:49 pm

Route description: Puck's Glen

Date walked: 31/07/2011

Time taken: 2.5 hours

Distance: 5 km

Ascent: 200m

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I made the trip to Benmore Gardens via the train and ferry to Dunoon. I was seeking an easy day in the sunshine and that's just what I got.

I was using Ronald Turnbull's route from one of his books. I started from the Benmore Gardens car park, crossing the River Eachaig on a private bridge. This led to a path along the west bank of the river, with splendid views of the hills all around.

River Eachaig.jpg
River Eachaig

Looking back along River Eachaig.jpg
Looking back along the River Eachaig

Looking west from River Eachaig.jpg

Looking east across River Eachaig.jpg

Eventually, I came to a bridge that took me back across the river and towards the A815. I crossed the road to join a path leading up to Puck's Glen.

Bridge across River Eachaig.jpg
Bridge leading back to A815

Peaceful scene.jpg

Following the path a little further, I came to path signposted up Puck's Glen. There was an old sign there as well, I like seeing these old fashioned signs.

To Dunoon.jpg
To Dunoon sign - start of Puck's Glen

I immediately entered a prehistoric world of ferns and a narrow gorge. I followed the path up, across several wooden bridges and past many, many waterfalls. There was also a family taking a dip in a pool a bit higher up.

Bridge at start of Puck's Glen.jpg

First wooden bridge.jpg

Puck's Glen.jpg

Part of the path was closed off, so I took a diversion up to a forest road. This knocked out my sense of where I was as I crossed across a few forest roads on the way up, so I ended up taking a diversion up through more open ground. It was a pleasant, if very hot diversion, with lots of insects and a small flocks of Coal Tits and Chaffinches around. I saw lots of Scotch Argus butterflies as well as Common Darter and Gold-ringed Dragonflies. I really enjoyed the way the forest opened up after the closed in feeling from lower down. It also feels like a more "natural" forest setting and is no doubt much richer in biodiversity than the ravine I've just passed along.



I rejoined the main forest road and eventually came to a point where I should have been if I was able to follow Turnbull's route. There was a sign pointing up to Upper Puck's Glen.

Sign to Upper Puck's Glen.jpg

This was a continuation of the lower path, and led up to the highest point of the walk at about 300m. I stopped here for lunch before making my descent. I'm not normally bothered too much by midges, usually get annoyed with clouds of them floating around my face but nothing more, but while there weren't big clouds like that here, there were still plenty of them around. I felt a little tickle on my elbow, and then realised "ah that's what it's like to be bitten by a midge!".

Upper Puck's Glen.jpg

I managed to finish my sandwiches despite the midges, and then followed the ominous sign leading to the Black Gates of Mordor, made my way back down to the forest road. There are a few places along this road where you can drop back down to Benmore Gardens, but I continued on to the third path, and this again led to a pleasant, more open forest path with lots of wildlife.

Black Gates.jpg
To the Black Gates of Mordor

All in all a good day, but very hot!
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Re: Puck's Glen and the Black Gates

Postby Border Reiver » Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:30 pm

Just had to read your report - a real blast from the past. Benmore Gardens and Pucks Glen were places we used to visit as a family, back in the 1960's. I've been to Benmore gardens since, but not Pucks Glen. Enjoyed seeeing pics of them again.
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Re: Puck's Glen and the Black Gates

Postby dooterbang » Mon Aug 01, 2011 4:04 pm

Pucks Glen is beautiful and is a lovely walk.

Thanks for posting as brings back memories of doing this few years back.
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Re: Puck's Glen and the Black Gates

Postby JTweedie » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:00 pm

Thanks for your comments, glad it brought back some memories.

My only complaint would be that while it's easy to get to by public transport, the earliest bus from Dunoon is at 10.50 on a Saturday - I like to get out early on my walks, so having a bus a couple of hours earlier would be great.
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Re: Puck's Glen and the Black Gates

Postby freespirit » Sat Mar 30, 2013 10:07 am

Been to this enchanting place many times ,walked for hours ,very good for those who like a walk with only a small degree of challenge. In fact as I speak we are packing the car ready to go for the day ,our dog loves it here and as yet we have never encountered any farm animals so it is a safe place to let her off although being a springer she is more interested in the birds . So enchanting with its paths, bridges and waterfalls and if you walk to the top the view is truly magnificent and well worth the hours it took us to get there.Our son loves it and likes to take a small piece of quartz home as it is everywhere . Today our daughter is home from Manchester so we are taking her for a walk up the glen this time last year it was very warm.We some times stay the week at Stronchillin farm lovley place and we are only 30 mins from the Glen and go everyday .Afterwards we go to sheila's Diner for some truly good food and best of all the giant Strawberry Meringue to finish our day x Anyone lookinfg for a week with minimal challenges as long as you keep to the very well looked after paths shouldnt have any problems even although one or two may be a little steep taken with care are not a problem. Hope you all enjoy this beautiful place as much as we do.
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