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Craigengillan wanderings - waterfall and gorge

Craigengillan wanderings - waterfall and gorge


Postby denfinella » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:00 pm

Route description: Ness Glen, near Loch Doon

Date walked: 26/09/2015

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 4 km

Ascent: 200m

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The area around Loch Doon doesn't feature often on walkhighlands, but we had a very enjoyable morning exploring a couple of areas between the loch and Dalmellington. Plenty of woodland cover around, so ideal for a rainy day when the hills look less appealing.


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Our first walk (and at less than a kilometre, hardly a walk) was a visit to Dalcairnie Linn. A minor road heads south from the B741 near Doon Bridge, a mile or so west of Dalmellington. A path leaves the road at a corner shortly before the road end at Dalcairney Farm - there was only just space to park our small car here without blocking access to the gate / field, although there was more space five minutes' walk further back along the road. The path is shown on OS 1:25000 maps and was visible, although faint, on the ground. This led through a field and then along the deepening glen, transferring to the opposite bank and later back again via two newish footbridges. The waterfall was worth the walk - set beautifully in trees and not just a trickle (which had been a worry after such a dry month!).

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Gorge:


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Second, we drove around to the dam at the outflow to Loch Doon - a new area for us. The local estate appears to have invested significant amounts of money in reinstating paths around here - apparently Ness Glen used to be a popular tourist attraction, before falling into disuse. Anyway, nowadays an excellent path with dozens of small bridges heads down the gloomy gorge base alongside the fast-flowing stream. Ness Glen may be in Ayrshire, but it feels much more like the area around Loch Ness! The flow from the loch above is regulated - based on our visit, there's always a decent volume of water being released to create some decent rapids.

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The gorge is only about a kilometre look, but there was so much to look at that it felt much longer. A suspension bridge marks the end.

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View from the bridge, which is missing a few planks!

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From here, our route went uphill, but the quality of the walk went downhill. I'd suggest that if you've come this far, double back on a new path from near the suspension bridge, this time following the top of the gorge (still on the west side), back to the start. Instead, we followed tracks to the Dark Sky Observatory and Craigengilan Fort, on the slopes of Glessel Hill.

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Having looked around on the internet, there seemed to be tracks from the observatory to Glessel Hill, and from there a path back to the car. Perhaps it was the time of year and the lush vegetation, but we couldn't really find any paths that went the right way. In the end we cut the corner a bit, heading along a mixture of faint tracks, pathless moorland, and tall bracken, to get back to the car. Not ideal, but a nice albeit dreich view of Loch Doon from the high point (the start was by the end of the trees towards the right of the picture):

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Back at the lochside and car park:

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Two great little circuits (apart from the end of the second one) - interesting area, and that was before we even explored the length of the loch!
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denfinella
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Re: Craigengillan wanderings - waterfall and gorge

Postby basscadet » Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:24 pm

It does look like a really bonny area :clap: haven't been down this way much, but now I'm in Edinburgh, I guess the Galloway area isn't so far away :D
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basscadet
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Re: Craigengillan wanderings - waterfall and gorge

Postby denfinella » Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:49 pm

basscadet wrote:It does look like a really bonny area :clap: haven't been down this way much, but now I'm in Edinburgh, I guess the Galloway area isn't so far away :D


A few interesting spots at least, basscadet, and yes, not so far away from Edinburgh. I've yet to experience a sunny day down there though - I'm convinced the hills in SW Scotland are permanently covered in cloud!
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denfinella
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