Cold, clear air and wonderful views - April 1995
The Merrick Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
This was an "accidental" - a drive up to Newton Stewart to deliver a nephew to a fishing party which turned into a fine mountain walk. The teenage members of the aforementioned fishing party in question, from Brittany, were finding the Scottish air just a bit too cold for comfort. "Do you fancy a walk up the Merrick? It should warm them up a bit!" It did, too, despite the icy winds and the snow showers which, fortunately, we managed to dodge. The walk to the Merrick starts from Glen Trool, a little bit of the highlands which has been transplanted in the far south-west of Scotland, and climbs beside the cascades of the Buchan burn, through forest plantations and out onto the open hillside of Benyellary. From this secondary summit, a fine ridge connects to the highest point in southern Scotland, 2675'. To say the views from the summit were extensive is an understatement. To the north, beyond the Ayrshire coast, lay the snow-capped peaks of the southern highlands. South-eastwards, more snowy peaks were visible in the English Lake District.
Continuing clockwise, the Isle of Man lay to the south in the Irish Sea, and south eastwards the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland was clearly visible. Westwards, beyond the "sleeping warrior" of Arran, the long peninsular of Kintyre could be seen, and beyond, the peaks of one or two of the islands were just in sight. Fantastic! It seemed a pity to leave the summit, but reluctantly we headed downhill, this time to navigate a route back to Glen Trool via the rugged tops of Buchan Hill. Of no great height, the undulating terrain began to tire the party, and one was heard to mutter "Un montagne peut en cacher un autre", which French railway enthusiasts will instantly recognise as an adaptation of the familiar warning, on level crossings, that another train may be coming... A great half-day walk - and, later that evening, the beer in the Cree Bridge Hotel never tasted better...
The Buchan Burn The Buchan Burn Gaining height, the view back to Glen Trool Above the forest at last! View west, to Kintyre and the "Sleeping Warrior" East - the snowy Lake District peaks in the far distance South-west, the Antrim coast, Ailsa Craig and another glimpse of Kintyre Wild country to the north-east Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff