2014 – Trekking 4km Ardwell Pond at East Ardwell Bay, Stranraer, Scotland day 17

Backpacking to Stranraer, Scotland from 21 May to 26 June 2014 (37days)

Ardwell (Gaelic meaning "high town") is a village in the Scottish council area of Dumfries and Galloway. It lies on the shores of Luce Bay in the southern part of the Rhins of Galloway. The A716 road to Drummore or the Mull of Galloway passes through the village. The only other street is Ardwell Park, a street of new houses.

Day 17 (06.06.2014 Fri) – trekking 4km Ardwell Pond at East Ardwell Bay (18km)

This morning we did the 4km Ardwell Pond walk. First we have to drive 18km to the Ardwell Bay car park/picnic area at the route crosses the A716 Stranraer Drummore Road. From here there are great views across the wide expanse of Luce Bay towards the Machars. Sleeping: Shambley Residence, Millfield Avenue, Stranraer, Scotland. Temp: min.10 – max.18 °C
At the Ardwell Bay car park/picnic area.

Luce Bay is a large bay in Wigtownshire in southern Scotland. The bay is 20 miles wide at its mouth and is bounded by the Rhins of Galloway to the west and the Machars to the east.

From the 1930s to the 1990s it was a bombing range used for training purposes by RAF aircraft based at West Freugh. Discharged bombs were retrieved by a retired minesweeper based at Drummore.

Once an important commercial fishery, Luce Bay is now seldom used for this purpose. It contains important marine and littoral life, however, and has been declared a Special Area of Conservation by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Begin the walk by heading out of the car park back to the main road, and then taking a signed footpath almost opposite (slightly to the right).

A beautiful farmland cottage along the trek.

The path winds through the trees beside the burn.

At the foot of a salmon ladder. The zig-zag stones in the riverbed are to enable the salmon to rest between their bouts of forcing their way up the slope to get to the Ardwell Pond.

This circular walk explores the Ardwell Estate on mostly woodland paths. It gives the opportunity to visit the walled gardens in summer and also runs beside the attractive Ardwell Pond.

The swans came to see if we had any food!

The gadwall is a common and widespread duck of the family Anatidae.

The Rhododendron flowers by the pond.

Continuing on this path up the side of the lade, walk follows around the pond edge and into a wood.

Fuchsia flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees.

An old Birnam Wood.

The beautiful ancient Birnam Wood.
It is thought that this is the only remaining tree of the original ancient Birnam Wood.

Commonly known as Golden Rain as it is very striking when in full flower in late May to June. This small deciduous tree is very easy to grow but gives the best display of long golden flower racemes in full sun.

On reaching a metalled estate road the walk turns right and passes the front of Ardwell House. Here it is possible to enter the walled garden by visiting an information board, where a small charge is levied by means of an honesty box.

This wooden owl created by a chainsaw artist.
Ardwell House Gardens is a 342ha (970acres) garden surrounding the 18th-century Ardwell House. Daffodils, spring flowers and rhododendrons are among the many attractions in the beautiful gardens at Ardwell House.

The daffodils and rhododendrons are flowering shrubs, coloured foliage and rock plants. There’s a moist garden at the smaller pond and a walk round the larger ponds with views over Luce Bay. The gardens are open between 1 April to 30 September from 10am to 5pm. Entry is £3 for adults, it’s £2 for concessions while children under 14 go free. Please note that the proceeds raised from the admission price of this garden are distributed to charities chosen by the garden owner and Scotland's Garden Scheme.

It boasts an impressive variety of azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons that burst into colour in spring and early summer. The walled garden grows a wide range of summer bedding plants and produce including potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries and other seasonal treats, all available for visitors to buy.

Rhododendron is a genus of 1,024 species of woody plants in the heath family, either evergreen or deciduous, and found mainly in Asia. Most species have showy flowers.

Fuchsia flowering plants that consists mostly of shrubs or small trees.

Back on the walk, the road forks, with the route following the leg to the right, i.e. not the leg signed ‘way out’. The walk then veers off to the right onto a path through a wood which continues behind a motte, crossing the moat on two timber bridges and back to the lade to complete the circuit. By turning left the walk is completed by crossing the A716 back to the car park.

The salmon ladder for it to get to the pond.
Lunch was the fantastic fried rice prepared by Betty Ching. Thanks Betty!

After the 4km walk and after lunch, Val Allan had a good afternoon nap and sleep like a baby.

After a few minutes, Alistair too went to sleep.

At this moment in time, Allan must be dreaming of the next meal - lamb chops and roasted chicken.

Prepared by Pauline Toh, dinner was well served. Thanks to Pauline.

All getting ready to eat.

Dinner was lamb chops, roasted chicken with plenty of vegetables.

We really enjoyed ourselves with this classic tastes of western meal.

What an ideal finish, we had apple strudel for dessert.

Click below to view daily adventures:
Day 01 (21.05.2014 Wed) – MH16 KUL/AMS 2355hr – 0655hr on 22May
Day 02 (22.05.2014 Thr) – Amsterdam City, Holland
Day 03 (23.05.2014 Fri) – Amsterdam Zaanse Schans Village (21km)
Day 04 (24.05.2014 Sat) – KL.1477R AMS/GLA 1535hr - 1605hr Glasgow Airport
Day 05 (25.05.2014 Sun) – Stranraer, Scotland

Day 06 (26.05.2014 Mon) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan
Day 07 (27.05.2014 Tue) – Portpatrick and Mull of Galloway Lighthouse (58km)
Day 08 (28.05.2014 Wed) – Lide supermarket (2.8km) and Museum
Day 09 (29.05.2014 Thu) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (56km)
Day 10 (30.05.2014 Fri) – Kirkland Fishery Farm in Leswalt (4.6km)

Day 11 (31.05.2014 Sat) – Exploring Galloway Forest Park (60km)
Day 12 (01.06.2014 Sun) – Trekking 20.8km Loch Ryan Coastal Path
Day 13 (02.06.2014 Mon) – A free and easy rest day
Day 14 (03.06.2014 Tue) – To Robert Burns Cottage at Alloway (78km)
Day 15 (04.06.2014 Wed) – Fishing station at Lady Bay (15km) Loch Ryan

Day 16 (05.06.2014 Thu) – A trip to the Giant Causeway (153km) by coach
Day 17 (06.06.2014 Fri) – Trekking 4km Ardwell Pond, Ardwell Bay (18km)
Day 18 (07.06.2014 Sat) – Our ladies went shopping in Ayr (72km)
Day 19 (08.06.2014 Sun) – Visiting Isabelle/Robert in Newton Steward (50km)
Day 20 (09.06.2014 Mon) – Overnight stay at Fishing Station, Lady Bay Loch Ryan

Day 21 (10.06.2014 Tue) – Visited a farm using automated milking
Day 22 (11.06.2014 Wed) – Day 1 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 23 (12.06.2014 Thu) – Day 2 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 24 (13.06.2014 Fri) – Day 3 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 25 (14.06.2014 Sat) – Day 4 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland

Day 26 (15.06.2014 Sun) – Day 5 of Scenic West Coast Tour, Scotland
Day 27 (16.06.2014 Mon) – Allan and Pauline 50th wedding anniversary
Day 28 (17.06.2014 Tue) – Mysterious beach walk at Loch Larbrax, Scotland
Day 29 (18.06.2014 Wed) – Lake Loweswater, Lake District, UK (day1)  

Day 30 (19.06.2014 Thu) – Outward Bound Ullswater, Lake Ullswater (day2)

Day 31 (20.06.2014 Fri) – Return from Lake District (day3)
Day 32 (21.06.2014 Sat) – Our last visit to the bothy at Lady Bay
Day 33 (22.06.2014 Sun) – A farewell dinner hosted by Margaret Modrate
Day 34 (23.06.2014 Mon) – A farewell tea hosted by Vera Little
Day 35 (24.06.2014 Tue) – To Glasgow for a night stay for next day flight

Day 36 (25.6.2014Wed) Glasgow 6am to Amsterdam 8.40//MH17 12noon to KLIA
Day 37 (26.06.2014 Thu) – MH17 touched down at KLIA at 6.20am.



  1. Hey man, you forgot about your home while you are out there, having the best time of your life? Stay any longer, you be close to certified temporary British.

  2. So enjoyable. U really enjoy travelling.

  3. I also visited the large bay in Wigtownshire which is known as “Luce Bay”, and “Torrs Warren” the forestry plantation area at the back of this bay. My family join me at Torrs Warren after their washington bus tours. We enjoy there our great experience of hiking. I would like to recommend to visit these awesome places.