For an autumnal wander this wee walk has much to offer and it takes in some interesting and exciting countryside both in Shinnel and Glencairn. This is the first of our stravaigings to actually start and finish in the village of Moniaive. It takes in the village confines, woodland and open hillsides, farmland and a fairly large section on tarred roads. It is a ramble well within the capabilities of most walkers and in wet weather I prefer to use my wellies as opposed to hiking boots.
The walk starts from the clock tower in Moniaive and heads up North Street to Hastings Hall. At the end of the walled garden of Hasting Hall, where an ancient Galloway stone cross was re-sited, we cross over the bridge on the Dalwhat river and upwards towards the Bardennoch woodlands. At these woodlands follow the path at the western edge of these hardwoods until you pop out in farmland by a gate.
The route from here follows between the two dykes and we skirt past the end of an old ruined farmhouse. It’s a coincidence that I know two folk who once lived there and neither live in Moniaive. They both stay in Penpont and have fond memories of the place. Passing by the house the route eventually leads to Bardennoch Hill and what a viewpoint this is on a clear day. The Rhinns of Kells and Carsphairn hills brood to the west. Shinnel, the Lowthers and Maxwelton hills hold the eye in the east and away in the distance Criffel and the Lakeland Fells are some-times in evidence if it’s not too cloudy or hazy.
his is the high point of the whole walk and a good spot to rest a while and take in the view. Follow the rough ground of the summit eastwards to a dyke. Carefully cross this barrier and you should be standing by an artificial loch. Follow this track down to Stenhouse and on to Tynron.
It used to be possible to get a cuppa and a bite at the Hen Hoose but with the demise of this eatery it’s sandwiches and flask or wait till you get back to Moniaive. The hike back involves a steep climb over the brae and a steeper descent into the village. Though the road walking is uninspiring the views from both sides of Dunreggan Brae more than make up for this tarmac tramp. Tynron Doon and the Lowthers lead the eye on the Shinnel side and the view from the brae down into Moniaive never fails to delight with the whole village spread out before you.
Distance: 5.13 miles. Ascent: 1,056 feet