With winter coming on this walk from Moniaive is just the thing for an afternoon stroll. There’s no off road walking whatsoever and this entire route is on tarmac and tracks. I first did this ramble on a pristine winter’s day with a fine coating of snow all around. The road starts and finishes from the Cross in Moniaive and it takes in some interesting sights along the way.
We head up past the Memorial Institute and the school behind which there was once a busy railway station. Passing over the Waulkmill Bridge that spans the Craigdarroch Water we come to Crichen road end. It is worth a small diversion up this farm drive for a few hundred yards for the exceptionally fine views back over Moniaive. The Renwick Memorial, the village and Dunreggan Brae are all seen to good effect from this lane.
Returning to the New Galloway road we pass through Glenwhisk and turn left down the back road that goes to Kirkland and Castlehill. Blackstone Bridge takes us over the Castlefairn Water. Old habits die hard and I can never walk over a bridge without scanning the waters below for fish. At certain times of the year salmon, trout and grayling linger and can be seen near the bridges at Blackstone and Waulkmill. I remember working with stonemasons on Blackstone Bridge for a man who was soon after tragically killed in the Lockerbie aircraft disaster.
Passing Poundland, a placename that denotes the rental price for farmland in olden times, I cannot help but wonder if this was the fee in Sterling or more probably the old Pounds Scots. There are quite a scattering of these rental price farms in Dumfries and Galloway of which Twomerkland and Shillingland are two further local examples. From Poundland we can enjoy the views across the Cairn valley to Shancastle, Kirkland, Crawfordton and back towards Moniaive. At Lower Ingleston we take a track due south for Ingleston Mains.
Ingleston Mains has sad associations with the Killing Times when several bold covenanters from Moniaive and Galloway were sold out for the King’s gold. They were betrayed, hunted down and shot by the King’s men. A memorial stone near the farm still acts as a poignant reminder of that event. Today the farm is more famous for its Clydesdale horses that can still do the farm work in the ways of yesteryear. Keep an eye out for these majestic beasts on your ramble near the farm. Return back along the same route taking in wide views of Glencairn as you go.
Landranger map Nithsdale and Annandale Sheet 77 covers the area.
Distance: 4 miles approx with 200 feet of climbing.