Enjoy a warming Harvest Lunch

Bowl of soup

All are welcome to the Harvest Lunch on Sunday 1st October at 1pm in the McCandlish Hall, Straiton. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for children.

The lunch is organised by Straiton Picnic Committee with all proceeds going towards the Bonfire and Firework display on 4th November and the Panto outing on 12th December.

Come along and enjoy a delicious lunch and some good company while supporting community events. You’ll also save on the cooking and washing up!

Afternoon Tea, all welcome

Afternoon Tea InvitationSave Straiton for Scotland are having an Afternoon Tea in the McCandlish Hall this Sunday, 23 July at 2pm. As well as teas, coffees and delicious baking there’ll be homemade lemonade, Pimms and some fizz. Of course there’ll be the usual superb raffle!

The event is to celebrate their recent success. Come along to find out about how their campaign is progressing. What they hope will be the final wind farm application is due to go to a Public Inquiry in October and there’ll be up to date information on this.

Both visitors to Straiton and residents are very welcome. Your attendance and support is appreciated.

3 eggs for the Ospreys at Loch Doon

Osprey on nest with 3 eggs

You can see these magnificent birds opposite the Roundhouse Café at Loch Doon. There’s a viewing screen in the café so you can see all the action at close quarters plus the new viewing room is now open.

Local school children named the Ospreys Angel and Cullen. Hopefully all the young will survive and return in a few year’s time to set up their own nest in the Galloway Hills. Last year only one survived, Solo, the other two were predated by a buzzard.

Church Walk has re-opened

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The short, but very scenic, Church Walk has re-opened after a landslip made it impassable. As you can see it’s as good as new. Today was a great day for taking snaps, cold but very sunny. The river had surface bubbles swirling around making some lovely patterns.

 

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“I do” in the woods

Wedding ceremony in Balbeg woods

After days of lashing rain and gales the wind dropped, the rain ceased and the sun came out. It was a crisp but perfect day for the happy couple who were married in the woods by Balbeg.

We think it’s the first time such a ceremony has taken place in the woods and it looks beautiful and very romantic. Afterwards the celebrations continued at the Barn at Dalduff. We wish the couple a long and very happy future together.

The happy couple

Soak up the Atmosphere at Straiton Show this Saturday

Straiton Show field

They say “the sun always shines on Show Day” and the forecast’s looking good for this year’s show on Saturday 13th. There’s lots to see at this traditional, friendly event; in the sheep section there’s Blackface sheep of course, but also Blueface Leicester, Commercial and Suffolk. The cattle section includes Dairy plus Galloway and Belted Galloway and there’s Highland ponies and goats.

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goats

The Horse Section has 14 Classes from Lead Rein and Open Mixed Height to Fancy Dress and Wobbly Riders!

Bring your pet along for the Pet Show at 2.30pm and get some raffle tickets for the draw at 3pm. (times approximate). Get along early to visit the popular plant stall outside the Hall. Enjoy a refreshing cup of tea, and eat your fill of sandwiches and delicious home baking in the Hall; the Show Day Teas are justifiably renowned.

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Hills, Garden and Gorge – plus an Osprey!

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Tuseday’s walk, one of 29 organised by the Newton Stewart Walking Festival did not disappoint. Starting from Straiton 18 walkers with 3 guides tackled the Monument first getting to the top to enjoy some fine views before setting off across the moor to Auchenroy Hill. Our guide mentioning it might be “soft underfoot” which translates as “you’ll soon be up to your ankles in water”.

10-swimming-pondWe had good views of the Galloway Hills to the south and our knowledgeable guide told us both the ranges and names of the mountains. A pleasant walk down to Craigengillan Gardens where we had an excellent guided tour from Fi McLelland. An amazing garden, all the more interesting as it’s in the process of being uncovered. The rock garden was designed by James Pullman & Sons (usually kept busy designing for royal residences) and features pools deep enough to swim in, Peak District stone, cascades, water channels and seemingly miles of stone pathways interspersed with stone terraces. There are some stunningly beautiful trees including a 600 year old yew on the front lawn.

12-gorge-walkThe final section of the walk was up the dramatic gorge at Ness Glen. Here the path closely follows the river as it tumbles down from Loch Doon, the steep sides are covered in an amazing variety of mosses and ferns. Towering cliffs and steep sides make this one of the best gorge walks in southern Scotland.

The icing on the cake was seeing the female osprey sitting on the nest at Loch Doon across from the Roundhouse Café. The owner has thoughtfully provided a scope set up for patrons to view the nest. A delicious hot coffee was very welcome too. For the latest information on the Ospreys click onto the Facebook page Visit Loch Doon

Newton Stewart WalkFest – 8th to 14th May

Walker enjoying the view of a loch in the Galloway Hills

There are almost 30 guided walks varying from gentle rambles exploring pilgrimage sites in Whithorn to the challenging route along the Awfu Hand taking in the summits of seven hills. Guides are knowledgeable in history, plant and animal life which enrich the experience. Walks cost from just £5 and include transport to and from the start and finish points. What better way to get fitter, enjoy the outdoors and gain an insight into this beautiful part of Scotland?

Ness Glen 2-smlThis year a new route starts from Straiton, climbs up to the Monument, follows the ridge to the Doon Valley, takes in the remarkable gardens at Craigengillan, then follows the spectacular gorge path through Ness Glen finishing at the Roundhouse Café at Loch Doon.

In addition there are evening events including talks, slide shows and whisky tasting to celebrate 2015 – Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink.

Click here to go to the website for more information and to book.

Straiton Struggle on 28th March

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Re-surfacing of the road should be completed just in time for this year’s Straiton Struggle cycle race on the 28th March. The category 3 and 4 race is limited to a field of 60 but it is a very strong field which includes some promising juniors and ladies. Entrants will meet at the McCandlish Hall to register before setting off on a gruelling 54 mile circuit of Straiton – Kirkmichael – Crosshill which they complete 6 times.

Last year’s winner was Kenny Armstrong (Ayr Roads CC), previous entrants have come from all corners of Scotland, including Shetland!, and the north of England. Let’s hope for good weather conditions this year. I believe dry, bright but not too hot, is perfect.

The event is promoted by Ayr Roads Cycling Club who regularly train in this area on Tuesday nights during the summer months.

 

Booty Galore!

Sitting in front of horsebox with a mass of stuff for saleVisitors to Straiton on Sunday were treated to a huge array of car booters with a mind-boggling range of items for sale – the old favourites were there; toys, jewellery, bric-a-brac, old tools and gardening equipment. Some of the more unusual items included juggling batons, vintage handbags, chimney pots, busts (the marble sort) and a garden shed!

Three women with clothes for sale

The sun shone, just about continuously, and all seemed happy with their purchases, especially those who made it to the Hall for a delicious cream tea. The proceeds from stalls and the teas will be going to the Fun Day & Hill Race on August 30th. Another great family day out and if you don’t have children there’s plenty for adults to enjoy as well.

Kirkmichael Music Festival

Just down the road our neighbours in Kirkmichael are having a music festival on the 13th, 14th and 15th of June. After a busy day at Straiton Show why not enjoy some live music in the evening?

The organisers tell us that they have put together “a really varied programme of musical offerings from well known names such as James Grant, Trail West and Jenna and Bethany Reid, as well as more local artists so that everyone can find something they want to come and listen to.” There’s also a drumming workshop and the Battle of the Bands competition with the winners getting an opportunity to play live on STV!

Tickets are available on-line, to visit the website, get more information and buy tickets click on this link www.kirkmichael.org.uk

Straiton Agricultural Show, Saturday 14th June

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the best shows around – traditional, friendly and almost always sunny. Livestock judging starts early with Blackface sheep being well represented, other breeds include Border Leicester, Suffolk and Bluefaced Leicester. Also shown are the distinctive Belted Galloway cattle (or Belties) with their black, red or dun about a white middle and are a heritage beef breed.

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The Guild run a popular plant stall, usually starting around 9am, there’s a good selection of bedding, perennials and vegetable plants at very reasonable prices.

 

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At the foot of the show field the youngsters, and some grown ups, compete on their ponies in show-jumping, dressage and even fancy dress!

If you have a pet of your own why not enter the pet show in the afternoon? It’s held in the main ring just before the raffle where prizes include a gallon of whisky, half a lamb, a £100 note, vouchers for a meal in the Black Bull and many others.

After working up a hunger and thirst make your way to the village hall for a famous Show Day Tea and enjoy a great cuppa, tasty sandwiches and delicious home-baking. A perfect ending to the day.

Walking Festival, 9-15 May

Walking Festival, 9-15 May

Loch Doon from Mullwharcher by Jez Turner

The 2014 Newton Stewart Walking Festival features 29 guided walks from coast to hill tops and everything in between and this year there are several new routes to complete. The high level routes are led by members of the Galloway Mountain Rescue Team. One of the more challenging walks is from Loch Doon (pictured above) to Loch Trool, described as one of the finest walks in the south of Scotland. There are plenty less strenuous rambles where nature and wildlife expert will accompany you adding to your enjoyment. And there are also themed walks – history, nature, the biopshere and walks that finish at a café or pub.

newtonstewart-walking

Transport is provided from Newton Stewart and registration details are available on their website. Click here to visit WalkFest and get all the information on the routes.