A Cloudy Day in Galloway: Corserine

After a great day in the hills in Bridge of Orchy the previous day, I was keen to keep the momentum going and managed to rope my dad into a trip to the Galloway Forest Park to head up Corserine, the second highest Corbett in Galloway.

[July 2020]

Other than Arran, I would consider the Galloway hills my ‘local’ hills being from Ayrshire, but it’s an area I don’t explore anywhere near often enough, probably due to the lack of Munros and Corbetts (although there are a few of the latter). I still had 2 to ‘bag’ – Corserine and Shalloch on Minnoch. We opted for Corserine as this was the less boggy option.

A little over an hour saw us at the start of our route, where there is a large car park on the Fred Olsen owned Forrest Estate. It’s worth bearing in mind that they do not allow overnight parking, so if undertaking an overnight, alternative parking will need to be found.

Our walk began with a gentle leg-stretch along well-maintained forestry road (all named after workers/family members of the Fred Olsen Group) for a couple of miles, with the only annoyance being the swarms of flies who decided it would be fun to buzz around us and repeatedly crash into us! This ensured we walked at a rather brisk pace and made good time to the end of the forestry road and out onto open hillside.

Easy going initially
Lots of wide open spaces
On and on it goes…
Breaking through the trees

After breaking through the trees, it was a steady climb following a grassy path all the way to the summit of Corserine. The views back east over Galloway and towards the Borders were lovely. We ended up in the cloud around 600m and stayed there all the way to the summit trig point, so there were no views to speak of. It was a good feeling to keep the momentum going though and bag my 15th Corbett.

Summit ‘views’

From the summit, we headed south as we had planned to follow the Rhinns of Kells and complete a circuit of these hills before heading back to the car. Once again, the going wasn’t hugely challenging and there was a reasonably obvious path leading us along the broad grassy ridge.

The cloud did begin to lift slightly as we reached one of the low points of the ridge and we were presented with miles and miles of rolling hills, lochs and trees – lovely!

Cloud beginning to lift
Some sun patches
Loch Dungeon from the Rhinns of Kells

The trudge along the ridge lasts for a few miles and was boggy in places, but still an enjoyable ridge walk. I must admit, I do enjoy walking along and looking at some of the rather odd place names in Galloway – some of them make for some fun reading!

Looking back to a distant Corserine

The last top on our ridge walk was Meikle Millyea and from here we turned north east to follow the broad ridge back towards the car park. Again, there was a decent enough path to follow and no real difficulties in the descent, but the views were good and the cloud had lifted enough to give us some sunlight, so it was turning into a rather pleasant day.

Plenty of lochs and trees
The feint descent path

The ridge ends rather abruptly with a short but very steep section of path. which could prove rather tricky in bad conditions. It wasn’t hugely difficult today though and after negotiating that, we were back at the edge of the forest where it was a case of following the well made roads back to the car park a couple of miles away.

Back in the forest

Our 11 mile circuit had taken us 5 hrs 40 mins, which we thought was pretty good progress. Being a Sunday, it was back to work in the morning, so time to head home and start plotting and scheming for the next good weekend…!

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