Walk – Fairlie Moor Loop

Our second walk of the year took place on March 7th.

Having forked out the princely sum of £1 each, we boarded the 10.07 train for the short ride down past the Pencil and yacht haven, and through the famous Fairlie tunnel.

Having no kind of engineering brain, I always marvel at how, in the early 1880s, the engineers of the day managed to construct this tunnel, not just for the distance of over 1000 yards, but with such a significant difference in elevation between the north and south portals (mind you, the engineer in our party hadn’t even realised that we had been through a tunnel…..)

From Fairlie Station, we wended our way up the Fairlie Burn, round the castle, currently in the process of a major restoration (though being experts in such matters, we all agreed that it was really a Tower House), crossed the burn and strode manfully over the hillside, enjoying lovely views along the way. 

We forded the Southannan Burn and continued round the base of Diamond Hill, after which our manful striding degenerated into stumbling and clambering through deeply rutted mud tracks. 

Luckily the hallucinatory images of the Battle of the Somme no-man’s land, the rattle of machine gun fire and exploding shells turned out to be forestry operations, and we stumbled out of the mud to reach the safety of the Fairlie Moor Road.

It was all downhill from here  –  literally, not metaphorically  –  to finish with an excellent Cullen Skink at the Catch at Fins seafood restaurant.
PS They would have got the bus back, but just missed one, so got a lift!

For those of you who wish to venture further afield: There are several routes through the Totara Valley and Raincliff back to Fairlie, but in South Island, New Zealand. The best involves a stop at the Opihi Vineyard Cafe for a relaxing lunch in a gorgeous setting and near New Zealand’s best-preserved Maori Rock Art and fantastic limestone rock formations.