Walk 11 : New Luce to Mochrum 25 miles
Leaving the rich area of prehistory around New Luce, you are now heading for the mediaeval magnificence of Glenluce Abbey. This remote spot was selected for a Cistercian Abbey, enabling the monks to follow the strict rule of their Order, which maintained that distractions from the religious life should be minimised. The name “Glenluce” means “Valley of Light” and reflects the Cistercian use of simple, undecorated spaces, illuminated natural light. The Chapter House, with its amazing acoustics, is a highlight and you will see the remains of a complex water system within the museum. The route passes through the village of Glenluce and crosses the A75, into the Machars: a left turn takes you to Whitefield Loch, where Iron Age crannogs, or loch dwellings, have been discovered and where there was an immense mansion, built for the local MP, demolished in the 1950’s. You cross moorland towards the Old Place of Mochrum, privately owned, and a remarkable example of two conjoined tower houses, restored in the late 19th Century. The loch here includes the largest inland cormorant community in Scotland. You ascend past the House of Elrig (privately owned), immortalised by Gavin Maxwell, to the pretty village of Elrig, and then with dramatic views of the Solway to arrive at the small village of Mochrum.
This is a long stretch of route with comparatively few places for refreshments : Glenluce has shops and cafes, as well as caravan parks. Through undulating roads to Glenluce (where you may prefer to break your journey), and then across dramatic moorland on a track, to ascend towards Elrig, and then on minor roads, with some significant climbs, for Mochrum.
Illustrative maps courtesy of David Langworth, Cartographer
Detailed walking instructions can be purchased from www.whithornway.org