27th July 2006 Cairn Pat GM/SS-281
Watching the ships
Lowest of the South Scotland Marilyns GM/SS-281 At 182m (596 feet) NX044563 IO74LU Cairn Pat, or Cairnpat as Douglas Adams and John Lloyd described it in The Meaning of Liff is "A large piece of dried dung found in mountainous terrain above the cowline which leads the experienced tracker to believe that hikers have recently passed." is home to the South Westsound FM (96.5 mHz) commercial radio transmitter which covers the Stranraer area and due to the repeaters using the same mast is one place in the area you can actually get a signal on an O2 mobile phone. However despite the close proximity of the transmitters no interference was noticed during my activation.
To find Cairn Pat take the A77 Stranraer to Portpatrick road, lookout for Craigenquarroch and then take a concrete track on the right leading towards the transmitter. If you drive up the concrete part of the track there is room for a couple of cars just before the water board access on the left, you may have to reverse back down but we were able to turn around in front of what I believe is a pumping station. A stile to the right of a normally locked gate accesses the rest of the track and it is a very straightforward and obvious route to the summit, trig point and transmitter. Even if you park on the road this is a short easy walk.
Despite the insignificant height of this summit the views from here a well worth the visit and the Irish ferries can be seen leaving/arriving at both Stranraer and Cairn Ryan on Loch Ryan. With a good sea path to Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, west Coast of England and north Wales this summit offers the potential of a good all round batch of contacts to a well set up station. Amateur radio activity in the area appears low so don't expect to hear anything on 2m or 70cm if you only have a couple of watts and a rubber duck antenna.