The west side of Loch Ryan…

Not such a nice day today, grey all day with a few spots of rain here and there. Again we need a few supplies so as we need to go into Stranraer for them, we headed north of the town to find Lady Bay.

Unsure looking at the map, whether the track went all the way down to the beach we decided to park up at the end of the lane. As it turned out the track did lead to a small parking area behind the beach, however the tyre ruts were so deep in places, I’m sure the car would have grounded, so I’m glad we left it where we did!

When we arrived on the beach there was another family down there (how rude?) but they were soon on the move and for the rest of our visit we had this small strip of sand to ourselves. We watched a huge P&O ferry arrive in the Loch from Ireland.

After a good play, we wandered back up the hill, looking back down over open farmland to the Loch and mainland beyond.

As we reached the top of the road we just caught this view over the hedgerow.

Looks quite surreal but I can’t quite work out what the conical hill is or where it is over the water – any ideas?

As we returned to Stranraer we called in at Wig Bay but it was s big disappointing with very little sand, although it is nearly low tide.

And again at Stranraer North Shore, similarly more stone and seaweed covered rocks than sand.Aah well they can’t all be stunning!

Two thoughts of the day:

Need to check up on outstanding beaches, as I haven’t been very logical on this stay – don’t want to miss any!

Food shopping, will always remain a mystery to me!

From stunning Portpatrick to Killantringan Lighthouse….

It was looking a bit gloomy this morning but as the day progressed it just got better and better and dare I say it – warmer! Today we are bound for Portpatrick and what an absolute delight!

Pretty as a picture and the only sign of a thriving community that we have seen so far, not much in the way of shops (a bakery, general store and that’s about it) but a few pubs, eateries and hotels, all nicely done up and with plenty of folk around enjoying the outside areas in the sun – lovely atmosphere- we like! All the parking was free (as it has been so far in Scotland). Oh yes and a little sandy beach too!

This is the start of the Southern Upland Way (a coast to coast 214 mile footpath from Portpatrick to Cockburnspath on the East Coast) which for the first 3 miles or so follows the coast northwards to Killantringan Lighthouse before heading inland and so suits us perfectly.

After a bit of a steep climb including rather a lot of steps the footpath meanders along the cliffs which are absolutely glorious with little pockets of bluebells, pink campion and sea pinks. The path gradually winds its way down to our first beach, Port Mora, a stone backed sandy sheltered cove.

Perfect for a little stop to enjoy the sunshine.

I’m glad we had taken a breather as the steps back up to the cliff top where rather harsh! Before long we were on our way back down again, this time to the rather more stony Portavaddie Cove.

Poppydog had a brief run around as we crossed the beach but had to go back on the lead as we ventured up the steps on the other side – as she is far too lemming like for me to take a chance when we are high up without a lead. Up on top of the cliffs, in the distance our destination Killantringan Lighthouse perched up above the pretty Portamaggie Bay on Black Head.

How stunning is this beach? With the wreck of MV Craigantlet, a cargo ship that ran aground here in 1982 clearly visible in the bay.

Yet another home with a view and location to die for?

This beach was also deserted (I think everyone has just stayed in Portpatrick as we haven’t passed anyone on the way!) so we went down for a play.

The lighthouse towering above us.

From here we headed inland, catching a glimpse of the lovely Killantringan Bay which we shall enjoy another day.

We returned to Portpatrick via the lanes and enjoyed the atmosphere of this buzzing little harbour for awhile with a well earned cold drink after our wonderful 8 mile round trip.

Two thoughts of the day:

One of the nicest walks we have had in a long while – I might even be so bold as to say this year!

If you haven’t and can – The Rhinns of Galloway is well worth a visit – it really is this stunning.

From Kirkmandrine Chapel to Float Bay….

Oh yes, sunny again, a bit chilly in the breeze at times but we are being very spoilt! Today we set off to take a look at the Kirkmadrine Stones and Church.

The eight stones include three of the oldest Christian memorials in Scotland dating back some 1500 years and encased in the entrance of the closed up church.

Unfortunately encased behind glass making photography nigh on impossible! We decided to leave the car here and walk the couple of miles down the lanes through open countryside to this little gem.

How fabulous, almost like a private beach and accessed down a gated private lane. Fortunately there was a chap in the garden of a cottage up the top who said that it was ok to walk on down to the beach otherwise we probably wouldn’t have ventured on down.

I’m so pleased we did – not surprisingly there was no one else down here and with the exception of a layer of slimy seaweed at the high tide mark, I would say, in my humble opinion, that Float Bay is pretty much perfect!

So we made the most of this lovely sunny afternoon, gorgeous empty beach and did … well just beachy things!

Not a bad place for a second home!

Two thoughts of the day:

There doesn’t seem to be any coastal path along this west side of the Rhinns and so reaching some of these little beaches is proving to be a bit problematic – still I’m sure you will agree – not a bad problem to have!

A definite location to add to the ideal holiday list,

Oh my word – just look at Ardwell Bay….

And the sun keeps on shining – how lucky are we? Plans are made to be broken, especially here – we found Ardwell Bay down a rather rough gravel single track road on the opposite side of the Rhinns (the west) to Ardwell itself. Lesser mortals would have turned back and walked (not that you could turn back!) but both Mr O S and a rather small road sign indicated that there was parking down at the cove and indeed there was – but more importantly look at this magnificent beach…Just everything a beach should be – marram grass covered dunes, soft white sand leading to milky wet sand and clear turquoise waters – oh yes and empty!!

Well for a while, we had the beach to ourselves and we pottered about with Poppydog as keen to chase the ball as though she hadn’t done so for a lifetime – well since yesterday at least!

It was lovely and sheltered and warm and though looking very tempting, just a toe in was enough to tell me that the water is as cold as I thought it would be! As another couple of cars appeared in the car park we decided to take a walk along the footpath leading southwards (there doesn’t seem to be one northwards which is where my plan failed as I had intended for us to walk along to Float Bay a couple of miles north of here).

We started out by walking along a wide grassy ledge only about 5 metres above the sea but this ledge gradually got narrower and after barely a mile we arrived at a full stop!

Now I don’t always let an obstacle such as this put me off, however where the coastal path is concerned, I feel caution is quite justified and so we turned about and reclaimed the now empty again beach!

Well my mileage is certainly going to be down this week but Poppydog is keeping the flag flying!

Two thoughts of the day:

I write this blog a little begrudgingly – I don’t want too many people to know about this fabulous beach!

There is a fly in the van – one of has to leave!

The fabulous beach at Maryport Bay…..

Another stunning day, still a coolish breeze but we are certainly not complaining. We drove to Maryport Bay, just a couple of miles beyond Drummore and rather cheekily left the car in the small visitor car park at the small holiday home site at the end of the road and wow!

Well we fully intended for go for a walk along the coastal path from here but I’m afraid this empty beach probably a mile or so or sand and lovely sunshine was just too good to pass on by.

So armed with a couple of balls and a thrower we just worked our way from one end of the beach to the other and back again.

Across the turquoise waters sits the Mull of Galloway with the lighthouse sitting proud.

Aah well, we’ve been there so let us just enjoy this..

And this…

Well I managed to rack up 5 miles and it would be fantastic to know how many Poppydog racked up! Suffice to say, I reckon she will sleep well tonight!

Two thoughts of the day:

This weather is amazing – can it last? Please!

They gave seasonal pitches on this site which gives food for thought in the future – maybe?