A last look at England before we move on….

Another grey day for us today but with less wind do a little warmer. I wanted to pay a visit to the Outlet Village at Gretna today, so we headed in that direction and parked up in Gretna. From the centre of the village (not to be confused with Gretna Green!) we wandered down to where the River Sark joins the Solway estuary.

Why you ask? Well the centre of the River Sark is where the border between Scotland and England lies and I was just curious to see if it looked as significant as it is. The answer is no! The river Sark is the water to the left in the above photo and the River Esk / Solway Firth runs along the top with a little bit of muddy sand on either side! So there you have it.

Rather than wander around Gretna which really isn’t that impressive we wandered along the river bank keeping an eye on the opposite bank (in England) where the sand looked much nicer!

After a couple of miles the footpath ended and we walked back into town along the lanes – not a very inspiring walk today but 4.5 miles of exercise and now off for a bit of retail therapy!

Two thoughts of the day:

I’m sure it is a missed opportunity for someone to not make more of our borders? Maybe not a good discussion topic at the moment!

I love poached eggs – the only problem is I have yet to find a successful (and easy) way of making them – I have tried countless microwave gadgets which always seem to cook the yolk and leave the whites too runny and those thingies that you dunk in a pan of boiling water always refuse to surrender up the egg without making a mess. Still I found a new type for dunking in a pan – like a spoon with holes in it – so I shall give it a whirl!

So much sand at Sandyhills…

A bit grey today and with a keen wind blowing but we are made of tougher stuff! Off we went to Sandyhills – now uncharacteristically for me, I paid £3 to park the car, having already checked out for any possible free alternatives and come up with nothing, I gave in with good grace but made sure we got our monies worth!!

What a fabulous beach, some soft sand and then just miles and miles of wet sand. Armed with a couple of balls and the thrower (as there aren’t any stones) and safe in the knowledge that the tide is still on its way out, we set off to see how far we could get.

Incidentally walking eastwards this beach arrives at Southerness with a bit of marshland in between but today we are walking westwards. At the end of the Bay is Saltpan Rocks a lovely area of soft sand and dark black rocks – ideal Poppydog playground!Fabulous Rock pools.

As we wandered along the stretch of beach beyond the headland, we found two natural arches.

We then arrived at Portling Bay, another peaceful rocky little cove with just a handful of houses, in places the sandy was a bit muddy.

We attempted to continue on beyond Portling but found that the sand became increasingly muddy and wet, so decided to turn back. Stopping off to shelter from the wind and play ball in a little sandy inlet on the way.

We watched a little sand storm brewing in the corner – quite magical!

And then ventured back out into the full force of the wind for the last stretch of beach – an exhilarating 5 mile walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

If this is how busy (not) it gets at Easter then I have high expectations the further north I get.

I wander what the next leg if our journey will bring?

A walk along the River Annan….

Not quite such a nice day today, mostly overcast with a chilly breeze blowing. For a change we have decided to follow the Annandale Way as it follows the river up from Annan.

As it turned out there is a footpath on either side of the river (so much nicer than having to retrace your steps), both dipping in and out of woodland and very peaceful. We passed a few others out walking but mostly we enjoyed our solitude.

After about 3.5 miles, we arrived at the small village of Brydekirk and crossed the river using the road bridge to begin our return on the opposite bank.

We had the wind in our faces (coming in off the sea) for much of the way back so we feel suitably short of cobwebs!

Two thoughts of the day:

It really isn’t such a great idea going shopping after a long walk – I now have stacks of food that all needs eating within the next couple of days – oh well!

Might just need to check out the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village before we move on – just in case!

A walk across the vast empty sands at Powfoot….

After a couple of fairly long driving days, today we are staying put and going to enjoy the continued sunshine with a walk along the beach from site.

With the tide a long way out, there is just miles of albeit slightly muddy sand. We walked into Powfoot as the river Pow cuts a deep channel across the beach and whilst it is no great obstacle for Poppydog, I wasn’t keen on getting wet!

This time we ventured out to the other side of the village, where the road ends in a car park and holiday park and wow look at all this empty sand!

There is a brisk cold wind blowing but even so, the sun is shining and I’m surprised to find the beach practically empty, Poppydog is in her element as she flies around chasing anything and nothing.

We spent three hours walking along the beach and back, covering 6 miles (me and countless more for Poppydog) – we shall both sleep well tonight!

As the white cottages of the sea side of Powfoot came back into view we took a closer look at the old tidal swimming pool (back before the days of ‘Elf and Safety’) bringing a whole new dimension to the term ‘infinity pool’!

On the way back we had the full brunt of the wind against us – I was ready for a cup of tea!

Two thoughts of the day:

You can’t ever imagine the above beach being busy!

Ever heard a pair of swans flying overhead? Quite magical!

This is more like it – Rockcliffe…..

Another lovely day and what a fabulous walk. We parked just above Rockcliffe in a lay-by (the car park in the village is free as it turned out!) and wandered the mile or so down into the rather appropriately named village.

A little gem of a place, no shops or pubs just a few tidy houses along the shore and this part sand, part stone and part rocky sheltered cove.

From here we followed the footpath eastwards along the shore to Castlehill Point with spectacular views across the vibrant gorse and a ‘pot of gold’ to Heston Island – beautiful.

Enjoying the solitude of the little rocky coves I n our way there and back.

From Castlehill Point we had spotted what looked like a beach beyond Rockcliffe, so upon our return, we carried on following the footpath through Mark Woods (Rockcliffe is at the end of a lane) for a mile or so until we came out onto the shore again just before Kippford and wow look at this.

A stunning sparkly little beach – not the most comfortable as it is made up of thousands of creamy little clam shells! How delightful and crunchy underfoot!

As Kippford is just around the corner, on we went.

Another delightful village of stone and painted cottages a cafe, a pub and quite a busy looking marina. As for Rockcliffe rather a lot if the properties look to be second homes or holiday lets. A very peaceful and probably rather select resort.

We returned to Rockcliffe taking a last look at the beach (the tide is beginning to recede) before wending our way back up the hill to the car. A very pleasurable 7.5 mile walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

The WiFi is quite weak here so preparing this blog is proving to be a challenge.

I would add this little corner of the Scottish coastline to my ideal holiday list.