More beaches Kirkcudbright way…..

We are being spoilt with this beautiful weather – long may it continue. Today’s adventure involved quite a bit of driving, but as our starting point was just over 30 miles away, we made the best of it. We arrived at Kirkcudbright a pretty riverside town, with loads of free parking, famous as a painters haven, with excellent ‘artists light’ and took a stroll around.

Wide streets, lined with painted terrace houses, shops, galleries a plenty, churches, lots of cars but hardly any folk to be seen. The ruins of a smallish castle stand proud in the centre of town.

The splendour of this beautiful blossom outside this ‘wee’ chapel just caught my eye.

As indeed did this rather splendid sculpture of a horse.

From Kirkcudbright we drove along the opposite side of the river to our first beach – Nun Mill Bay, at low tides this stretches to include several other bays of Milton Sands.

We didn’t stay here long as there were a few too many people around for Poppydog to run free and instead continued on to the furthest beach on this section of our tour – Brighouse Bay.

A pretty mostly sandy cove at the end of this peninsula, a very deep and sheltered cove, though by now the tide was racing in and quickly covering the exposed sand. Still it was quiet enough for us to enjoy a walk and for Poppydog to get a descent runaround.

Next stop on the way back towards Kirkcudbright was Ross Bay, though there wasn’t any parking for access to this beach – had we not got such a packed itinerary today, we would have walked round from Brighouse, but we contented ourselves with a quick photo stop.

From Kirkcudbright we drove through open farmland past Dundrennan Abbey.Where Queen Mary of Scots spent her last hours on Scottish soil.To Auchencairn Bay – opposite side of the Stewartry Coast to Rockcliffe.

A rather muddy beach, way to gloopy and slippery to make walking an option, so we carried on to Balcary Bay at the end of the peninsula passing this wonderful house on the way.

What a wonderful place to end this fabulous day, backed by an old estate house, converted into a series of holiday cottages, this empty sheltered beach, with a nice strip of soft dry sand backing the otherwise stony beach (the tide was quite high so covering the rest of the sandy bay).Another magical place to holiday if getting away from it all is your thing.We enjoyed our walk along this beach and would have loved to stay longer – some other time.Imagine living here?

Two thoughts of the day:

You can get a real sense of the sparseness of population in relation to the size of the country as you drive about through the open countryside with no sign of civilisation in sight.

Sorry rather a long one today!

A trip to Southerness….

Another fabulous day, cool breeze but lovely in the sheltered spots. Today we are bound for Southerness, a bit of a trek but mostly through open countryside, just touching on Dumfries. On the way I pulled into New Abbey and parked up briefly to take a look at the beautiful ruin of Sweetheart Abbey.

Built in 1275 for Dervorguilla, daughter of the Lord of Galloway in memory of her late husband – now unfortunately deemed unsafe – so you can look but not enter.

Love these beautiful arches – they have seen life.

From here we also made a quick stop at the Drumburn Viewing Point to take a look across Drum Bay.

Then we arrived in Southerness, just a few houses, a couple of pubs / cafes and a large holiday park, a free car park and at the end of the street the lighthouse.

The beach isn’t very inspiring at first glance, a rough footpath running over broken shells and shingle, a fair bit of green slippery rocks, some muddy patches of sand and then the odd little gem of delightful sand, only at lower tides. Firstly we walked around to the left (eastwards) to Gillfoot Bay.

It was quite windy in the bay, with a few people about and another holiday park running along the back of beach, after a while we turned about and passing the lighthouse again we ventured round to Southerness Bay to the west.

Here it was much warmer away from the wind and with no one about (how odd!), Poppydog got a chance for a good run about on a lovely little sandy spot that we had to ourselves.

We continued along the path to try to reach Mersehead Sands on the other side of the bay, which looked lovely and sandy and empty! However the footpath disappeared into the marshland in between – so we enjoyed our little stretch of sand and the sunshine.

And will visit Mersehead Sands another day.

Two thoughts of the day:

A fair bit of driving is going to be needed over this next week or so to visit the beaches of Dumfries and Galloway.

The fish have been jumping well again this evening.

A walk along the beach to Newbie…..

A beautiful spring day for us again today, blue skies, cool breeze, fluffy clouds, daffodils and the beach – perfect! We have a few little jobs to do in Annan later so we decided to take a walk along the beach from site. This time we walked up the estuary towards Newbie.

We did find some sand but much of it was quite muddy as you can see from my precious little muckhound!

Still it is a beautiful day and we had a lovely walk, time to dunk the dog in the river and jobs to do!

Two thoughts of the day:

‘The Victim’ which one is it?

You have to wonder – as soon as all the fishermen go home the fish start jumping!

A visit to Lockerbie…..

A nice warm spring day welcomed us today, a fairly stiff breeze at times but in the sheltered places lovely and warm. Today we headed into Lockerbie, I guess out of morbid curiosity really, even though it host’s Scotland’s largest lamb marketmost of us just know of it because of the wreckage, after the horrific terrorist bomb attack on Pan Am flight 103 on 21st December 1988, landing across the town. This tragic moment resulted in the loss of life of all 259 on board the flight and 11 residents of Lockerbie as debris scattered far and wide.

From the centre of town we followed the Annandale Way, a walking route following the river Annan for 56 miles from Moffat to the sea at Annan. The footpath took us through woodland and open farmland.

We passed and called in at Lockerbie cemetery to visit the memorial garden and pay our respects to all those families, whose lives will never fully recover.

We stopped in at the visitor centre to learn about the disaster and how the community pulled together in its wake and admire this wonderful quilt titled ‘lest we forget’. With 259 leaves on the tree depicting those on Flight 103, 11 pebbles – the residents lost and the tree underpinned by a strong root system, depicting the community pulling together and getting on with their lives – beautiful.Also the pretty tree lined avenue, each tree commemorating a life lost too soon, just bursting into new life, before continuing on our way.

A thought provoking 6.5 mile walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

As above really.

Glencaple and Caerlaverock Castle….

Another dry but mostly cloudy day. We fancied a bit of a run on a beach today but unfortunately the tides are not on our side and as we arrived at Glencaple the estuary was full to the brim with not a scrap of sand to be seen.

We watched the local Nith Lifeboat on exercise for a short while before wandering along a sort of shoreside footpath until it became increasingly boggy underfoot.

To get in a proper walk we headed back to the Caerlaverock Nature Reserve and walked through the woodlands to the Castle before heading back to site.

Two thoughts of the day:

We shall have to go a bit further afield to the west to enjoy some proper beach walks.

Oh The Durrell’s are back tonight – another dream of mine – living in the middle of nowhere by the sea in a warm climate! Not overly keen on all the animals in the house but hey ho!