Day 099 : Auchencairn – Kirkcudbright

Today I am walking from the small village of Auchencairn with it’s village store, garage, church and pub to the town of Kirkcudbright. Auchencairn in the past has had a history of smuggling in the bay, probably why the pub is called the Smugglers Inn.

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I take the road leading from the War Memorial towards Balcary Bay. I pass the lovely Balcary Bay Hotel where there are some stories that smugglers used some caves that were behind the hotel.

I stop for a chat with Harold and his partner Julie who is are out walking. He is there convalescing after suffering from a heart attack. He was a keen cyclist and had done many long distance rides, the heart attack was a shock and completely unexpected. I hope he continued to make a good recovery.

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As I climb above the trees I get a good view out across the estuary to Rockcliffe where I was yesterday. I climb up Balcary Hill and around the point where I can see some wind farms out on the Solway estuary. I continue pass Airds Point with a good view back along the coast and then down to walk along the seashore.

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I arrive at some beach houses and cabins, I’m not sure whether people live there all year or are summer holiday lets. At Rascarrel I make the mistake of crossing the bridge, which is the wrong way. I backtrack and follow the track and take not very well trodden path along the cliff tops. Well it shows a path on my map anyway!

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After a struggle I make my way up past Barlocco Hill to the road which I follow to Rerrick with its Queen Victoria Jubilee lamp in the middle of the village. Just to the north of here they hold the Wickerman Festival, a sort of mini family-friendly Glastonbury event which has been going since 2001. The festival gets its name from the horror film “The Wicker Man” which used many locations in the area. The main event is the burning of a giant Wickerman built by local craftsmen.

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At Dundrennan there are the ruins of a Cistercian monastry. The Abbey was built by David I and Mary Queen of Scots spent her last hours in Scotland there.

My route towards Kirkcudbright passes through MOD land, which again was closed so I end up keeping to the roads.