I make an early start on a nice day from the sandy beach of Brighouse Bay to the old port of Mossyard which was part of the Cardoness Estate. The McConchie family now farm there and hire out holiday lodges.
I follow the track at the end of the car park which eventually becomes a path and climb through some trees to a caravan site. I continue on a track past Southpark Dam to Borness. From here I make my own track across fields, hedges and ditches until I hit the coast at Ringdoo Point.
Kirkcudbright sits on the River Dee with a busy fishing harbour and farming industry. It is also known as an artists town with galleries and a museum and an artistic community. It also has a the MacLellan Castle which was built on the site of Greyfriars monastery. Today it is maintained by Historic Scotland.
I first start off by walking around St Mary’s Isle, a wooded peninsular just to the south of Kirkcudbright. You get wonderful glimpses of the estuary through the trees.
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.
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.
Today I take a lovely walk which takes me across cliff tops over smugglers caves and past pretty coastal villages.
Leaving Sandyhills, I walk through a caravan park and follow the cliff tops over the Smugglers cave towards Port O’Warren. The beach here was known to smugglers.
Gutcher’s Isle is interesting, a secret sandy cove accessed from the sea by a very narrow inlet between the rocks.
Dumfries is the county town of Dumfries and Galloway and was named as Queen of the South by a local poet called David Dunbar.
The famous Scottish poet Robbie burns spent the last few years of his life in Dumfries and there is a statue of him in the Main Street. He had spent most of the money he had made from his poetry, so he came to Dumfries to work as an Excise Officer. The house wher he lived is now a museum.
At the end of my walk in Ruthwell yesterday I passed a building that said the TSB Museum. Being intrigued I went to investigate further.
It turns out that a minister, the Rev Henry Duncan started a self help savings scheme for the local community who were not so well off. This scheme was later copied by other towns and villages and later became the Trustee Savings Bank.
Gretna seemed quite touristy with a big shopping outlet complex, probably piggy backing onto nearby popular Gretna Green. This with it’s famous Blacksmith shop was linked to weddings due to the fairly liberal marriage laws in Scotland. Being near the border it enabled couples to elope to Scotland to get married.
I leave Gretna, taking the road out westwards. I call back later to see the Blacksmith shop.
This is another day I have been looking forward to, crossing the border into Scotland. The downside was that I could see that there would be quite a bit of road walking near busy roads and motorway.
I have been staying at a Bunkhouse at Boustead Hill called Hillside Farm run by a lovely lady called Sandra Judd. I enjoyed my stay there for several nights and Sandra has very helpful.
Today I start by the Greyhound Inn where I have had a couple of meals and a pint in the evenings. I enjoyed the food and beer which is very good.
Just next to the pub is a statue of Edward I who died here on his way up for another tussle with the Scots.