Wednesday, 10 May 2023

A Visit to Glenwhan Gardens in Dunragit

On Tuesday we visited Glenwhan Gardens near Dunragit. We first visited them in spring 2021 so were delighted to visit again this week and especially on such a lovely warm spring day. They are a real treat and of course the Azaleas were the star turn with loads of them in full bloom. When we arrived at 11.00am there were only about 5 cars in the Car Park and I doubt if it had many more when we departed 3 hours later. They live in the shadow of the much more popular Port Logan Gardens, but to us they are much better, especially in the spring. Port Logan Gardens are excellent for rare plants, but these have such a peaceful quality to them and lots of little places to sit and relax. There are ponds all over the place and lots of birds about. We must have sat on every seat in the garden for a few minutes to enjoy the views and at times we thought we were the only people in the garden. I will now let the photos do the talking.

This is the highest point of the gardens.

We sat here for ages and couldn't get anybody to take our photo as nobody passed us while we were there so we managed to prop my phone camera against a rock and used my Apple watch as the timer. 

Looking up from our long seat at the highest point in the gardens

Yet another seat.
My favourite photo of the garden.

At the highest point there is another Loch and also a path to a Moorland walk. We will leave that walk for the next time we are here, maybe at a different time of the year.


Monday, 8 May 2023

Port Logan Botanical Gardens

On Sunday we drove to Port Logan to visit the Botanical Gardens there. It's a few years since we were last here and they seem to have been badly hit by the terrible frosts of last December. This area is usually frost free but the prolonged affect of that 2 week period seems to have taken its toll. Things are recovering slowly and hopefully there will be no real lasting damage.
The weather just down the coast was very misty and cold but in these sheltered gardens it was much warmer and for a brief period the sun actually got out.

These were in one of the greenhouses and a lovely display.
Gaye almost got last among this lot.

We spent quite a bit of time sitting by the pond watching the Giant Carp and it was very relaxing
These 3 trees were originally in a large greenhouse in the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh but a year ago they were moved to Port Logan and are now gradually acclimatising to being outdoors.

As I forgot to note the names of all of these I will just let the photos do the talking.

Coronation Weekend in Wigtown

We arrived in Wigtown on Friday afternoon and after sorting out all our stuff from the car we headed for a walk into town and then I went a longer walk along the old railway line bordering the Wigtown Marshes. We passed one of the nicest houses in Wigtown and it is called Barbados Villa. It was built by a family in the 19th Century based on money made in the Sugar industry of Barbados. 
The town is getting ready for the Coronation celebrations and in the centre of the town they have a Marquee where many of the community events will take place.

The Wigtown Marshes and the habitat for many birds
Wigtown is very fortunate in having its Bowling Green in the very centre of the town right in front of the Town Hall. This must be unique in Scotland and it makes the town centre such a lovely community space
The Parish Church, although Wigtown was predominately a Catholic community when Gaye lived here all those years ago. It's ironic that we are staying just a few doors up from the house where she spent the first 10 years of her life and listened to the Coronation on the radio 70 years ago.

On Saturday we took a run down the coast of the Machars and this is Isle of Whithorn

The river Bladnoch near the harbour and an outgoing tide.
Gaye enjoying a seat in Garlieston on a lovely Saturday morning so she read a book while I went a walk along the shore.

Lunch at the Steam Packet Inn at Isle of Whihorn and a bacon and egg roll with a Coffee.
A nice walk along the shore at Garlieston
The view from the seat Gaye was sitting on at Garlieston and at High Tide
The path along the shore at Garlieston and a bit tricky in places while Gaye enjoyed her book just round the corner at the harbour

The Martyrs Memorial for my Saturday evening walk on a wee hill just above Wigtown. The Solway Martyrs were two Scottish Covenanter Ladies from Wigtown who were executed by Scottish Episcopaleans in 1685 by tying them to stakes on the town mudflats and allowing them to drown with the rising tide.
The view of Wigtown from the Martyrs Memorial


Wednesday, 26 April 2023

Celebrating Martin's 80th Birthday on the Diamond Jubilee Path

Martin always researches his Birthday Walk well and this one was his best ever. A lovely 5.5 mile walk from Earlston to Melrose following the Leader river on the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Path. One of the features of the path is the many lovely seats situated on it. This is the best of them and a real pleasure to take a seat on it. There were originally 9 of us planned to do the walk but illness and a sad funeral reduced it down to just 5. It was so enjoyable we may have to do it again. 
The river Leader.
One of the 3 bridges that cross the Tweed at Leaderfoot
There are loads of fences on the walk to protect walkers from the steep drop into the Leader river.
We thought it would be all downhill from Earlston following the river but in actual fact we had to climb on numerous occasions and the height gained on the walk was 750ft.
On the road from Leaderfoot to Melrose there are many displays of the Roman Fort of Trimontium but when you look over the fields where it used to be there seems to be no sign of it. Perhaps viewed from the air the outline might be seen in the ploughed fields.
Birthday boy Martin on the lovely Fox and Squirrel seat. He certainly doesn't look 80.
Anne and Ken on the lovely seat.

Martin and Ken crossing one of the many bridges on the route.
The field where the Roman fort used to be.
The Eildon Hills seen from an unusual angle
Tom the other Octogenarian in the party
Had to have my photo taken on this lovely seat
One of the several viewing points for the Roman Fort
The lower end of the walk down the Leader river

Setting off at the start of the walk
The Leaderfoot Viaduct with the modern road bridge in the background

 The spectacular Leaderfoot Viaduct over the river Tweed. A lovely walk with us finishing up in a Melrose Bistro for a lovely meal. We used the service bus from Melrose to Lauder to reach the start of this linear walk. It was 5.5 miles with a height gain of 750ft. 

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