Sunday 31 August 2014

Family Week at Sandyhills

Fiona had booked a Log Cabin at Barrend for the week so we shared this with them for a wonderful week with mostly excellent weather and great fun with our grandchildren Hannah & Leo.
Hannah and I went for a walk the first few mornings and this was a real pleasure for me as we had some great conversations and she is such good company. This photograph was taken by the only other person on the beach on Sunday morning Philip Jones who is now the Chairman of the NHS in Dumfries & Galloway. Him and his wife were walking their dogs on Sandyhills beach. We used to play squash against each other over 25 years ago when he played for Dumfries and I played for Langholm.

Gaye and I took Leo and Hannah to the shell beach at Kippford. Unfortunately there was a cool breeze and Leo had not taken his jumper but Gaye saved the day by giving him her body warmer. 

This is Sandyhills beach and Hannah & Leo decided to dig a canal from the beach to the sea which unfortunately was about 2 miles away. This is as far as they got but great fun was had by all.

Fiona and Hannah went Pony Trecking. I don't think we need to order a horse for next year's Common Riding just yet.

Hannah just loved her horse.

On Tuesday we went to the Chocolate Factory at Twynholm and this was a superb place. It has been open for about 5  years and they have spent a lot of money into making it a great place for kids and adults to visit. The attraction is that adults are allowed in free. Hannah and Leo made their own chocolate figures and also special bars of chocolate and decorated marshmallows. There are indoor and outdoor play areas and these are well kept and great attractions for the kids. 

The Barrend Log Cabins.

This small Bay is called Douglas Hall and is about a mile from our Log Cabin and so it became a regular morning walk for Hannah and me or me on my own. 

On Thursday Gaye and I took a trip round some of the small Galloway Towns and visited New Galloway and then into Kirkcudbright. We had lunch at the CatScan Theatre in New Galloway which is a smaller version of the Buccleuch Centre but operated with many more paid staff than the Buccleuch Centre. Their programme of shows and events are very different from ours and i fail to see how they can support such a large staff. This photograph is of the fleet of 8 Scallop Fishing Boats at Kirkcudbright Harbour.

From Kirkcudbright we came back via Palnackie and the smallest sea port on the Galloway Coast. This is almost like a harbour in the middle of a field and with 2 boats in it is full. During the miners strike in the 70s there were boats of coal brought into Palnackie and the striking miners pickets wanted to stop this but they never found out where the coal was coming in to so no pickets ever arrived. 

The river Urr just next to Palnackie Harbour

On Friday we headed for the day to the NTS Gardens at Threave near Castle Douglas. This was a great place to visit and there was plenty for the kids to see and do. We walked almost 4 miles round the grounds of the beautiful gardens. Leo and Fiona loved this collection of Galloway Cattle.

The family excluding Mario who took the photo.

I just love this photograph of Hannah and Gaye.

Colvend and Kippford Walk

Last Wednesday the Last of the Summer Wine Walkers came over to Sandyhills on the Solway Coast where Gaye and I and the family were staying for a week in a Log Cabin at Barrend. Three of the gang, Tom, Niall, and John arrived for coffee at 10.30am and after this we headed to the start at Colvend village hall. The walk was through the Dalbeattie forest to Kippford and then the coast walk from Kippford to Rockcliffe. This section is one of the nicest walks in Scotland and we were fortunate to have a glorious day plus the bonus of high tide. A good bit of planning. The last stage of the walk is from Rockcliffe along the road to Colvend via the old Kirk at Colvend.
The Log Cabins at Barrend. Our Cabin was just to the left of these ones and unfortunately not overlooking this wee Loch but it was very nice.

Colvend Village Hall. Several years ago when we walked from Dalbeattie to Kippford we arrived at this Hall just in time for the monthly pensioners lunch and what a superb lunch it was. 

The Anchor Hotel in Kippford where we enjoyed a nice lunch.

The Kippford estuary with the tide fully in.

We stopped for a rest in the churchyard at Colvend and spent time discussing the forthcoming referendum in Scotland. These guys are all YES men and during the 4 hours of our walk may have persuaded me to join them.  This is probably not the most appropriate place to discuss politics but then maybe it is.

In the newest section of the graveyard is this gravestone depicting Dolphins. In a graveyard full of granite headstones it is a bit out of place and to me it spoils the look of the graveyard but others may think differently.

At Colvend Village Hall is this seat put there 4 years ago and with the names on of every child in Colvend school on it.

This is Robin Rigg Wind Farm out in the Solway Firth.There are 60 wind turbines.

Friday 22 August 2014

Copshawholm walk

Only 1 photograph this week as its a walk that Tom and I did a few weeks ago but Niall and Peter had not been on it. Its amazing how quickly we did the walk without Tom present. Although the conversation was excellent we do miss Tom who was away at The Edinburgh Festival.
Its not that Tom is a slow walker but when he is with us he has so many diversions to visit other places and sites of interest and of course several natural break stops. Next weeks walk will be at the Solway shore near Kippford so there will be more interesting photographs.

Wednesday 20 August 2014

A weekend in Scarborough

For the last few months while Gaye has been having Chemotherapy treatment we have tried to have a
regular treat away somewhere. This one in Scarborough also combined as a 70th Birthday present for Gaye. 
Gaye on the Promenade on Friday evening. It was a lovely night and we walked along the Prom and then had a nice dinner in a Chinese restaurant. 
It really was a lovely evening and the tide was in as well which helped.
Could not resist having my photo taken with this old guy. No idea what it represents.
The yacht harbour at Scarborough 
On Sunday my cousins Lesley and Stella joined us for the day and we all had a very pleasant time. 
We sat in the concert venue on the seafront at the Spa on South Shore and listened to this very good Rock and Roll Band.

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Walkers take to the Bowling Green

As a change from our weekly walk we headed to the Langholm Old Bowling Green this morning for a fun competition.
John, David, and Niall relaxing in between the ends.
The Last of the Summer Winers with only Martin missing on holiday and of course Tom as he took the photograph. It was great fun and after a few ends the beginners were showing real promise.
The Winner John showing how to deliver the bowl. We ended up in the Eskdale for lunch after a very enjoyable morning.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Eden Estuary Trail

This weeks walk was the Eden Estuary Trail from a book called Solway Coast Rambles and it proved to be an excellent choice. The weather forecast shown earlier in the week was terrible and on Tuesday evening we were still not sure if we would be able to do the walk. This morning at 7.30am the BBC weather site showed the weather clearing in Burgh by Sands by 11.00am so we delayed our start and arrived there by 10.45am just as the rain stopped and the sky cleared. It remained like this for the 4 hours we were out with only one false alarm when we put our coats on and the small shower stopped immediately. Tom and Peter were unable to join us so especially with Tom absent there was nobody to argue with over the way to go. From the start point at the Greyhound Inn we turned left and walked for half a mile to discover we should have turned right. This added a mile to the 8 mile walk so after half an hour we back where we started and still with 8 miles to go. Niall and John are photographed in front of the statue to Edward the First of England or Longshanks the Hammer of the Scots.

Burgh by Sands is a lovely village with several Boulder and clay barns known locally as Clay Dabbins and these sit beside Victorian brick built houses and this beautiful Thatched Cottage

This is The Edward I Monument erected in 1685 on the spot where the King died in 1307. Edward died whilst camped on the marsh close to the Stony Wath where his army could cross to Scotland at low tide. Rather him than me as it must have been a dangerous crossing.

The lovely view of the River Eden just before it enters the Solway.

On the marshes there are several of these bridges and as you see them in the distance you think they are a bridge to nowhere but in reality they take walkers over some very deep tidal ditches.

Niall and John view one of the deep ditches.

On the other side of the river is the village Rockliffe named after the escarpment. We followed the curve of the river to the little village of Beaumont and had a short break on the village green before heading back to Burgh by Sands along the Hadrians Wall footpath. A smashing walk and even although it was fairly flat it was tough walking and we were glad of a refreshing pint in the Greyhound Inn on our return.

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