I catch the bus from Dumfries to Glencaple and it drops me off in the car park. Criffel looms across the river, dark and sullen.
The day is as dull as yesterday. Maybe duller. What a shame. All my photographs turn out looking muddy. Continue reading
Today I planned to park at Glencaple, then take a bus to Dumfries, where I would change to another bus to get back to Clarencefield. It would be a late start to my walk and a precarious beginning… but at breakfast my kind host steps in and offers me a lift. Yay!
We drive in convoy to Glencaple, and then he drops me off at Brow Well.
It’s a dull morning. I cross the River Annan via the road bridge and join the tail end of the Annandale Way. There are relatively few long-distance hiking trails in the area, but this is one of them.
It’s my first proper walk in Scotland, and I’m freaked out by the absence of public footpaths on the map. First thing to do is visit the tourist centre (as suggested by Alan Palin). Rather bizarrely, the centre is located in Gretna’s large retail park.
Rockcliffe is a pretty village, and slightly raised above the low-lying ground on either side. After lunch I continue walking north, parallel to the river, along a quiet lane that’s bright with daffodils.
Today is going to be one of those weird days when I “walk the coast” without being anywhere near the coast. It’s also going to be a longish walk (for me), because I’m determined to reach Scotland before I have to return home this evening.
Yes. Today it’s Gretna Green or bust!
I park my car in Carlisle, near the castle, and set off towards the river. The skatepark is empty at this time in the morning, so I can take plenty of photographs of graffiti without feeling awkward.
Today I drive to Glasson, park beside the Highland Laddie Inn, and set off along the road towards Carlisle
This final part of my walk (the part that should have been after-lunch, but wasn’t because of the shut pub) turns out to be the nicest part of the day. Running on the shore side of Bowness is an Edwardian promenade, called The Banks, restored in 2002. It provides a shady walk and great views across the Solway Firth.
Here they’ve built a pretty pavilion, and this marks the beginning of the Hadrian’s Wall Path. (Unfortunately my photos are poor due to difficult light conditions.) Continue reading
I park on a patch of rough grass near Whitrigg Bridge, where the wind hurls itself against me and the River Wampool flows fast and furious.
From the bridge it’s only a 100 yards or so to where I ended my walk last time at Whitrigg – not really a village, just a collection of houses around a T junction – and here I turn left towards Anthorn. Continue reading
The weather forecast today is dismal. Dark clouds. Showers. Poor visibility. I drive to Abbeytown, sit in my car, watch the raindrops sliding down the windscreen, and wonder if it’s worth setting off at all.
My route today is entirely on the road. So, no mud and no barbed wire fences to worry about. Only a spot of rain. I decide to get out and get on with it.