Category Archives: Dumfries & Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway. Covers the old counties of Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfriesshire. We prefer the old names but “D&G” is certainly easier to spell and type.

Mull of Galloway

Mull of Galloway

Mull of Galloway

The original idea while on a holiday in the Rhins was to do a section of the Mull of Galloway Trail heading north from the lighthouse.  However, this seemed to follow the main road  for a lot of the way and looked a bit dull compared to a circular route I found right at the end of the peninsula.  It’s not everyday you can see five countries from one spot!
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Beattock to Tibbie Shiels

Loch of the Lowes

Loch of the Lowes

The central bit of the Southern Upland Way (SUW) is a bit isolated and needs help from a friendly spouse to do pick-up/drop-off duty.  The possibility of doing a couple of days walking opened up when I pointed out to the Missus that a couple of Sustrans cycle routes were in the area and she could amuse herself with a cycle invasion of northern England.  So it’s off to Moffat for a couple of days walking of the SUW heading east. Continue reading

Castle Kennedy to the Middle of Nowhere

Geese, Castle KennedyI have a map of southern Scotland on my office wall that I have annotated with the walks Jazz and I have done. The brown bits and islands have the expected spider’s web but there was a big gap that was teasing me: the last section of the western half of the Southern Upland Way we still had to do.  It’s been blank for a few years as it requires serious planning (i.e. more than our usual “while having breakfast”) and spousal cooperation for drop-off/pick-up duty.  A recent brain-wave gave me the idea of a holiday in the area and bribing the Missus to do this if I did the cycling support team bit while she tried to join up the coffee-pushers on the nearby cycle network.  She fell for it, and so on a lovely early-Autumn morning Jazz and I were dumped at Castle Kennedy to start this last western bit. Continue reading

Loch Finlas Circuit

Fern growing in wall of Little ShallochClearly we needed to head back to the peat bogs of the Galloway hills: I have a new pair of boots and Jazz has just been groomed. Both need to be dunked into their natural element.  So over the traditional breakfast planning meeting we worked out a circular wander joining some old favourite sections and a couple of new ones. Continue reading

Cairnsmore of Carsphairn

Green Well of Scotland

Green Well of Scotland

With the awful winter just past we’ve not ventured onto the hills and Jazz and I were both getting withdrawal symptoms, so when Easter Sunday coincides with a beautiful day then it seems like a good day to avoid the crowds at the garden centres and coast roads, and instead head for the wonderfully-named Cairnsmore of Carsphairn.  Jazz was still a pup when we last did it so I thought a return visit would be a good first hill of the year. Continue reading

Drumlanrig

Drumlanrig Castle with Lowther Hills

Drumlanrig Castle with Lowther Hills

Having spent a lot of time wandering around the Drumlanrig and Queensberry estate it seemed odd not to have visited Drumlanrig Castle and its grounds.  So with a beautiful autumn day forecast we headed down. The drive in was suitably impressive with the various cottages dotted around the grounds looking straight out of a Visit Scotland calendar. I had planned on a random wander around the grounds, but it turned out that there is a series of paths through the woods and, even better, they are well-maintained and signed footpaths with the cycling mob segregated to their own routes.  We bolted together three of the paths to give an easy 4-hour wander.  Even the ones marked as strenuous are easy with lots of well-placed seats where you need to regain your breath. Continue reading

Morton Castle and Durisdeer

Durisdeer, 2The fortnight before the Glorious Twelfth is the time Jazz and I typically wander over grouse moors. This year was no different with the lovely area around Durisdeer getting our custom with a nice circular route over the hills, past Morton Castle and back to the village.  The weather was even kind enough to have a stiff breeze to blow away the insects that have bothered us on other walks lately.  A recipe for a perfect summer’s day walk. Continue reading

Larg Hill and a New Hat

New hat as dog water bowl

New hat as dog water bowl

After the trauma of leaving my old hat at the top of Craignaw last week I obviously had to get an exact replacement. it turns out the new version is now Teflon coated which means it can be used as Jazz’s water bowl as well as its other functions.  And we certainly needed it today because it was hot and dry.  It seemed fitting that we try it out on a hill near where my old hat lives: a Donald called Larg Hill that we had to leave out due to lack of time when we were next door at Lamachan Hill and Curleywee. Continue reading

Craignaw: RIP Hat

Looking back at Glentrool

Looking back at Glentrool

The last time we were in the Dungeon Hills we ran out of time to do Craignaw and so a return was needed: as this is a Donald we couldn’t leave it out.   And contrary to your expectations, this did actually involve a modicum of planning. It needed to be:

  • before the summer when the bracken in Glen Trool is awful;
  • after a dry spell to avoid a mud bath;
  • with a breeze to keep the insects at bay;
  • on a decent day when I had a pass from my domestic servitude.

Well today was the confluence, and we had a great day, if a bit on the tough side. Continue reading