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Leaving Arran, through Dumfries and Galloway

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 28 to 30 May 2011

Saturday 28 May, leaving Arran, through Dumfries and Galloway

Brodick from the ferry Leaving ArranToday we leave Arran after a full week. Because of the rain we have not seen everything we wanted but still we did a lot. But we have something left for a next visit.
This time we can make some pictures from the boat, which was not possible on the way here because of the bad weather.
House in GallowayWe are also going to leave Scotland today but we have already booked a hotel room and because we are leaving early with the 8 o'clock boat we can drive around all day. We drive south through Ayrshire and Galloway, as much as possible on roads that we do not know yet and come across all kinds of nice houses again. We drive alternately through barren plains and dense forests, sometimes along the coast and then back into the interior.
Cardoness Castle Cardoness CastleAt Ardwell, on the south coast of Galloway, we see Cardoness Castle on a hill, a donjon of 6 floors from the 15th century. The castle was long owned by the Macculloch family who had a rather quarrelsome slant, they were messed up with everybody in the neighborhood, it seems from all kinds of archives. The walls of the castle are 2.5 meters thick and there is only one entrance with an oak gate and an iron gate. That was probably also necessary if you made so many enemies.
Carsluith CastleA few kilometers to the west we pass Carsluith Castle, a 15th century residential tower. First laid out as a square but later expanded into an L-shape that is very common in Scotland. There seems to have been a wooden balcony on the second floor, which was rather unusual for that time.
It is a nice compact castle and you can walk around for free (at least, when we were there).
Bigwater of Fleet Viaduct Hills of GallowayOver the river Water of Fleet we see an old viaduct that was once built for the train between Portpatrick and Wigtown but there has not passed a train for years.
Then we drive back into the interior through the slightly hilly landscape of Galloway and Dumfries. These are the lowlands of Scotland with their own charm. Its history is as bloody as in the rest of Scotland.
Artist village Kirkcudbright Artist village KirkcudbrightA charming town nearby is Kirkcudbright at the mouth of the river Dee where around the year 1000 an abbey was founded. The past of the place is dominated by religious places, but now it seems that artists mainly live here. Already in the 19th century there was an artists' colony here, but the inhabitants themselves think it is just a fishing village, but with a reputation as an artists' village you seem to attract more tourists.
McLellan's Castle, Kirkcudbright McLellan's Castle, KirkcudbrightAnd there is another castle, we can not escape it. Well then, the very last castle of this trip. It is McLellan's Castle, built at the end of the 16th century on the site of a former chapel. The castle was never completely finished but the McLellan family lived there for almost 200 years anyway.
Motel in EnglandIt has been 5 o'clock and we really have to go to our hotel now. Far too soon we cross the border with England at Gretna Green and after a while we turn right to the east. Tomorrow we want to visit some acquaintances in Yorkshire and for us this is also a new route. By 8 o'clock we are at the A66 motel along the A66.

Sunday 29 and Monday 30 May,visiting friends in Yorkshire and going back home

Visiting John and Rachel Helperby, YorkshireWe drive first to a small village in Yorkshire to visit an elder couple that we have met a few times in Beauly. Especially with Rachel we have built a good relationship and we like to see them before we leave for Holland. They do not have an address, it's just Rose Cottage. Unfortunately there are 3 of them in the village, how would the postman do that with the distribution of the letters? John and Rachel live in a small but perky house with a nice big garden behind it.
It is cold outside Leaving John and RachelBut it is too cold to sit in the garden, near the stove it is much more pleasant. We have already booked a hotel close to Dover so that we can take an early ferry tomorrow and now we have plenty of time to catch up with John and Rachel. They have also been going to Beauly for more than 10 years now, but they go twice a year, in May and September. We agree that from now on we will try to coincide our visits, that would be fun.
But here too we have to say goodbye again after some time and on the navigation we show our itinerary, still 460 kilometers to go.
Empty parking deck on the ferryThe last night we sleep at the Ramada Dover hotel and the next morning we are already at the boat within 20 minutes. After we have eaten a last breakfast, but unfortunately, they only have continental breakfast so no fried and scrambled eggs.
After arriving in France it is still a 5 hours drive and this holiday is over. One that was especially cold and often wet but nevertheless we have seen beautiful things again and have had a great time. Next year we will be back again!


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