Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Rhins of Galloway

Also known as The Rhinns, this is the least known and most unspoilt part of Dumfries & Galloway. Looking at the map, it's that strange double-pointed bit that sticks out to the left. The bottom end, the Mull of Galloway, is Scotland's most southerly point. That's where I was today, not far in terms of distance, but plenty of hills to keep me amused.

My first port of call, so to speak, was Stranraer. Probably best to move on, as Sunday in Stranraer was like, well, nothing on earth. So on up the west side of Loch Ryan to a place that interested me. The jetty and slipway at Glenside were used during World War II when Sunderland flying boats were based at RAF Wig Bay. From there they were able to protect the busy shipping lanes out of the Clyde and Liverpool.

Then over to Portpatrick, once an important ferry port. But the harbour feels the full force of westerly winds and ferry operations moved round into Loch Ryan many years ago.

The next harbour was Port Logan, where the BBC series '2000 Acres of Sky' was filmed (Michelle Collins et al). Then it was all the way down to the foot of the Rhins, to the lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway. Since I was last there (2003?) the burger van has been replaced by a posh coffee shop, where I treated myself to a brie and cranberry toastie, knowing that I probably wouldn't be eating out tonight.

I ended up at the Sands of Luce campsite near Sandhead - very expensive at £15. My route plans have changed because of tomorrow's accommodation offer, so tomorrow (Monday) will be to Braehead, near Wigtown; Tuesday night will be at Rockcliffe, where there's a good campsite; then back on schedule on Wednesday night, at Gretna.

I'm longing to see - and feel - the sun again. It seems ages since there was any blue sky. Intermittent rain today as well. Hey-ho. I'm getting used to it by now.

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