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2024, trip two continues….

As we set off from Moffat, we had several options for our next destination; however, neither of us seemed to be in a decisive mood, so we just drove southwest, searching for our next stopover! En route, Nadia happened across a relatively new campsite in Newbridge, just north of Dumfries, which opened in 2023, so we called ahead and booked our next two nights in Newbridge.

On arrival, we met the owner, who told us to pick our preferred spot, and as we were the only folk there, we had the choice of the site! Once set up, we had lunch in Iona and waited for the promised sunshine to appear mid-afternoon, at which point we shrugged on our jackets and set out for a walk. The sun was pleasantly warm; however, the wind took a while to diminish as we walked across the Glasgow Road and into the village, where we found the Woodland House Hotel, a pleasant family-run establishment into which we were warmly welcomed and shown to the bar for a drink. As it turned out, there were remnants of a funeral gathering elsewhere in the hotel, and I suspect we were, therefore, ushered into a residents' breakfast room as it was set up with linen-covered tables with place settings on several tables! However, we chose a window table with a pleasant view of the imposing driveway and enjoyed our libation. The young barman suggested a few camping locations nearby, so we discussed our next stopover over another pint!

          We had planned to rise early the following morning and walk the 45 minutes into Dumfries; however, when we woke, the wind and rain had returned and were battering Iona, so we decided on a leisurely start to the day and listened to a couple of podcasts as we awaited the return of better weather!

After lunch and a shower, we set off for the bus into town as the clouds scudded overhead and the sun forced another appearance! Once in Dumfries, we walked around, taking in the sites and enjoying the sunshine before settling in the Globe Bar and Restaurant, a favourite haunt of Robert Burns' back in the day, for a pleasant quaff of ale before catching the bus back to the campsite.

After our traditional cup o' java on Thursday morning, we 'struck camp' and set off to visit Caerlaverock Castle, the former home of the Maxwell family, south of Dumfries. As we drove along the banks of the river Nith, the sun graced us again, and we enjoyed our walk around the castle in the early spring sunshine. Then we headed over to the west of the Nith to the village of New Abbey, where we parked up in the car park adjacent to Sweetheart Abbey, from where we set off on an enjoyable two-hour walk around nearby Shambellie Woods in the mid-afternoon.

Caerlaverock Castle     

Once back in the village, we visited the Abbey Arms Hotel, settled in the lounge next to a welcoming fire, and conversed with Gerry, the 70-year-old hotel owner! Once back in Iona, we enjoyed a light repaste before turning in for the night to sleep 'the sleep of the just' after our afternoon's exertions!

          Friday saw us driving further west after a stroll around the village and a light lunch in the Abbey Cafe, where a woman at the adjacent table socially accosted us. Having drawn me into a conversation, she continued interrupting Nadia and me as we tried to chat! Eventually, she got the hint and left, and we concluded that she was 'manic' as her conversation leapt from one topic to another totally unrelated one!

          We had booked a spot in the Harbour Inn car park in Garlieston, overlooking Wigtown Bay, for Friday night, and the sun came out from behind the clouds just as we drove into the small fishing village. We had also booked a table for dinner at 19:30, which turned out to be good, wholesome pub grub which rounded off a relaxing and pleasant day!

          With our last night, the Saturday, soon upon us, we decided to return to the Castle Cary Campsite in Creetown, which we last visited in January 2023. So, having phoned to ensure a spot for the night, we left Garlieston in mid-morning and drove back around Wigtown Bay to Creetown and the campsite. Once in town, we stopped at the local shop for some provisions. While Nadia went into the shop, I noticed that we were parked adjacent to the local museum, which proudly displayed several articles in its window informing one of Creetown's involvement with the 1973 film The Wicker Man, every day's a school day, as they say!

          That evening, we visited the on-site Lard's Inn, where we enjoyed another pleasant meal before retiring for the night in Iona, which drew this particular trip to a pleasurable end.

          You can trace our journey via the following link:

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