Headline photo

Headline photo
Rockcliffe and Kippford from South Glen Brae: Ed Iglehart [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Introductory text

Kippford and Rockcliffe are on the East Stewartry Coast, an unspoilt National Scenic Area with two other NSAs in close proximity. It is in Dumfries & Galloway, South West Scotland, a region known for it's wonderful scenery, biodiversity, turbulent history, smugglers and black and white 'belted' cattle known as Galloway Belties. This stretch of coastline has many names. Known locally as the Colvend Coast or the 'Secret Coast' (due to the peace and tranquility) it is often referred to as the 'Scottish Riviera' due to it being the holiday resort of choice for Victorian millionaires and having a Gulf Stream influenced microclimate: evidenced by palm trees in some gardens. Castle Douglas, the food town is a short drive away and Kirkcudbright, the Artists Town is over the next headland.

This a scenic and unique part of the world and we started the blog to share the experience of living in this wonderful place. We hope that it will be of interest to others who live here and give those planning to visit the area a taste of all it has to offer.

The blog has a correspondent in both Kippford and Rockcliffe village, you can also follow their Twitter feeds on the right of the page. If you would like to get involved we look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A mizzy day in Dalbeattie forest

Perhaps on the face of it not the most auspicious day for the first real post with mizzy weather and a chill in the air but we were to be proved wrong. Wrapped up well with hats, scarves and gloves  we set off from Richorn Trail Head, just outside Dalbeattie (the Dalbeattie 7 Stanes start point and carpark - just 4 miles from the lodge). 

The air was sharp and fresh and sounds in the forest had a muffled quality due to the low lying cloud but gave the trees a secretive air. It proved to be an eventful hour and a half.

Several groups of mountain bikers in coloured lycra and waterproofs passed us en route, Murphy (the wonder dog) said an enthusiastic hello to several chums (including a blind Labrador - I kid you not - but that's a story for another day) and two very cheery walkers greeted us going in the opposite direction. Dalbeattie Forest is a great place to get to know people, especially if you have a dog with you!

At Plantain Loch we stood awhile and watched the Heron showing early signs of getting flirty. It's harsh calls cut through the sea fret and sounded almost tropical. The mist, the half frozen lake, the dark fir trees and the Heron made a striking image - almost in monochrome.

A lone Canada goose passed overhead at one point, flying NE, it's unusual to see a single goose which made it remarkable.

The woods were very atmospheric and alive with people, dogs and wildlife which just shows what a good walk can be had, even on a mizzy day.  It is noticeable that there are suddenly more people around for the first time this year - probably due to the school half term.

Before heading home for a well deserved Hot Chocolate we had a peek at the site work going on at the cottage at the edge of the forest by the main entrance - they have just got planning permission to open a cafe and tea room so we are watching the progress eagerly. A good tearoom/cafe close by will make a perfect end to a good walk in the forest... watch this space!

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