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.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

31 degrees: No wonder it's called the Scottish Riviera

What a difference.. today the sky is blue, big, white fluffy clouds line the horizon and the sun is beating down. The visibility is fantastic but I can't quite see the Isle of Man today yet. I am typing this blog entry in a vest top and have the door open for some, cool, air. Dundrennan weather station (just along the coast) says we have a temperature of 10 degrees but when I popped my own indoor weather station out side in the sun (out of the wind) it registered a whopping 31 degrees centigrade. How brilliant is that? Bikinis out ladies! The solar collectors are registering 57.7 degrees on the roof: amazing... think of all that hot water and it's only early February. 

As you can see on this solar radiation map of the UK (below) Kippford, Rockcliffe, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright and most of Dumfries and Galloway are in the yellow area and so benefit from the same amount of solar radiation as towns much further south. (Contrary to the popular belief in England that the weather in Scotland is cold, wet and miserable.) It's no wonder that the coast here is known as the Scottish Riviera and palm trees can be seen in local gardens.

During the cold snap last week, when much of the UK was crippled by snow and ice, here in Dumfries and Galloway we had no snow, very little ice and relatively mild temperatures. Talking to friends in Devon and Gloucestershire on the phone is always amusing as they assume, without fail, that they are having better weather than we are - how wrong they are!

This is bourn out by the guests that stayed in Riverview Lodge last weekend. They left a lovely note on departure which read  "we have had a good birdwatching weekend despite the foggy weather (It's much warmer here than in Yorkshire) we will have to come in the summer.I hope they do!

Not that chilly weather is a problem in the lodge, our guests say that the wood burning stove keeps it really cosy and warm, as examples of comments left in the guest book by recent visitors testify:
"Enjoyed the log burner"  September 2011
"Log burner kept us toasty warm"  October 2011
"A warm, cosy and comfy cabin with a wonderful view." October 2011
"Arriving to find the fire lit and the Christmas lights on was welcoming indeed. Cabin is cosy and warm." December 2011

We love reading the guests comments as it's always nice to hear that visitors to the area have enjoyed themselves. One guest, who stayed with us in 2010, loved the area so much they bought their own holiday home in Kippford shortly after. I hope they enjoy it for many years to come.

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