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.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Short Rockcliffe Walk to Mote of Mark

Mote of Mark Circular - Rockliffe Short Walk 

(Allow 30 to 40 Minutes - with ice cream stop)

Start at Rockcliffe car park
Road winding down to bay - Rockcliffe
From the car-park (free parking) turn left and walk downhill towards the beach and around the pretty bay to a small area of 20min parking and public toilets. Turn right up a small path to left of toilets to first metal kissing gate after gate turn left and then right through another kissing gate in to Rockcliffe Meadow.
National Trust Scotland Rockcliffe
When path opens out at corner of meadow take worn path straight ( as gravel path turns left) on so you are crossing meadow and head towards wooden footbridge across burn.
The meadows are managed by the SNT and support a rich diversity of grasses and wildflowers. These support many mammals, birds and invertebrates.

Cross bridge and follow path round to right to information board about the history of the Mote of Mark. The Mote of Mark is now in front of you.Continue up meadow to wooden gate.
Mote of Mark

The Mote of Mark was once a defended hilltop overlooking the Urr estuary. It was the court or citadel of a powerful Dark Age chieftain, possibly one of the princes of Rheged. Archaelogical excavations show the site was occupied during the 5th and 6th century and appears to have been destroyed by fire in the 7th century it is thought by the Northumbrian Angles.

Woodpecker Trail Rockcliffe

NTS Dark Age Fort
 Through gate and after a few feet the path splits  take the path to the left up to the top of the Mote. A bit of a climb with steps but well worth the view.

View from Mote of Mark looking SE towards Castle Point

Rough Island closest to the shore is a 8ha bird sanctuary which is accessible at low tide by foot via a causeway.  ( always refer to a local tide table before walking to the island ) The island is a bird sanctuary with nesting oystercatchers and ringed plovers and access is restricted during May and June to avoid disturbance.

Rough Island and Causeway
 Retrace your steps back down the hill and at bottom where path meets up with Woodpecker Trail turn left for a short while and then right through first wooden gate.
Woodpecker Trail Rockcliffe
 Follow Trail past Hawthorn Trees and through another wooden gate past carved Woodpecker to a point where five paths meet.

Carved Woodpecker on trail

Turn right down lane past the Barons Craig Hotel and at entrance to hotel turn right through gate next to cattle grid and back across meadow towards the two kissing gates and back to beach.

Path past Barons Craig Hotel

Low Tide - Hestan Island from Rockcliffe Bay

Ice Cream Stop

Coffee and cakes at the take away Garden Tea Room Rockcliffe
Gar.den Tea room is  close to car park andopen most days during the school holidays and sells a selection of antiques and paintings. Tea, coffee and cakes to take away or enjoy in the garden
All images copyright L Birdsall.

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