Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dumfries: Friars' Vennel

This medieval thoroughfare - one of the oldest streets in Scotland - was the route travellers used to reach the ford to cross the River Nith into Galloway. At one time a monastery stood at the top of the Vennel looking down to the river.

Since we last visited the town there are many fascinating murals and wall plaques which were commissioned by Dumfries and Galloway Council in partnership with DG Arts and the road seems to have been repaved as well.

There are also some interesting shops in the vennel and especially the excellent Pumpernickel Cafe (not to be missed - it's highly recommended by us!)

In fact, you can read my review on Qype by clicking here

Loch Gilp

Loch Gilp lies between two headlands, north west of Loch Fyne in Argyll. The town of Lochgilphead lies on the northern shore and the village of Ardrishaig on the west (where the Crinan Canal begins its route north to Crinan - lock number one opens up here).

We had some lovely walks around this wonderful area recently!

Views from a rainy Lochgilphead...

...and from further down the loch looking back at the town:
Some views of Loch Gilp from Ardrishaig:

Lock #1 of the famous Crinan Canal:
The Timberlink service operation below - Ardrishaig is one of four ports
where the timber is transported by boat to Troon for processing, thereby removing
8000 lorry journeys each year from the roads - so much better for the environment!

The lighthouse at Ardrishaig at the 'entrance' to Loch Fyne:
We walked to the end but it wasn't really possible to go round the lighthouse
as the walkway there became extremely narrow
Click here for a map showing the position of Loch Gilp on a map

Friday, June 3, 2011


I took hardly any photos of Campbeltown itself because the weather was very poor when we were wandering about...

The tourist information centre at the harbour isn't much to look at, but on the inside it's lovely and well worth a visit!

Two views looking back at the town from the tourist information centre

and the cafe where we had lunch!

My Qype review of Cafe Bluebell can be found here

The Undiscovered Scotland website has a great page about Campbeltown with lovely photos - click here

Mull of Kintyre

It was really amazing to be in Kintyre at last two weeks ago, especially as far down as the famous Mull! We explored Campbeltown, then onto Carskey Bay, followed by the drive down the several miles long precarious minor road to see the lighthouse.

Beautiful and remote Carskey Bay

I was excited to see this seal on a rock though I couldn't get very close to take better photos. Whenever I tried he looked very wary and seemed ready to get back into the water! So I stayed a fair distance away on the beach and just took a few snaps.

The road we followed

Geoffrey opening a gate for our car along the way!

The road down to the lighthouse is very dangerous so we parked at the top of the 1100ft cliff and walked down the hair-pin bends towards the bottom. However, it was very steep and much further than we'd expected. In the end, after this one photo below, we turned back. It was exhausting climbing back up the steep slopes! However, what a great experience to have been in that wonderfully remote area!

Click here for a great link (with maps) about Kintyre and the Mull

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Campbeltown: Linda McCartney Memorial Garden

(Click on the photos to see a larger size, especially the top one to read about the McCartney's love of Kintyre)

It was a great experience recently to visit Kintyre and Campbeltown at last and especially to see the Linda McCartney Memorial Garden and statue there. Unfortunately we were there in May before the flowers had been planted - I'm sure it must be a lovely sight during the summer.

Some flowers from beside the entrance to the garden

Click here for the Wikipedia page about Linda McCartney - there's even a picture of flowers around the feet of the statue.

The sculptor, Jane Robbins, is actually Paul McCartney's cousin - I didn't realise that until I got home and looked her up on the internet! Here is a link to her own website: