A 3-mile walk along an A road. Why would I choose to do that? Well, it’s a long story, and you’ll be thankful I’m not going to tell it, except very briefly, so no need to click that X button quite yet. Basically, I was going to walk from Caulkerbush to Dalbeattie yesterday, but my legs felt tired and the bus was late, and that gave me the excuse I was desperately searching for to cut that walk shorter. This walk then, is making up for my laziness the previous day.
The buses are regular enough along this short section, and parking at Sandyhills costs £5, so I decide to leave the car at the start, walk to Sandyhills, then sit on the beach while waiting for the bus back. I park outside the Southwick church in Caulkerbush again and start walking. At the bottom of the lane from the church is the parish war memorial, in its own tidily kept garden.
The day is hot and sunny again, perfect for road walking. There’s nothing worse for the coastal walker than trudging down a busy A-road, dodging the cars that hiss by, spraying already-soaked trousers with dirty gritty water. Come to think of it, there are worse things, like wading through deep pools of cow slurry, but that memory is fading now, thankfully.
In thirty or forty seconds I’ve left the metropolis of Caulkerbush. The A710 winds through the trees, vaguely following the contours but gradually climbing, with the heights of Clifton Craig on my right and the serpentine Southwick Water in the valley below, procrastinating before its inescapable demise in the Solway Firth.
Dotted along the way are occasional cottages with fantastic views over the Solway Firth and the mountains of Cumbria beyond.
A large honeysuckle is growing in the hedge with flowers in full bloom. Unfortunately, it’s not scented yet – I think they only smell in the evenings, don’t they?
The road starts heading downhill to Sandyhills, and the welcome sign appears. Rounding the corner brings the view over the bay into sight.
I was expecting I’d have to follow the road all the way down to the beach, but a track appears on my left opposite a house. I’m not sure if it’s through private land belonging to the house, but it doesn’t look like it, so I head down… surely it must go to the beach?
The path winds steeply down through bracken and trees, past large rocks and through glades, eventually spilling out onto the beach just as I suspected. That’s a relief as I didn’t fancy climbing back up again!
Some trees at the top of the beach have been uprooted, perhaps by previous storms.
The weather today is the complete opposite though, and I spend an hour just sitting on the beach in the sunshine, enjoying myself. On these walks I’ve visited some lovely beaches, but I always seem to be strolling through. I might stop for lunch sometimes and ponder, but I hardly ever just sit on the beach and enjoy it like everyone else is doing. I’ve only walked three miles today and have plenty of time until the next bus comes, so what the hell, let’s do some sunbathing!
This walk was completed on 13th June 2023 and was 2.9 miles long.
Here’s the real-time recorded map of my actual route, which you can pan and zoom around: