I climb the cliffs out of Balcary Bay with fantastic views out over the bay and the Solway Firth. I meet Lot's wife, who's not looking so great in her old age, and recount a nasty battle between hutters and developers at Rascarrel.
I circumnavigate the two peninsulas protruding into Auchencairn Bay, encounter beaches covered in cockle shells, and meander down the Shore Road to Balcary Bay.
Starting from Dalbeattie, where most everything is grey except the sky , I walk down the western side of the Urr estuary, to Palnackie, where I'm devastated to miss the World Flounder Tramping Championships... wouldn't you be? Then a long walk down to a beautiful remote beach, and the castle you couldn't have bought for £5.
From the lovely beach at Sandyhills, I walk through the eye of a needle and up onto the cliffs. Then I fail to find a bogle in a hole, but do find Nelson's grave. Then I take the long walk up the Urr estuary through seaside villages and woods, and get attacked by a swarm of wasps.
Due to me taking the lazy option yesterday, I left a little gap, so this is a very short walk along the A710 from The Village With Two Names down to the lovely beach at Sandyhills to plug the gap. The upside is I get to spend an hour soaking up the sun on the beach!
From the middle of nowhere on the A710, I struggle with a tongue-twister while heading to the beach at Carsethorn. Then a long beach walk past a huge house on the beach, tunnels through rocks, and the first lighthouse since Lancashire... the ugliest lighthouse ever. Then more beach and an RSPB Nature Reserve, before ending at The Village With Two Names.
From Dumfries heading south down the River Nith, often along the boring A710, but occasionally through pleasant woods and riverside paths. I pass the house of another Maxwell who lost almost everything, and an abbey built by a grieving widow for her sweetheart.
The sun finally comes out in Scotland! Starting at the derelict home of the derelict Maxwell family, I skirt the Caerlaverock peninsula and trek up the eastern edge of the River Nith. That involves negotiating a precarious bridge, admiring a snogging shelter, and enjoying a pint at The Swan. Finally a pleasant walk past a bridge dedicated to someone who didn't invented something, and into the county town of Dumfries.
A walk of mostly lanes, B-roads, and drizzle. One of the most exciting parts was a Banking Museum. Which was closed. And a caterpillar.
Starting from the point where I first set foot in Scotland, up the old Solway Viaduct railway line and into Annan. Then down the western bank of the River Annan, through the industrial village of Newbie to Bankirk Point. Then along the coast to the pretty village of Powfoot.
Wading across the Solway Firth saves 36 miles of walking round the estuary. It's possible, so I did it.
Continuing the last section's lane-walking, circumnavigating the Bowness peninsular. I'm in awe of the huge antennas at Anthorn, and love the remains of the old Solway railway viaduct.
I avoid Skin Burn in Skinburness, and even worse down Dicktrod Lane, round Grune Point, then trudge the lanes past various salt marshes. I visit the abbey that Robert the Bruce and some local teenager once trashed, accidentally trespass across some fields, and end at a fortified church protected by an eagle.
A 13 mile beach that just goes on and on and on and on..... and I get very muddy.
In which I trespass through an old iron works, visit Christmas-land, and ponder the hills of Dumfries and Galloway.
In which I climb over 1000 feet over the beautiful St Bees Head, visit the pretty town of Whitehaven, and get bored to sleep by a guy on top of a hill.
My first walk in a long time, where I pass the site of the worst nuclear accident in British history, a strange beach village, and discover the made up history of St Bega.
In which I invite my girlfriend along for a short stroll, and things don't quite turn out like I'd planned.
This section has been a long time coming. It fills a gap I left a year ago, then just as the time became right to walk it, the whole country went into another Covid lockdown. The other obstacle is the River Esk, and how to get across it. This map explains.... It's that word in … Continue reading 23. Bootle to Ravenglass
In which I encounter two lighthouses, battle my way across boulder fields, contemplate cliff climbing, and nearly fall in a river.
In which I suffer greatly from yesterday's 15 miles, cross the railway line Gofd knows how many times, and pick a fight with a sheep.
In which I get to like the town of Barrow, consider risking drowning, get stopped by the fuzz, take a big tumble and hurt myself, then get sunburnt crossing a desert.
My longest walk so far on this adventure, in which I discover the shittiest island so far, and encounter a strange cloaked figure.
A walk I've put off for three weeks due to my dislike of cycling! It takes me up and down a mountain, around the Leven estuary, dodging cars and lorries on the A590, and all the time I think I could have waded across the river.
I consider risking the marshes around the hilariously named Humphrey Head, trudge a few more lanes (more happily this time), completely fail to spot a peregrine, then skirt the Low Marsh as the fading shafts of sunlight glimmer off the water.
OK, this walk doesn't strictly start from Sandside. Sandside is south of the River Kent, and this walk starts from the opposite bank of the river, on the north side. That's because on the last stage I waded across the river to the start point of this walk, and so I can start from there … Continue reading 16. Sandside to Grange-Over-Sands
On the hottest day of the year, I set off in jeans and a women's hat - seemed like a good idea in the morning! I meet a friend, and decide to wade across the river, because it's just such a long boring walk otherwise!
I swap direction for one section, and battle a headwind southwards, passing through scenic clifftops, old copper mines, and salt marshes, and then trespass the territory of the local ovine biker gang.
It's been 71 days since I last walked a section of my coastal adventure. In that time the world has become a very different place. Back then people went to pubs and chatted to each other. We went dancing, ate in restaurants. We kissed and hugged each other. When we needed groceries we just walked into a shop and bought them. In the mornings we went to work, and came home again in the evening. Then we stopped.