Showing posts with label annan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label annan. Show all posts

Sunday 14 May 2023

Wales to Scotland

Nido's parked up on an aire....yes an aire!  It's a basic one, but it's still somewhere we could just turn up, pay a small fee and stay overnight.  Thank you Dumfries and Galloway!  Thank you Scotland!  England and Wales could learn a lot from this.

We've been to Dumfries and Galloway before, back in 2018, when we stayed a few nights before heading north on our way to the Isle of Mull.  D&G tends to be somewhere most people drive straight past on the way to the Western Isles, but it has a quiet beauty all of its own, with a peaceful coast lined with small villages, to dark skies forest.  We have a week to explore, before dropping down to the Lake District to meet up with old and very dear friends.  A week will be plenty of time to get a good feel for the area, do plenty of walking and enjoy the nature and scenery.

The journey up from Anglesey is about 230 miles and should have taken about 5 hours.  However, I hadn't banked on the M56 being closed for the whole weekend, with all traffic being diverted off around Runcorn, before rejoining just near where we used to live.  This added over two hours to the journey and, for small island people like us, who are used to a much slower, quieter pace of life now, the amount of traffic and noise was overwhelming!  So we were glad to arrive at this very quiet and peaceful aire, about 3 miles outside the village of Annan.

The aire is called Barrasgate Farm (///propelled.shifting.point).  It's on the Search for Sites app, is supported by the Dumfries and Galloway Council and is also an accredited aire with Campaign for Real Aires (CAMPRA).  It's basic - just an area of hardstanding or an adjacent grassy field on a farm.  At the moment the only facility is a fresh water tap but it's a work in progress and the owner's keen to expand the facilities in time.  It costs £5 and you can just turn up or, as I did, email the owner to check if it was OK to stay; I received a very quick and helpful reply.

After a 7 hour journey the first thing was a hot cup of tea and stretch out the kinks in my lower back - I'm getting on now (60 this year!) and long drives are not as easy as they used to be.  Heavy rain started as we entered Scotland, but this soon moved east and was replaced by sunny skies, albeit with a cool breeze.  We decided to eat first, then headed out for a walk so that we and Salty could stretch out after the hours in the van.  The aire is about a 10 minute walk from the small village of Powfoot, which sits on the Solway Firth. The tide was out and we took a stroll along the foreshore before walking along the coast road, past a row of small, terraced white cottages, before reversing our route back to the van.  Everything is quiet here and as the sky darkens, we're all shattered and ready for an early night.

I've marked up a few places to stay on the Search for Sites app, which will take us on a slow amble west along the coast, before heading inland to explore some of the lochs, castles and forest that this area has to offer.  There might even be a pub stop thrown in at some point!