Hiking

Balcary Point, Solway Firth, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Big Airds Hill (102 m.)

Balcary Point, Solway Firth, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Balcary Point

Hiking a section of the Solway Firth coastline in Dumfries and Galloway. This south Scottish coast is as dramatic and varied as the Cornwall coastline but is accessible to the public only in short sections.
We hiked from Balcary Bay, through the coastal woodlands to Balcary Point with views across the Solway Firth wind farm to the north Cumbria coast, and the relief of the Lakeland Fells. The rocks here have great names: Lots’s Wife, Door of the Heugh and Adam’s Chair. Then suddenly we see the rare sight across the sea of the full outline of the Isle of Man, from Snaefell (620 m.) to Ramsey Bay.

More photos: Balcary Bay to Rascarrel Bay - 1

Rascarrel Bay, Solway Firth, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Rascarrel Bay

Rascarrel Bay, Solway Firth, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland

Second half of our hike of a section of the Solway Firth coastline in Dumfries and Galloway

Onwards to Rascarrel Bay, a wonderfully unspoilt sand and stones beach with just a couple of old beach huts plus a few recent developments but much the same as the times of the hill forts and ramparts built on the top of the surrounding Big Airds Hill (102 m.) and Little Airds Hill (88 m.) or the disused shafts which might also have been smugglers’ or pirates’ treasure caches. Now the hills are grazed grassland, either ugly sheep or cows, with several signs warning of a bull in the field.
Further along, the map shows caves but we didn’t investigate, instead turning back to Balcary Bay through Rascarrel Moss, the woodland surrounding Loch Mackie to end back in Balcary Bay.

More photos: Balcary Bay to Rascarrel Bay - 2

Running Latrigg - Lake District National Park

The freedom of the cross-country runner

Cross-country running was and is still my sport - I ran for the school and uni teams and I can still enjoy running, especially in wide open spaces. Latrigg (368 m) is just outside my windows here and I have several routes running the less popular paths, though as a “sports walk” rather than a full-on competitive cross-country or fell run. Today has been a fine afternoon and so it was again a pleasure as a runner to push upwards, enjoy the soft landings on forest paths, lollop over high grassland and fight to maintain balance on the descent. Happily also, hay fever wasn’t a big issue.

More photos: The freedom of the cross-country runner - Lake District National Park

Hollingbury, South Downs National Park, Sussex

Hollingbury, South Downs National Park, Sussex

Views of the landscapes around Hollingbury, in the South Downs National Park just outside Brighton. Despite status as a National Park, there have been several intrusive developments with more or less sympathetic architecture which have been authorised in recent years.

More photos: Hollingbury - South Downs National Park

Tarr Steps, Exmoor National Park, Somerset

Tarr Steps, Exmoor National Park, Somerset

Family bimble with their two adorable dogs up the riverside from Tarr Steps, a medieval clapper bridge. This is a section of the Two Moors Way and a woodland nature reserve. Although sheltered, Spring hasn’t really started up here. Lots of flow which made the fords and stepping stones impassable on foot. There’s a rope swing over the river, plus other Big Kid opportunities. The dogs loved it too.
The famous clapper bridge has been rearranged many times by storm surges in the River Barle but is currently in fine shape again.

More photos: Tarr Steps Woods - Exmoor National Park

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