August 2010 and we were in the Kirkcudbright area again. We took the B727 along Kirkudbright Bay, passing a small sign to pebble sculptures. We back-tracked and found a little track off seawards. Following it to the end, where there is a small parking area, we ended on a small, rcky beach. Hmmm, no sign of any pebble sculptures.We re-traced our steps and realised the sculptures were on the first bit of beach to the right. We were quite impressed, there being a whale, a ship and a broch, we think. Someone must have spent quite a while creating these pieces of art, I was really rather intrigued. I have added a link to another photo of them. They don't appear to be as in as perfect a condition on our visit.
Now this is just the most gorgeous coastal area, do not miss if you are in the Kirkcudbright area.
I had looked at this part of the coast on Google earth and thought maybe we could take the motorhome, get the boat out and camp. Knowing it was a narrow road, we did a recce on the motorbike and were glad we did as we were able to ride all the way round the coast here as far as Sandgreen.This route took us on a dirt track through the most marvellously secluded chalet park, many perched on their own little sandy beaches. It really is a most idyllic spot, tiny cove after tiny cove and you would never know the chalets existed.
Before the chalet park, you arrive on a grassy point, looking out over Barlocco, Ardwall, Fleet and Murray Isles. There are many places to park on the grass, the first part is on a rocky coastline but a little further on is a beautiful sandy beach. I couldn't get enough of the scenery here, stunningly beautiful! Unfortunately, it was no good for the van as there was a"no overnight" sign.
Continuing the route through the chalets and beaches, we arrived at Sandgreen, which seemed to be nothing more than a few houses and a massive caravan site which appeared to be all statics.
This is a little gem, now in the hands of Historic Scotland.
It is a circular tower house, the only one in Scotland, probably inspired by the Irish tower houses.
We parked in the small parking area and went to investigate, at first only seeing the tower. Behind are more ruins of outbuildings, possibly two storeys high at one time.These were where the kitchen and brewery once were housed, with some underground vaults. In the tower there is also a vaulted cellar. Walk round the side and some steps lead up into the main body of the tower house from where you can climb an extremely narrow, tight spiral staircase up to the ramparts. You can walk a short distance of the wall walk and take in the glorious views of the wonderful landscape. At 33 feet high, this is not for those worried by heights!!
The tower house was built by John Cairns in the mid 1400's and later passed to the Crown in 1555 after a family dispute and then Sir Robert Maxwell, 1st Baronet of Orchardton.The Maxwells remained at Orchardton until 1785 when the 7th Baronet was bankrupted and the house sold to James Douglas.
Although these are scant ruins, they are atmospheric and worth a visit, if just for the location!
No admittance charge.
Unfortunately we didn't get to see inside the chuch, there was a funeral taking place (note hearses in photo!!)
We thought this was such a striking church, with it's round tower and white washed building. Much of the church dates from between 1611 - 1751, with the bell added in 1611. In later years, the church was enlarged again in 1963 and 1971.
It stands prominently on a hill in the tiny village of Crossmichael, (don't you love the name??) close to Loch Ken. It's parish dates back to the 12th century and it's boundaries incorporate the Dee on the west and the river Urr on the east. The graveyard includes some interesting tombstones, with the oldest dated 1547.
Indeed, it is hard to miss this imposing church. We really should have returned to have a look round.