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A weekend in Garlieston

By Bill Nicholls

I would not say my wife and I were keen caravanners even though we have owned them for many years. Up to now we kept it on a seasonal pitch at Fforest Fields in Wales but last year due to having some work done on our place we decided to let the pitch go (the need for some where to stay came first). A new two birth caravan gave us a bit more flexibility in that it was a easier to tow and made my wife a bit more adventurous. Glastonbury was the start (at least to try the van out) so next it was decided to visit Scotland, only just across the border and after a late start, two stop-offs and 8 hours later we arrived at the Camping and Caravan site in Garlieston, which was small compared to its rival across the stream.
One thing it had was an old building which turned out to be an old saw mill operated by the stream beside it though sadly not now in use so the wheel was broken in the wheel pit NX4746 : Old Mill at the Campsite by Bill Nicholls. I started to explore round the place next day heading down to the harbour then along the front. The pier was out of bounds due to the harbour wall being reconstructed NX4846 : View to the Pier by Bill Nicholls. Most of the harbour was also being redeveloped NX4846 : New housing at the harbour by Bill Nicholls with housing and one old building had been refurbished NX4846 : New from old by Bill Nicholls with another in the wings waiting NX4846 : Along to the pier by Bill Nicholls, there were also a couple of footings that were up to damp course waiting for work to carry on. Going round to the Village Hall I discovered there was some wartime history connected with the village as the bay was used to develop the mulberry harbour system used during the D day landings NX4746 : Part of the display by Bill Nicholls.
Further along the village past the War Memorial NX4746 : Garlieston War Memorial by Bill Nicholls you find Mill road where there used to be a corn mill and a water wheel still in place NX4746 : The old Corn Mill by Bill Nicholls from here you can walk on round the bay where you can have some fine views of the village though the one thing that spoils it is the Caravan Club site which is on the site of an old Mill NX4846 : Garlieston from the bay by Bill Nicholls. Quite why they have to spoil villages with caravan sites on the coast I cannot say but you can see many with static home blotting the landscape along the coast.
One thing was evident about the village it only had two shops and both of them were more like convenience stores but one was a post office. The place did not even have a fish and chip shop but it did have a pub NX4746 : The Harbour Inn by Bill Nicholls. Down on the harbour work was going on due to the wall getting in a bad state so no visiting the pier was going to happen though we did take a coastal walk towards the next bay then nearly getting chased by the local cows on the way back.
Sunday it was a trip to Wigtown and for some shopping though on this occasion I took no photos as I did not want to leave my wife and dogs in a hot car but on the way out we spotted a recycled greenhouse beside the school NX4355 : Recycled greenhouse by Bill Nicholls so a quick few photos were the order of the day and in the evening a walk round Garlieston bay getting some photos towards the harbour. NX4846 : Panorama of Garlieston by Bill Nicholls
Monday it was off to Newton Stewart to find a bakery and some scotch pies. The town, like many others in the area, was a good opportunity for a geographing but again I dipped out because of the heat we also dipped out on the Bran Scones as they had run out. All that way to go home with none but we did get a couple of warm scotch pies, sadly no haggis or black pudding though. We stopped off at Kilsture forest NX4350 : Start of a walk by Bill Nicholls for a walk which was not a good idea as the puppy brought home some friends in the form of deer ticks, we found three of the blighters when we got back to the caravan. After lunch I set out looking for the old railway that ran to the harbour stopping off at the crossing cottage and lucky the wifey let me take some photos of the bridge supports still in the burn NX4746 : Supports in the burn by Bill Nicholls. From there it was along the road to Sorbie church NX4646 : Sorbie Church by Bill Nicholls which I found odd as it was nearer Garlieston not only that, no graves round the place. Made me wonder where they buried people who died but at least I found a flush bracket NX4646 : Close up of Sorbie Church Benchmark by Bill Nicholls, I did try to find the nearby ROC post but it seems the farmer sorted that out back in the 1950s.
On the corner of the road where you go along to the church the railway passed on its way to Garlieston and the field nearby bore witness to this with a clear bump heading off to join the main line NX4646 : Line across the bend by Bill Nicholls. The original bridge which took the railway had the deck removed leaving only the sides supporting the embankment NX4646 : The B7052 by Bill Nicholls. The Station nearby was still there though now converted to a private residence NX4646 : Millisle Station by Bill Nicholls. I did manage to find a benchmark NX4646 : Close up of the benchmark by Bill Nicholls on the old bridge before heading along the field to get some of the bridge over Kilfillan Burn NX4646 : Bridge over Kilfillan Burn by Bill Nicholls but climbing an embankment full of brambles in shorts is not a good idea. Once I had my photos I decided to go back but decided to have a quick look on Kilfillan bridge for a benchmark NX4646 : Kilfillan Bridge benchmark by Bill Nicholls which I found, that gave me encouragement to find one on the bridge by crossing cottage near Garlieston. That was it, I followed the road through the housing estate back to the caravan picking up a couple of ice creams on the way for my wife and myself. Not a bad weekend one which opened my eyes a bit more to history though when we got back home we found more hitchhikers on the puppy, three more of the dam ticks tried to make a home in the south but not for long.
Geotrip of the railway walk LinkExternal link

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Wed, 13 Jun 2012 at 17:06
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