Posted by: natsevs | May 27, 2010

Creetown to Ardwell

It rained quite a bit during the night in Creetown, but was dry in the morning as I packed up. The camp shop had rubbish stock, so I was hoping for better in the village. The grocery shop there was much better, it was also opposite a polling station, which reminded me about the election. I didn’t postal vote.

I was soon back on the A75 and heading to Newton Stewart. They were having a walking festival there starting 7th May for a week, apparently. Damn, I was one day early.

I crossed the river here and was on the way towards Wigtown. It was all pretty boring road walking up to there. Wigtown is Scotland’s booktown apparently and every other shop was a book shop. Thankfully, they did also have a Co-op so I was able to get some lunch.

From there it was down to cross the river at Bladnoch, passing by the whisky distillery then onto a B road towards Garlieston when I had a bit of proper sun for an hour or so. I felt a bit ill after lunch, probably due to sugar overload from Oreos and coke. About a mile from Garlieston I took a left to get out to the coast properly and onto a 4.5 mile path going to Garlieston. Yes, those numbers don’t add up. But I’m on a coastal walk, not a road walk. And roads tend to go straight. The coast does not.

Once on the coast it was through woodlands which was a welcome change. I came out onto a road on the opposite of the bay to the village and before I could admire the quaintness the rain starting pelting down. I was able to get on my coat and bag cover beforehand but my legs got soaked. I needed stuff for tea so went into the shop but they had nothing so ended up with Jammy dodgers. And that’s it. The rain stopped as suddenly as it had started and I walked on along the road to Whithorn Lodge, a small holding and b&b where I spent the night. The owner, Chris, very generously made me some tea and was really nice. I then settled in for the night watching TV.

I had a very hearty breakfast made mostly from their own pigs. Before I left I went to feed the boar a donut and pear each.

It was mostly road walking again along to Isle of Whithorn, but pleasant enough as were quieter roads. Before I reached there though a guy coming the other way asked if he could get back onto the coast path where I’d just been. He had been on a path but it had disappeared but he directed me how to get onto it over the fields so I entered the village that way. It’s very pretty and the best part is that there was a proper coast path for a good while on from there.

The path took me to Burrow Head, taking in some great scenery, after which I stopped for some lunch. Then onto St Ninian’s cave. Apparently sailors would come here before a long journey and lay a cross. I made a little one and put it there, just in case. It was odd for it to be so quiet after all the main roads.

I could have gone inland from the cave but stayed on the beach for a while until it looked like I might get stuck. At that point, I took a dirt track up onto the cliffs then along tracks through fields to the road. Cows keep running up to me, they see me walking along holding a bag and think they’re going to be fed. Next thing a whole herd is running towards me. Thankfully, there is generally a fence between us but not always.

The path was soon running right along the coast beneath the cliffs and took me to Port William. There was no warden on the site when I got there but in a shop down the road the lady said to just pitch up. It was quite sunny but the wind had a definite chill in it. With the tent up, the warden arrived and gave me the toilet key as well as a laundry tablet. You had to pay for the washing machine though so I handwashed some things and hung them up to hopefully dry. I treated myself to Chilli for tea from one of the free food pouches I had received from ‘Look What We Found’.

The morning was quite nippy, but I put on my shorts in optimism and ate my scones from the shop for breakfast. As I left I went into the shop again for today’s supplies. It was a different woman this time and it turns out Ges Laker (another coast walker) had stayed with her on his journey. As I left the town along the road an Otter came out of a field, crossed the road, and made it’s way down the beach to the sea. I couldn’t believe I had seen one so early on into Scotland and I definitely hadn’t expected one on a road. I was obviously VERY chuffed.

It was lots of road from there, but fantastic scenery with birds diving into the sea in the sunshine and the Rhins across the water. At Auchenmalg the road turns inland but I carried on along a dirt track then past cow fields where the usual occured. After a farmyard, I went through a cow field which also held a big bull, thankfully he didn’t seem interested and I swiftly made my way through. I came down the hill to get back onto road along the coast.

At Glenluce, I went and got money and supplies then onto an A road where I was offered a lift again. Unfortunately not long after a car sped past and an advert for sterilisation shouted dickhead at me. I came off onto a B road now heading south on the Rhins, or as I call it ‘the hammer’. A police car stopped and chatted to me, no mention of looking homeless so the shave may have worked. They were very nice and the guy told me a good spot to camp on at Ardwell. Now I just had to get there.

The road seemed endless and it took ages to get to Sandhead. I got a sausage roll for breakfast at one of the villages then went along the beach to Ardwell. I arrived about 6.30 and set up in a picnic area just outside the village, right next to a caravan park. There were toilets that were open all night so almost as good as an actual campsite.



  1. Hi Nat, I was catching up on what you have been up to and lo of any entry I pick one with a connection. My granny had a sister who stayed in Glenluce.

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