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Dumfries and Galloway

My schedule for last week took me to Barnsley on the Tuesday and Ashington, Northumberland on the Friday, so I suggested to my wife that it would be a good opportunity to visit a few of the better known sites just over the border. 'Not another Jolly, surely'? 'Its not a Jo...', I realised there was no point arguing and took it as acceptance that it was OK to go, unfortunately I would have to leave the van behind and go by car.
A longish drive from Barnsley found me at the Loupin Stones car park in Eskdalemuir. What a beautiful location right alongside the river with a short walk to the Girdle Stone Circle less than 1/2 mile away. The Loupin Stones are particularly fascinating and the circle itself appears to be just part of a far larger complex. The stones appear to be part of something called the 'Prehistoric Trail' which I had not heard of before, not sure where it goes and what other sites are included in the trail, however, resolved to find out more. Spent way too much time in the valley and realised I needed to get a move on if I was to see anything else.
Next, I drove down to Dumfries to visit the 12 Apostles. GPS took me right to the site which was fortuitous as there are no signs indicating this huge and significant circle. Very difficult to photograph because if you move back far enough to include all the stones they just appear like small dots on the final print. Left wondering why this circle does not attract more attention, as usual I was the only person there.
Next day, sun shining and a very pleasant drive down the coast to Carsluith the visit Cairnholy 1 and 2. These sites have been given the status of a large brown tourist sign off the main road and easy to find although the last 1/2 mile or so is up a very narrow single track road. These are two wonderful sites, well maintained with information boards and designated parking (posh!) and between the stones and the farm wall was a perfect sun trap where I sat and read few chapters of my book, daydreamed a little and eventually realised the day was passing by, so up and off again this time to find the old military road and The Glenquicken Stone Circle. GPS absolutely essential for this one, no signs, no footpath and not visible from the single track road. Very much worth tracking down, a complete circle with a central cuboid shaped standing stone, remote and peaceful setting, a place to linger.
From here it was off the easy to find Torhousekie Stone Circle which commands its own layby and information board. An interesting and very well kept site. The OS map indicates a lot of other activity in the area with evidence of a cairn and a stone row, very much worth a visit.
From here I decided to visit the Wrens Egg. Once again no signs and GPS essential, although obvious once you get to the road alongside the Egg. Over the stile and across the field, the Egg is accompanied by 2 standing stones and they all sit on a small hill (or barrow?). The Egg is a curiosity and difficult to understand how natural or how much shaping has taken place.
A short stop in Port William and the day was gone leaving the only other site on my list, Glentirrow, unvisited, however, the perfect excuse to return to this delightful part of the country.

Posted by costaexpress
23rd April 2016ce

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