Thursday, 14 April 2011

Kirkcudbright Coast

For an April taste of summer, the place to go is the Scottish Riviera - a.k.a. the Solway coast, and its central town, Kirkcudbright.

Kirkcudbright is an attractive town at the head of one of Scotland's few rias, a coastal area of extensive mud that floods every tide.


Kirkcudbright Bay is a paradise for birdwatchers, with a few sandy beaches, guarded at its seaward end by low, rugged cliffs. Let's have a walk along these headlands!

En-route to Brighouse, Seaward Bay:

The first headland walk starts at Brighouse Bay, just round the corner from Kirkcudbright. This has a beautiful beach, the tide going out miles. Children splashed in the limpid waters and a canoeist paddled into the bay for a look then paddled out again.

Brighouse Bay:

The walk from Brighouse takes you through a beautiful wood. Today it is full of daffodils - as is much of Galloway - but in a few weeks it will be carpeted with bluebells.


This tree-lined avenue, bare crowns touching, leads to the sparkling sea:

The headland at the other side of Kirkcudbright Bay (reached from Brighouse after a short drive via ice cream in Kirkcudbright) is Torrs Point. This leads through an equally beautiful wood to an even more rugged foreland.

Torrs Point trail:

Kirkcudbright Bay from Torrs Point:

Rugged sea at Torrs Point:

From Torrs Point, Little Ross with its lighthouse can be seen. This is a peaceful spot, but has seen tragedy within living memory.

Little Ross:

The air round here was heavily scented with gorse, a smell similar to coconut. The sun-bleached rocks in outcrops and in drystane dykes are covered in a white lichen, reflecting even more light back to the eye, giving the place a feeeling of the green and white of Ireland rather than the more familiar brown and purple of Highland Scotland.

Lichen-covered rocks:

What a tonic the sun and sea air are at this time of year!

Kirkcudbright hosts a big arts festival in the summer, when over 80 venues - including artists houses - are open to the public. But perhaps we won't be able to wait that long. Given the same weather, we might be down again as soon as May for bluebell season.

1 comment:

PurestGreen said...

Oh it's lovely! I love the forest through the woods and your description of how gorse smells a bit like coconut. A bit of the tropical in Scotland.