Michael and Pam's Travels Our European Motorhome Adventures and other Travels

The Castleโ€™s of Dumfries, Scotland 2018 ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ

Date: 8th June 2018

Travelled:  161 kilometres from Keswick, England to Castle Douglas, Scotland.

Visited: Gretna, Caelaverock Castle ยฃ4.80pp, Dumfries and Threave Castle ยฃ4.50pp

Stayed: Municipal campsite in Castle Douglas, ยฃ25, N54.93630, W03.92929

Its 4.30 in the morning and the sun has pocked itโ€™s nose up.  Feeling a little dusty this morning for some reason.  Rolling over the thought of too much lager with Karl last night is quickly dismissed.  I roll over and its now 5.30, so I get up to start working on the blog and put the coffee machine on.  By 6.30 itโ€™s time to say goodbye to Keswick heading east to Penrith (not that murky place in the western suburbs of Sydney) and make for the Scottish border.  We by-pass Carlisle as Karl doesnโ€™t have a kind word to say about and  roll across the border in Greta Green.

We finally cross into Scotland ๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ 5 days after arriving at Heathrow.  It feels good to finally be in Scotland and start our tour.
Greta Green is famous for weddings ๐Ÿ‘ฐ apparently. English law required couples under the age of 21 to have their parents written approval before they marry.  But under Scottish Law it was open slather, so Greta Green found itโ€™s place in histroy.

As it was only 9.30 in the morning, surprisingly no weddings were taking place.  Apparently 5,000 couples retake their wedding vows here annually.  I asked Pam if she would like to re-new our vows, she checked on the cost stating itโ€™s not in the budget !  So we called into the bakery and picked up a half loaf of wholegrain (not my favourite I can assure you) and a couple of Scottish pancakes which were excellent.

Continuing west on the A75 we turn onto the A724 for Caerlaverock Castle. The A724 was narrow and pothole ridden, so you may wish to consider having your motorhome airlifted in to avoid minor breakages.
Caerlaverock Castle is considered the classic Scottish version of a moated stronghold. Built in the 1300โ€™s it has held out against those english bastards for 300 years with varying success.

Visiting castles and historic places in the UK is very expensive if you intend doing more than a few.  As we are here for a month or more we take a two concessional memberships in the Historic Environment Scotland for ยฃ77.  This gives us access to all their sites, but I will still list the normal concessional price.

Despite being a ruin for 500 years itโ€™s a very interesting to explore. There are various information boards and you get a feel for the place.
We wander as Australianโ€™s do, there is so much history here, all we have is Mel Gibson and he was a New Zealander…

We drive on to Dumfries for lunch…

We park near this lovely old iron bridge in Dumfries for lunch. Constructed over the River Nith in 1875 is still looks good for itโ€™s age, as does Pam.

After lunching we continue west on the A75 for Castle Douglas.  Just to save confusion letโ€™s just settle on the fact there is no Castle Douglas at Castle Douglas, however you can visit Castle Threave only 2 miles from Castle Douglas.  As we drive into Castle Douglas we find a lovely little campsite on Carlingwark Loch.  At ยฃ25 its a ripโ€™ but we have not serviced the Hymer for 4 days and things need to be done.

We get the scooter off the Hymer and ride the 2.5 miles to Threave Castle (good practice for Italy) rather than drive the Hymer back out of the campsite.  Threave sits on a natural island below Loch Ken on the River Dee.  This provided additional security before plastic boats and outboard motors were developed.
Itโ€™s our second ruined castle for the day, but what I found interesting was how well hidden the castle was.  The lay of the land and the groves of trees along the river virtually made it impossible to see until you arrived at the dock opposite the castle.  Yes Pam has new sunglasses so any comments regarding how nice they are would be appreciated.
We enjoy wandering the tower and the main hall for a while, but the guard is calling time and wants to go home.

So we scooter back to the Hymer put the scooter on the rack, empty and fill whats needs filling before calling it a day…

Michael and Pam

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