Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 02/July/2002
From: Penrith
Via: New Abbey
To: Dumfries
Miles: 108
Midges: 5 (Estimate)
Weather: Sunshine and showers (again)
Mood: Good

Picture of the Welcome to Scotland sign in the rainAfter the night in Penrith I quickly drove the remaining few miles to the border. The first day in Scotland didn't start too promising: When I crossed the border it rained... I left the motorway in Gretna Green to make my way to Dumfries, where I had planned to stay for the night. I found a bed & breakfast quite easily, the Brackenridge Guest House.Picture of Brackenridge Guest House in Dumfries A very large room with en-suite facilities for only GBP 25 (incl breakfast), very good value. And a very good location for my purposes: On the A710 but close to the town centre. With the accomodation sorted for the day I made my way to the village of New Abbey, eight miles south of Dumfries.Picture of the village of New Abbey New Abbey has several attractions. As it started to rain when I arrived the first one for me was the Abbey Cottage tearoom. A tuna sandwich and a tea for lunch. When I had finished my lunch the sun came out and I went to visit the second attraction: Sweethart Abbey. The abbey takes its name from its founder Picture of Sweetheart AbbeyDevorgilla de Balliol, Lady of Galloway. She carried the embalmed heart of her husband John Balliol (Balliol college in Oxford is named after him) around with her for the last 22 years of her life.Picture of the central tower of the abbey The abbey was founded as the last Cisternian abbey in Scotland in 1273. Today only ruins remain, mainly the red sandstone walls of the church (nothing of the roof remains). All the other buildings can only be traced through their foundations, when the abbey was given up their stones were used as building materials for other houses.Picture of Shambellie House Then it was time for the third attraction: Shambellie House - Museum of Costume. It was designed for the Stewart family by David Bryce in 1856. In 1977 Charles Stewart, the great grandson of the original owner William Stewart, donated the house to the National Museums of Scotland together with its unique costume collection. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures inside, so the only picture I can show you is the one from the outside on the left. After so much culturePicture of the beach near Sandyhills it was time for some nature. The Colvend coast on the Solway Firth was my destination, with the first stop at the beach near Sandyhills.Picture of the view from the coastal path at Rockcliffe It was low tide when I arrived here, so the water was quite far away. The closest I got to the water was this burn making its way through the beach to the sea. After a while I drove on to the village of Rockcliffe, where I had a nice walk along a coastal path. Unfortunately the weather had turned cloudier again, so the view wasn't as nice any more. At least it didn't rain and despite the grey weather it was reasonably warm.Picture of the bird The last picture for today is of a fearless bird. When I arrived back at my car it turned up while I was sorting a few things with the door open. It didn't seem to have any fear, allowing me to take photos from very close. I assume it was used to humans and was looking for some breadcrumbs or other food I might have dropped.

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