Back to England via Dumfries and Galloway

It was stormy and I wasn't sure if I was more worried about sailing and getting to the Lake District that evening, or not sailing and missing our treat of a weekend in Patterdale. The CalMac ferry from Brodick to Ardrossan is cautious, and I applaud that. (Raging winds had been battering our caravan all night). Thankfully though the MV Caledonian Isles sailed the choppy seas and we arrived bright and early on a gleaming Ayrshire coastline. Raging storms came and went, disturbing the pristine skies for minutes only as we drove south through Ayr and then Turnberry.

A little further along we parked up and dashed along the shore at Girvan - stunning sands opposite a horizon adorned with the nobble that is Ailsa Craig. "I'm going to take a picture," said Tim, withdrawing the camera from its bag, at the same time getting distracted by a swan flying overhead. "Oh, look at..." he began in wonder, gazing up at the swan, before we heard SPLAT then saw the mess. A splodge of swan poo had hurtled towards him, accelerated by the wind, and splattered across his jacket! Back to the car to clean Tim up then we drove on, stopping briefly for a gulp of sea air from the tower of a clifftop castle.

Our drive continued through the rolling hills of Dumfries and Galloway, where we could easily believe we were the only folk in the world. We detoured to coastal Kirkcudbright, a fishing town with a pleasant harbour, colourful houses and many an art gallery - it's known as the "Artists' Town". Next on our list was the "Food Town", Castle Douglas. True to its name, it welcomed us into the most unassuming streetside cafe - Streetlights - which turned out to be a marvel.

Although not usually keen on standard cafe fare of sandwiches, I would have eaten anything then - it was approaching mid-afternoon. Imagine my delight when I saw the healthy variety on the menu! I eagerly chomped through my falafel salad with creamy mint dressing. Make for Streetlights at 187 King Street if you ever find yourself hungry in Castle Douglas. And then it was back to the car for the final leg of the journey, at the end of which would be Patterdale. Driving through Dumfries and Galloway made for such a lovely route - give it a try next time you're in those parts and not in a hurry ...
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