Getting a head start

We prepared the van today and then hung around long enough for DPD to deliver our new mobile WiFi unit. Then we were swiftly away to Dalbeattie Post Office, where we sent a consignment of 4 boxes back home to be ready when we get there.

As we departed the Post Office, we noted a “Road Closed” sign but made little sense of it. Later we saw another, with a Diversion directing us straight ahead… so the closure and diversion were in the same direction. Now things made no sense at all. We drive on past another Road Ahead Closed sign, in the hope of detecting the Diversion route. Eventually we found both the road works and the opportunity to turn and divert left, though no signage was apparent. 

So, yet again, we have explored some new scenery via a single track road. It is becoming a habit!

Having safely regained the A75 after our diversion around Lochend we soon left it again in order to fill with petrol at Tesco in Dumfries but were not enticed into the shop. Hurrah.

The weather was pleasant; sunny and dry, and with good visibility such that the snow-capped fells of Lakeland were clearly visible across the sands of the Solway Firth (the tide being out) as we drove along towards Gretna. A short hiatus followed whereby a large sum of money was expended in the Cadbury’s outlet (MAYA GOLD!) before we left again, though not before we had a close shave in the car park with a rapidly reversing car containing what we may only presume was a dizzy blonde. Thankfully the speedy application of his brakes kept Vincent from harm.

We parked up at the Metal Bridge Inn well in advance of opening time so had time to relax before dinner (Loin of Lamb for me and Steak and Ale Pie for him) and emerged in time to see the sky flaming as the sun went down over  the far side of The Esk.

There – that was a boring post, wasn’t it!

Hopefully tomorrow will bring more photogenic qualities. 


The weather was grim as we left Kippford on Friday in the early afternoon. It made for slow progress but luckily we were not going far – just to Metal Bridge, stopping first at Kilnford Barns and then at Tesco in Dumfries. We arrived at Metal Bridge before evening opening, so not as late as it felt.

My dinner was enormous, as last time, though this time I had sausage (pork, bacon and black pudding) with haggis mash – delicious but far too filling. Nell benefited from a large meaty sausage that I smuggled out in my handbag.

Vincent proved to be far better soundproofed than Hank was and traffic noise was far less of a problem this time.

It was cold dank and misty when we woke on Saturday morning at Metal Bridge. I was thankful that we did not need to join the traffic on the M6. What we did need to do however was to go and find dog food as we had forgotten to buy it at Tesco. Luckily the way south out of Metal Bridge involves taking the B road into Carlisle and that road pops out right at ASDA,  We breakfasted there on some surprisingly good coffee and bacon rolls after we had done our shopping, then topped up the petrol tank before heading on our way to the Hadrian’s Wall Caravan site. The mist had cleared by Carlisle and the sun was out, giving us full value from the passing scenery.

Vincent at Base Camp

As might readily be guessed, the site lies very close to that iconic historical edifice. 

We were treated to a warm welcome and efficient but friendly service. The site is somewhat old school. Possibly rustic. The showers are push button, with a very short water delivery period. The facilities are not well heated but thankfully the water is hot enough. All the same, not a place to linger for long unclothed.

The scenery is stunning

The views all around are magnificent but better still up by the wall.

Long distance views in all directions

Of course we wasted no time in taking Nell for a walk to the wall.  I broke out the camera, though light conditions were poor. 

We had booked one night and planned to move on today but birthday celebrations got the better of us last night and it was deemed prudent not to drive today. We booked a second night and went to walk off last night’s excess along the wall again. I took two walking poles as my back was complaining, so no camera today… when of course the light was stunning.

It’s an amazing piece of work

That’s always the case, I find. 

Poor moles!

and of course I missed capturing the evening’s wonderful sunset, sitting here typing this whilst Mr Snail sleeps it off. Or attempts to. Things got a little noisy this afternoon.

We are sandwiched tonight betwixt two caravans. There are fairy lights. I wish we had gone to Vindolanda.

Tomorrow we are on a 5-van CL site. May be more peaceful!