Day 174: Gretna Green to Annan – Ice & Roam

19 comments
Dumfriesshire, Scotland

Scotland welcomes you, Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

After an inauspicious start of dropping my toothbrush into the toilet, I head into the icy dawn as flocks of migrating geese fly past the moon.

Ice forms II, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Frosty dawn, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Mouth of the River Sark, Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway,

Frozen shore, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

The exhilaration of the Scottish right to roam is soon tempered by physically impassable routes and mazes of barbed wire. A good path will suddenly end at a just-too-wide-to-jump-across ditch or an uncrossable marsh. The footpaths aren’t shown on the maps so the route I’m following is based on studying other walkers blogs, the government core paths website and satellite maps.

Ice forms I, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Ruts of frozen mud and marshy ground with a skin of ice make tricky and cold going. The flooded icy fields emit the occasional crack and creak momentarily tricking me into thinking I’m not alone.

First light, Solway Firth, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

The Lochmaben Stone, a glacial erratic and landmark for millennia. The site also marks the battle of Sark where in 1448, 3,000 English were killed fighting the Scots who allegedly lost only 26 men! Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

The Lochmaben Stone and the Solway Firth, Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Still Solway I, Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Glow, Redkirk, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Still Solway II, Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Still Solway III, Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Last week’s flood damage, MOD Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Still Solway IV, Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Winter shadow, Dornock, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Riders on the Solway sands, Eastriggs, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Criffel and Salmon fishing nets, Solway Firth, Seafield, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Salmon fishing nets, Solway Firth, Seafield, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Anthorn Radio Station at dusk from The Merse, Annan, Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

Hard to believe, especially on a frigid morning like this. Gretna Green, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

I think I might be in Scotland!

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British Architectural & Landscape Photographer.

19 thoughts on “Day 174: Gretna Green to Annan – Ice & Roam”

  1. Wow what stunning photos. Those first few in the cold and ice especially. I did this walk on quite a warm day, it is amazing the difference the weather can make to the photos. I remain impressed over how you can make such beautiful photos out of what can sometimes be very simple subjects. Lovely. That fence over the MOD land amused me, I did wonder what that was protecting, but it’s not offering much protection now! I’ve only got as far as Annan on the west coast (hope to continue later this year) so will be viewing your future posts as a preview of what I have to come!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was delighted to have such photogenic light for the first day into Scotland, makes a welcome change from the wet grey murk I had for much of Cumbria! The MOD site used to be United Kingdom’s largest Cordite factory in World War, it’s now the Devil’s Porridge Museum https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Factory,_Gretna
      PS I wouldn’t want to walk many of the routes I’ve chosen again so please don’t use my maps for planning your own route without a degree of caution! Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beach Books says:

    So beautiful. Photos with ice formations & photos with water melted my heart. Recently I read a phrase “ice-cream light”. Saw such light in some of your photos too. At least what I imagine an “ice-cream light” could be like. Thank you for sharing such beautiful pics.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Bargh says:

    Love the photos Quintin and following your blog.
    We have a holiday lodge in Crocketford so know the area well.
    Good luck on the rest of your adventure

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joseph Proskauer says:

    Lochmaben Stone:

    Wikipedia cites a local legend: this is the stone whence Arthur pulled the fateful sword. It also says,”Tolstoy sees Merlin as a chief druid carrying out ceremonies” there. (This turns out to be Count Nikoloai Tolstoy — a distant cousin of Leo, now in his 80s — writer on Celtic mythology and the history within it, as well as on controversial episodes in the immediate aftermath of WWII.)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joseph Proskauer says:

    Lochmaben Stone and Anthorn Station — resonating across the Solway, and fifty centuries: Both involve large circles (most of the stones in the ancient one have disappeared), intimately involved in our relationship to time and space.

    ****** * ******

    Many stone circles align and harmonise with landscape, sun and stars (as well as inner dimensions). Anthorn is more recent. Thirteen antennas, in two rings around a centre, transmit orders to NATO submarines. It also sends navigation signals to other ships.* And since 2007, a transmitter spun between two masts has been the source of the national time signal (which prompts the BBC pips, among other things); this is regulated by three atomic clocks on site, with the aerial adjusted by computers for local distortions such as wind, and purportedly is accurate to one second in 15 million years. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joseph Proskauer says:

      * This is eLORAN — a sort of radio lighthouse system — earth-based complement to space-based GPS, which can be jammed. The UK project began here in 2008, reaching full capability in 2014. Other European stations were discontinued on New Years Eve 2015, making its current use for navigation difficult or impossible. But the signals from Anthorn continue; so stay tuned . . . )

      Liked by 1 person

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