Exploring Kirroughtree Forest

Exploring Kirroughtree Forest

IMG_9008Back in November 2019, we decided to take Polly, our camper van and do some touring of Scotland, initially around the Dumfries area, then we’d see where Polly would take us.  We were also on the hunt for, not only some great walking, but some good mountain biking trails.

Our first Brit Stop seemed to be just a car park off the beaten track in Caerlaverock, near Dumfries.  It was late and very dark so we didn’t really know what our surroundings were.  Little did we know that we’d stumbled upon a beautiful nature reserve.  I wrote about this here, where I also explain what Brit Stops are.

From there we were heading towards Newton Stewart, then north toward Galloway Forest, in search of a mountain biking trail we’d heard of at Kirroughtree.

After only a few hours driving and of course the enjoyment of Scotlands beautiful

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The start of our forest walk, whilst above me was the end of the mountain biking trail.

scenery we found ourselves pulling up at Kirroughtree Forest Visitor Centre.  A quick tour around the centre familiarised us with what was on offer and we were excited.  There were various walks around the forest and what looked like a great mountain biking course, in fact it was one of the 7 Stanes courses, which in the mountain biking world are well sought after as they are award winning trails, eight to be precise, dotted around south Scotland and you don’t have to be an expert to ride them as they have varying skill levels within each trail.  Jon was happy, I was happy and the dogs were so excited as they were first on the list to enjoy a big long walk and explore in the forest.

We set off walking one of the harder trails of the forest and it didn’t take us long before we were walking in what seemed to be an enchanted magical mysterious forest, as everything was covered in moss.  It was so very still, quite eerie, and stunning in a strange kind of way.  It was a fantasy story waiting to be written, my mind was running wild with fairies and goblin’s. Continue reading “Exploring Kirroughtree Forest”

What Is A Brit Stopper?

What Is A Brit Stopper?

“What is a Brit Stopper?” we asked, while chatting to a couple who had parked their camper van in the car park of a pub.  We were staying in a nearby campsite at the time and had visited the pub for a meal.  “You just buy the annual Brit Stop’s book and all the places you can park are listed, it’s great!” they said.

As soon as I could, I got on the Brit Stops website and ordered our book, £28 I believe it was, which is around what you’d pay for one nights stay at a campsite.  Don’t get me wrong, campsites are brilliant with the facilities they offer and security, but sometimes, especially while travelling in a camper van, all you need is a safe parking space, knowing you’re not going to get moved on.  That’s exactly what Brit Stops’ is all about.  They’re businesses such as pubs, restaurants, shops, farms, vineyards etc offering you the use of a parking space on their land for the evening.IMG_6389

Some Brit Stops offer facilities, such as being able to fill up with water or get rid of grey water, toilet waste or rubbish, but sometimes its just a welcome parking spot.  All very helpful and it’s manners to maybe have a few pints of their best beer, or tantalise your tastebuds with what they have on offer from their menus or take a peek in their shop.

With Polly the camper van packed up, the Brit Stops book in hand and route, more or less sorted, we were heading north toward Scotland! Continue reading “What Is A Brit Stopper?”

One year on…

One year on…

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and much merriment!

For us, like most people, Christmas was a time to switch off, take a step back and spend quality time with family.

We had a great Christmas in our camper van, Polly.  We drove up North on Christmas Eve to visit with my family where we spent the time between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day generally eating too much, drinking too much, playing games, (which got quite raucous at times) and laughing a lot, then on Boxing Day evening we drove down South to do much of the same with Jon’s family.  We are here now to see in the New Year in Cornwall. Continue reading “One year on…”