Sandyhills Bay

Last week the sun poked it’s head from behind a cloud briefly and after a rush of blood to the head I packed our two oldest kids into the car and took them away for a few more days by the sea. This time we went to the Solway coast in South West Scotland – a lot closer than North Wales. I chose the site based on online reviews which said that it was quiet, family friendly and right by the beach – all of which turned out to be spot on. Only a small line of dunes separated our pitch from the beach. It was a nice beach – backed by dunes but with cliffs on either side. It was slightly odd in as much as although it was sandy, further down it became soft squishy mud. The tide when it was out was a very long way away. When it came in, it came in fast, but was only a couple of inches deep.

The weather wasn’t always ideal, but we did manage a day and a half on the beach.

You can see here the transition from sand to mud – where the texture and the angle changes and the beach clearly becomes wetter.

We even had some blue sky – for a while.

We explored a little. The beach was incredibly rich in shells. We plodged along a stream flowing down the beach and onto the mud. B turned up a crab with no pincers – damaged and ill creatures seem to be our speciality at the moment. We played with a cloth frisby that I bought in the camp site shop. It flew surprisingly well. A really got the hang of flicking her wrist. B developed his own highly effective if rather inaccurate overhand style. Naturally we made sandcastles:

The kids decided to dig and then decorate holes:

On Saturday the weather was not fit for the beach. We checked out the charms of nearby Dumfries. On the way back to Sandyhills, with the weather improving, we stopped at New Abbey and visited the Sweetheart Abbey and the water powered Corn Mill.

The corn mill is still in full working order and was operating when we visited. It was fascinating. At the mill pond the miller introduced us to a brood of 5 day old Mallard chicks.

We also stopped at Southerness where there is a light house:

And if anything, even more shells on the beach than at Sandyhills (certainly a higher proportion of Mussel shells)

Our final day was showery. The showers decreased in frequency and ferocity as the day progressed. In the morning, when the showers were still heavy and regular, we climbed along the coast path to the hill west of the bay, Torrs Hill. The Lakeland Fells, across the Firth, had reappeared after the clag of the day before. Through gaps in the cloud the sun was lighting the Firth in silver and gold. The views were stunning. Sadly my camera was playing up and I have no photo of the Needles Eye – an impressive natural arch by the cliffs.

B revelled in the inclement weather and the steep and muddy path, but poor A found the whole experience a bit much. Fortunately, as the weather improved she really enjoyed the playground on the campsite and another trip to the beach.

Sandyhills Bay

3 thoughts on “Sandyhills Bay

  1. I enjoyed your holiday photos. The pictures of your children in the holes they dug at the beach reminded me of the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, At the Sea-side:

    When I was down beside the sea
    A wooden spade they gave to me
    To dig the sandy shore.

    My holes were empty like a cup.
    In every hole the sea came up,
    Till it could come no more.

    The Sweetheart Abbey ruins photo is beautiful. I have “a thing” for ruins.

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. I’m a huge fan of RLS, his novels, short stories, travel writing and essays, but I’m not very familiar with his poetry. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention.

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