Castle Corner Campsite

The campervan wheels are rolling again. After our visit last year to Arran we said we would give Scotland a miss this year as we always seem to be returning year on year.

We set off northwards towards the Scottish border. Obviously that memo wasn’t read.

Dumfries and Galloway Forest was our destination which is only just in Scotland.

Last year we passed through here on our way to catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. After a little research it was apparent that we had missed so much that the area could give.

Our first night was spent at Castle Corner campsite, Caerlaverock. We stayed here last year as an overnight stop before catching the ferry to Arran.

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It is a five pitch site used by the Motor caravan club, but open to non-members. It is a gem of a hide away, situated beside the nature reserve and within a short walk to Caerlaverock castle.

http://castlecorner.wixsite.com/castle-corner

Based on the popular German Stellplatz design, the pitches are spacious, each provided with a picnic table. The fresh water, waste water and chemical toilet disposal point is situated near the gateway. A single toilet/wash basin is provided in a log cabin, which is kept clean and inspected on a regular basis.

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Once we had settled in we decided to walk through the nature reserve to the nearby 13th century Caerlaverock castle.

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The castle is triangular in shape surround by a moat and run by Historic Scotland.

caerlaverock castle

Library Photo

After the long drive to get here and the walk to the castle we were exhausted, so we returned to the campervan for our evening meal.

We like to live dangerously and tackle change head on. Our first night meal of the usual meatballs and pasta in a homemade tomato sauce was replaced with a healthy option of chicken salad with minted Jersey potatoes. Like a walk on the wild side.

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Castle Corner has calming, lay back effect, so we booked an extra night and took time to recover from the road trip to get here.

A full English breakfast started the day. After a leisurely tidy up and taking ruby for a short walk we drove to Dumfries for a wander around the town. As usual Ruby and I stood outside many shops chatting to Ruby’s many admirers. Dumfries is a bustling town with many well looked after Parks.

Robert Burns in Dumfries

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Next stop was Morrison’s, where we bought a cooked pork hock joint and some crusty bread rolls, restocked the fridge and food cupboard with goodies.

We drove down to the car park beside the River Nith and had our lunch while watching the world go by.

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We headed back to the campsite after having a drive around the surrounding area.

We had a lazy start to the Sunday morning and packed our gear away.

Sad to leave such a peaceful campsite were we are guaranteed a warm welcome, but we will be back again. Definitely recommended as a must visit campsite when in the area.

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Homeward Bound

We woke early at the Glen Capel tea room car park and in the daylight found that we were parked in the nature reserve with a large sailing boat moored on the quayside.

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The community of Glen Capel allow campers to stay overnight on the quayside. There is an honesty box to put a donation towards the upkeep of the site.

Places like this are precious and the village generosity shouldn’t be abused.

When we woke up Ruby was missing. Then she popped head out from under the pillows where she had sneaked into while we slept.

ruby pillow

Unfortunately the tea room wasn’t open or I would have opted for a full Scottish Breakfast.

The journey home from Scotland is always strange as the further we go down the country, the busier it gets until we lose that calm, well being feeling and start to experience those stresses we left behind.

I’m thinking we might be living in the wrong place.

On the island

After a peaceful night at Castle Corner camp site I took Ruby for a quick walk around the area whist the Extreme knitter made the bacon rolls for breakfast. We departed about 11.30 and drove northward through Dumfries on the A78 heading for Ardrossan ferry port.

As always there was a now compulsory stop at Morrisons to fill up with diesel and add more diesel rhino. The Kilmarnock store benefitted from our pennies this trip. On a random note I did mention to the Extreme knitter that maybe we should try to visit every Morrisons store in the country. She didn’t reply, but gave me one of those long despairing looks and gently shook her head. I thought it was a good idea. I did wonder if I should contact Morrisons with a new marketing idea.

Morrisons Spotters.

It worked for Eddie Stobart. They could supply spotter books that you had to have signed by the guy that collected the trolleys just to prove you had been to the store.

I had been advised to prebook the ferry as it gets busy. I had booked a single crossing to the Isle of Arran for a 15.20 departure and we reached the port in good time and drove straight to the boarding lanes. It was at this point that something very strange happened. We drove up to the ticket booth were the lady attendant said “hello, I expect your visiting your brother” “tell him I said hi”. As I don’t have a brother living on Arran we were just slightly perplexed, but in true British style we smiled and drove on. I don’t know why I didn’t ask her what she meant.

The excitement started to kick in as the extreme knitter didn’t known we were going to Arran and a ferry trip always adds to the adventure.

arran ferry 8th (2) (2000 x 1500)

Taking a dog on a ferry has some drawbacks. Some ferries make you sit in a seating area solely for dogs and owners. With a crossing taking an hour it would be nice to wander about, so we had to take it in turns to dog sit. I’ve noticed on this and previous ferry crossings that people without dogs sit in the dog seating areas. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps they prefer the company of dogs.

We are lucky that Ruby will do her toilet business on command, so she had an empty bladder before we boarded. 1 hour later, the ferry ramp slowly lowered on to the Isle of Arran and there was a mass exodus of vehicles from its bowels. It always makes me feel like we are on the starting grid on the ferry waiting for the green light to start the race.

The Calmac ferries run excellent services to and from the many islands dotted around Scotland. The one way crossing for two adults and a campervan only cost £22.50.

We don’t take to much food with us as we like to buy fresh from the shops on our travels. We hadn’t planned our evening meal and the fish and chip shop looked promising, but we have to pace ourselves, perhaps later in the week.

Exiting left out of the port we were making our way to the Seal shore campsite in the southern part of Arran. I had phoned whilst waiting to board the ferry to book three nights on this beach side campsite. I wasn’t to sure about the possibility of wild camping on Arran and as we would be here for a few days and the luxury of a camp site with electric hook-up, toilets and showers was too appealing. We will see how things work out during the next few days. Wild camping is always something we play by ear, if it feels right we’ll go for it.

Following the tight, sometimes single track roads lead us to Seal Shore. I had read how good this site was, but Wow!!. We were pitched up overlooking the sea with a light house in the distance and rock formations where the seals feed.

Seal Shore Campsite

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We just sat and chilled the evening away. It doesn’t get any better than this.

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Tallulha the Hula enjoyed the sunshine

talula the hoola

 

Here we go again

Here we go again, setting off on yet another trip to Scotland. The difference this time was there was a plan. The Isle of Arran being our main destination with a list of various places to visit. There are several reasons for visiting Arran that will be revealed as we continue the trip. Funnily enough the fact that Arran is famous for its woollen jumpers isn’t one of them.

We travelled on the Sunday from our home in the Midlands and broke the journey with an overnight stop at Castle Corner campsite just south of Dumfries. This is a 5 pitch certified site with the Motor caravanners club, but Non members are welcome.

Castle Corner Campsite

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The site is an oasis set in the Caerlaverock Castle estate beside the nature reserve. The owner was friendly and helpful. He was committed to creating a special camping area set amongst the trees with an Eco bias, like having a solar power mains hook-up on one of the pitches.

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The toilet is situated in the log cabin and its superb. It’s a bit of a shock when you first open the door expecting the worst and instead finding a super clean, modern toilet and washing area.

 

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The site is surrounded by various walks through the nature reserve to the castle.

The previously prepared meatballs in homemade tomato sauce is becoming a standard first night dish for us, as it’s quick and easy to heat up.

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Although we stayed just one night we will definitely be visiting this site again as it is ideal for breaking the journey to Scotland and as a weekend stay.

On the technical side I was trying out a new Diesel additive called Diesel Rhino which has some excellent reviews. Apart from increasing the engine power it’s supposed to increase miles per gallon, so a long trip like this will hopefully show some results. Puffin certainly felt smoother and seemed to have a bit more get up and than usual.

Diesel Rhino