Leaving the lovely Peak District we wound our way through Macclesfield (site of one of the Ewbank ancestral homes) back towards the motorway and started the long flog north. Despite a headwind of about 300mph we had good weather and relatively light traffic – both of which helped to make it a pleasant journey.
As we were now a couple of days ahead of our original timetable we needed to find a stopover without straying too far off the motorway – after a bit of head scratching we remembered that about four years ago we’d overnighted at Hoddom Castle Campsite which is just over the border near Lockerbie and, despite the site being rather busier than we’d expected, they managed to squeeze us in for the night. It’s a nice site, but we wondered quite what visitors from overseas would make of their spelling! A short morning walk from the campsite up to the nearby Repentance Tower provided a more than adequate supply of fresh air and good views of the Solway Firth, both of which set us up for the next leg of the journey up to Luss on the western shore of Loch Lomond. As we were still a day ahead of our schedule we were again fortunate that the campsite managed to fit us in for the extra day.
Luss is a pretty’model’ village, built early in the nineteenth century by the local Colquhoun family (who apparently own some 75,000 acres on the western side of the loch) for their workers in the local slate quaries; nice at this quiet time of year but I imagine it must get absolutely rammed during the tourist season. The following day we cycled the 8 miles along the loch-side up to Tarbert – which I’m afraid to say had absolutely nothing to recommend it!
Veronica Ann, Erin Beth, Anya Rose, Kathryn Jane and Angela Vera. Isn’t it strange how Eddie Stobart’s lorries always seem to have such posh names? Not that I’m complaining of course – after all it makes a pleasant change from Scania, Volvo, Bedford (showing my age there I think) and the like. Anyway, we passed these particular beauties en-route from home to Scotland earlier today – perhaps now that we’re north of the border we’ll encounter Morag, Fiona and Janet plying their way around the highways and byways of Scotland? Whilst I’m on the subject of Mr Stobart’s fleet I do think it a bit of a retrograde step for him to allow his drivers to ‘dress down’ by shedding their ties. Not that it makes them any less capable as drivers of course…….. but standards, Eddie, standards!
Our first stop (not counting obligatory pee stops every two hours on the motorway) is at Hoddom Castle a few miles from the wonderfully named Ecclefechan, just north of the border. The castle itself has undoubtedly seen better days but still makes an imposing ruin and a good focus for the campsite – which I’m happy to say is pleasantly empty. For once the English can’t be blamed for knocking the place about from time to time over the past 600 years – the Scots seem to have managed that all on their own. What, Scotsmen looking for a fight? Who’d have thought it! A short walk up a nearby hill to the aptly named Repentance Tower (if it had been any steeper I’m sure I’d have been meeting my maker) was rewarded by great 360 degree views over some wonderful countryside in the evening sunlight.
….holiday blogs, motoring obsessions and an occasional account of goings-on in the Ewbank household