Cycled to Preston to catch 06:40 train to Carlisle then the train
to Dumfries. Set off cycling east on the A709. At 9:30 stopped at
Lynn's Road bus stop to photograph the old ruin of Torthorwald Castle in
a field and surrounded by a moat. Continued overcast busy and
uninteresting until I arrived in Lochmaben town.
The first thing I saw was the Statue of Robert the Bruce outside the
Old Town Hall which is now the library. The main street has Robert
at one end and the other is a statue of a soldier for the Great War
Memorial. Left Lochmaben on A909 with the loch to my right.
The road continued busy and was long straight runs making it fairly
dull for cycling. Up a short Rise there was a right bend and the
entrance gates to the main Lockerbie cemetery. I rode through the
small car park adjacent and then through the cemetery to the far end
where there is a Memorial Garden to the Lockerbie air disaster 21st
Lockerbie Air Crash Memorial
I stopped for a while and took a few photos and several other people
visiting did the same. I reached the town of Lockerbie and made a
detour to Sherwood Crescent and the small memorial there which is in
remembrance to the people who died on the ground when the Jet engine
crashed into their houses. Although it is surrounded by a
well-tended grass area it is not visible from the road and has no
obvious path to it.
Sherwood Crescent Memorial
I left the crescent and join the main road and cycled into the
centre of Lockerbie. Just before I turned right I saw a chip shop
and decided to buy some. It was £1.80 for a portion of chips and as
they had a connection into the chip shop café and I asked the lady
could I eat my chips there. She said yes but I would have to have
them on a plate and they would be £2.20.
Valley of the Water of Milk
I decided to eat them outside and sat on a low wall by some stone
sculptures of sheep. The road was quite busy at first and wasn't
that easy with long stretches of climb and descent. I eventually
reach the Bridge at Paddockhall and turned sharp left over a narrow
bridge and then almost immediately right to follow a narrow lane
along the River called Water of Milk.
The weather continued cold and overcast but the views were
reasonably pleasant and the wind was coming from my right and
causing me no particular problems. I reached Bailieill and stopped
briefly to look at an information board about the nearby Hill fort.
I didn't have time to see it so continue down and turn left to
follow a narrow lane towards Castle O’er. It is a single track road
going through the forest and again whilst Pleasance cycling.
Near Castle O’er stopped to have a look at a stone structure by
the road making a very loud noise of flowing water. As I peered
inside saw it is a storage system with a pipe jetting clear water
into the bottom.
Eskdalemuir Community Hub Village Hall
I stopped briefly in a car park to look at another information board
about a hill fort just above but once again it was too far to walk
in cycling shoes. The road opened up and I had views across the
valley and the river below which is the White Esk. I reach the
outskirts of Eskdalemuir which is where I'd plan to camp for the
night but had no idea exactly where.
Eskdalemuir solar panels
I had a look at the Bridge by the river but there were no
campsites fortunately a spring that is marked on the map was there
by the road and I was able to fill my water bottles. I passed the
church and its well mown surrounding grounds and onto the Community
Hub Building which is the old school. Across from it was a Tarmac
car park with some grass area on the far end. This was just big
enough at one corner to fit a tent. The Community Hub advertised
itself as a village hall and cafe and was open so I went in. I was
pleasantly surprised to see how modern and tidy it looked and had a
pot of tea for one which only cost £1. I asked the lady behind the
counter if the car park was part of the hall and she said it was but
that camping there was frowned on. However she told me there was
some grassy area to the rear of the hall which may be better to hide
a tent on and I agreed. Although she couldn't give me official
permission I decided to pitch my tent there and was glad that I did
as it was starting to snow. It had been cold during the day with
temperatures hovering around 2 to -2 degrees centigrade. I pitch my
tent and enjoyed a pleasant evening cooking my tea. Much later on I
could hear the large timber lorries trundling along the road and
they continued through the night.