The Secret Coast

This time last week we were staying in a wooden lodge on the fringes of Colvend Golf Course; there was even a hint of Spring in the air.  By the end of the week the climate had gone into sudden reverse such that we only escaped the snowy clutches of Dalbeattie by driving in close proximity to a snow plough; just a very lucky piece of timing.

We had hoped to follow in the footsteps of J.D. Riso and visit Threave but had arrived too soon in the season, the ferry to the Castle only starting from 1st April – we will simply have to go back.  Instead we spent most of our time walking the Secret Coast – a slogan which seems like a contradiction for a marketing campaign .  It is also unoriginal – Argyll further to the north claims exactly the same odd anonymity.  Secret or not, it is a beautiful place. This is Balcary Bay on the day when the weather was at its kindest:

Balcary BayOn the same afternoon we went deer stalking; well, I can dream.  Actually we came across this fine beast near the lower reaches of Loch Ken; he was penned but seemed content enough and so used to human company that he became quite inquisitive:




The next day winter returned with a vengeance – this was the lodge on the morning of our escape as the snow blew in on a bitter northeast wind, ironically from somewhere near here:

Cumstoun Lodge


  1. Mary Gilmartin · March 26, 2013

    Sometimes we do visit places a little early. I feel the chill in your last photograph. Hope you had a good time, otherwise. What a fine looking beast staring back at your camera probably wondering when you’ll be back.

    • northumbrianlight · March 26, 2013

      Impatient for Spring I guess – we had a grand time but the freezing temperatures were much the same when the sun shone as when the snow fell 🙂

  2. LaVagabonde · March 26, 2013

    Oh no! That’s disappointing. Hopefully you can make it back.

    Love the photos. What a magnificent animal.

    • northumbrianlight · March 26, 2013

      Thanks, I think he was a bit of a poser 🙂
      I am sure we will go back later in the year – it is only a couple of hours drive from where we live and although in Scotland it is more or less on the same latitude as Hexham.

  3. easyweimaraner · March 26, 2013

    Oh no … not, this snow again… btw: are dogs allowed on golf courses in uk ? (we are pondering about our holiday in summer – if we will have a summer…)

    • northumbrianlight · March 26, 2013

      Oh yes…..and still it falls 😦
      There is no consistency about dogs – the bigger/posher courses generally don’t like it but the smaller friendlier clubs are more tolerant. Having said that my local modest club passed a ruling last year restricting access for dogs (based on concerns about the wildlife) but if the course is quiet and the dog well behaved then the greenkeepers can be relied on to ignore it. Personally, I like to see a dog walking the course.

      • easyweimaraner · March 26, 2013

        “well behaved” could be a problem, but he is on a leash on the golf course – otherwise we would have a hole-in-one :o)

      • northumbrianlight · March 26, 2013

        He looks entirely trustworthy 🙂 My game is better suited to a retriever.

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