of Scotland - Annandale
lochs glitter amongst the gentle hills of Annandale and Eskdale,
south of which lie the fiat Solway marshes, where sea birds gather
on a huge nature reserve. The turbulent history of the borderlands
haunts this stretch of countryside. Fortresses and castles stand
in ruins after endless raids, and the memory of Robert Bruce,
hero king of Scotland -- lingers on in the places he visited.
red-brick houses over-look banks of River Annan, where anglers
try for salmon and trout. Dismantled railway, now over-grown,
once led to bridge across Solway Firth. Locally born historian,
Thomas Carlyle, taught at Annan Academy in the 19th century.
of ditches and huge bank remain from Iron Age hill-fort, built
on narrow ridge between Annandale and Nithsdale.
road leads to top of Beattock Hill. Iron Age fort lies near summit,
with extensive views over Annandale. In days of steam, trains
laboured to climb dramatic 10 mile incline of Beattock Bank.
footpath leads to cave above Kirtle Water where, according to
legend, Robert Bruce hid from the English invaders in 1306 and,
inspired by a spider trying again and again to spin its web, carried
on his struggle for independence.
Age defences extend 17 acres on windswept hilltop, looking out
to Solway Firth and Cumbrian coast. Remains of two Roman siege
camps on opposite hillside date from AD 155, and small Roman fort
dates from AD 140.
fortress on shore of Solway Firth has mysterious origins. Built
during 1290s, but whether by English or Scots is unknown. Largely
destroyed 1320, rebuilt a few years later and demolished again
by Scots in 1357. Pink-sandstone gatehouse survives from castle
rebuilt 15th century, reduced to ruins in 1640. Finely carved
panels remain from mansion added to building in 1630s by Robert
Maxwell, 1st Earl of Nithsdale.
geese from Spitzbergen and large flocks of pink-footed and greylag
geese make this 13,000 acre area of salt marsh and foreshore a
notable bird sanctuary. Wild ducks and waders haunt creeks and
reed banks. Hides and observation towers.
Great Hall, dungeons and fine bedrooms create medieval atmosphere
in 15th-century castle on Scottish border. Picnic area and nature
trail in surrounding woodland.
Baronial mansion, 19th-century, houses Craigcleuch collection
of curiosities found by early Scottish explorers, including carved
coral and ivory, African sculptures, Chinese jade animals, prehistoric
ornaments and implements. Set in parkland overlooking Esk valley,
with views north between 'Gates of Eden' hills.
Annan flows down this 500ft deep hollow among four barrett hills
which look, according to Sir Walter Scott in his novel Red-gauntlet,
'as if they were laying their heads together to shut out the daylight
from the dark hollow space between them'.
of stout 16th-century tower stand by northern shores of St Mar/s
loch. Once home of Mary Scott, ancestor of Sir Walter Scott.
Thomas Carlyle born 1795in 'Arched House' built by his father
and uncle, master masons. Restored as in his day, containing papers
and personal belongings.
lying at foot of Eskdale hills. A 300-year-old bell hangs in churchyard
tree; put there for safety when old church was demolished, stayed
when the new church was built 1867. Fine views of Ewes Water and
and waymarked walks wind through woods and hills thick with grass
or bracken, some-times under trees bent over to meet one another.
Picnic site beside stream fringed by spruce and alder.
close to the border with England where runaway couples could seek
quick marriages under easygoing Scottish law at the old tollhouse
or smithy, until the custom was banned in 1940. Old Blacksmith's
Shop, where wed-dings were performed by an 'anvil priest', now
leads to foot of this spectacular 200ft waterfall formed by Tail
Burn dropping from Loch Skene to join Moffat Water. Area rich
in wild flowers has herd of wild goats.
16th-century watchtower built by John Maxwell stands on hill above
site of 16th-century tower castle. Visitor centre is start of
riverside and woodland walks.
mills surround this textile centre where River Esk meets Wanchope
Water and Ewes Water; spanned by several bridges. Narrow, twisting
streets of old part contrast with 18th-century houses of 'new'
town across river. Ruined peel tower was home to the Armstrong
family, ancestors of astronaut Neil Armstrong -- first man on
reserve surrounds the creeper-clad ruins of a 14th-century castle,
reputed birthplace of Robert Bruce. Both James IV and Mary, Queen
of Scots visited castle. Look for greylag and pink-footed geese
in Castle and High-tae lochs. Statue near the town hail recalls
local man William Paterson, co-founder of Bank of England in 1694.
valley transformed in 1983 by reservoir, stocked with trout. Picnic
areas with good viewpoints. Visitors can walk along top of dam.
centre, symbolized by ram statue in high street. Spring discovered
1633 made it popular spa. Robert Burns among those who came to
take waters. Baths Hall of 1827 now town hall. Local crafts thrive
at woollen mill.
created late 1700s at mouth of Pow Water. Sand yachting on beach.
Golf course. Kinmount gardens with lakeside walks and resident
with Palladian frontage built 1760 for Dr James Mounsey, physician
to Tsarina Elizabeth of Russia. Annandale views, picnic site,
woodland walks and garden.
has late 7th-century cross, 18ft high, carved with figures and
runic verses from Anglo-Saxon poem The Dream of the Rood; possibly
written by Caedmon, a 7th-century monk and poet from Whitby in
Yorkshire. Small museum commemorates Henry Duncan in cottage where
he founded Scottish Savings Bank. Displays include bank archives
p.' and room settings of late 18th and early 19th centuries.
and angling centre. Statue of local poet James Hogg (1770-1835)
stands above Tibbie Shiels Inn. Single-track road to beauty spot
of Talla Reservoir.
of church lies above River Annan. Mungo was 6th-century 'Apostle
of Strathclyde' who became Glasgow's patron saint.
engineer Thomas Telford, born 1757. As an apprentice he , worked
on the bridge at nearby Langholm.
with a churchyard memorial marking mass grave of border outlaw
Johnnie Armstrong and 36 of his men, sent to gallows with-out
trial by James V, 1530.
15th-century fortress of the Kirkpatricks and later Carlyles is
an unsafe ruin. View it from road.
walking country where Talla Water meets Tweed. Church built in
1874 has war memorial from oak tree planted 100 years earlier
by writer Sic Walter Scott. Covenantor's stone of 1685 lies in