Day 146: Port William to Sandhead

Distance: 22.10 miles

Ascent: 1257 feet

Weather: SUnny Very Hot

Accommodation: Sands of Luce Holiday Park (Kindly Complimentary)


I was up early, and it was already hot, though there was a good breeze making it bearable. The first part of my day was very simple following the quite quiet road along the coast, with very few inclines all the way to Auchemaig. I had hoped the Cock Inn which has erected a massive sign outside, would be open for a quick tea break but it wasn’t so I sat on a bench nearby and had a few snacks.

After walking along the small beach I joined up with a core path that took me up and over the cliffs all the way to Stairhaven. This section was lovely with views over the giant Luce Bay and the descent down to Stairhaven was pretty steep but made for lovely views across the little cove.

At Stairhaven my route joined a quiet road which took me up to my favourite road the A75! Fortunately I only had to walk along the verge for a short part about 500m before a cycle route took me to my turn off. I can’t deny I was feeling the effects of the heat by now and my water was starting to run low so I walked up to a house not far from the road and asked for some water. They were just sitting down for Sunday lunch and I was tempted to ask to join, but obviously I didn’t, but I did get a nice refill of cold water which went down very well.

From here the walking was on moderately quiet lanes for the next 5 miles or so skirting the outside of the military base. There was no breeze and the heat was starting to have quite an effect and several times I had to stop and sit in the shade just to allow my core temperature to drop. At this stage I passed a field of the mightiest bulls I have seen there must have been about 40 of the giant beasts all in one field and all ringed, I did not know you could keep large bulls together but obviously you can.

I finally reached the turn off to the Mull of Galloway Trail, which would take me the final couple of miles through the dunes to my final point of the week at Sands of Luce Holiday Park. Just as I was entering the dunes I passed a guy who sternly warned me to watch out for the large adders which were basking on the path. Now that I had been told this everything suddenly appeared like an adder, whether a broken piece of bramble, a fallen twig, a scuff in the sand or even an unfurled bit of fern. But unfortunately, I did not see one, as I have never actually seen an adder.

I arrived at the Sands of Luce Holiday Park looking thoroughly exhausted and if I’m honest actually feeling a bit lethargic/dazed from the heat but was very happy to have reached my rest day. The site was in a lovely situation behind the dunes and had great facilities and a little nice bar, though more than one pint after the sun would have sent me over the edge. The site manager Jack had kindly let me pitch for free, and as I am writing this a little late in fact let me stay in their house on the second night as well as treating me to dinner on the first night and cooking me dinner on the second night for which I am extremely grateful.

An extremely hot day at the end of an extremely hot week, but very happy to be by the beach for my rest day.

A short diary for a day that was primarily lane walking and for some reason maybe due to the heat I didn’t take many photos so below is the best of a bad bunch.

charles compton