travelling Travelling in South West Scotland


The Guvnor
Staff member


In truth the city centre is grim, the bypass in the 80s and subsequent out of town developments literally killed it.
But if they start living in the centre again it has all the makings of being lovely again.
I planted a tree at Arbigland in 1997 for JPJ’s 250th birthday. They wanted ‘an American Acer’ and got Acer negundo - a Manitoba Maple. Not what I would have picked, but I didn’t have a say in the tree.

Sorry to hear Dumfries is still sad, despite having the bones of a charming place. I’ve often thought the same of Carlisle.


The Guvnor
Staff member
There are a whole bunch of shops, abandoned, in the central market area. Each has a "what do you think we should do with this building?". There seems a community effort to rethink the town centre.

In many ways it may be what a lot of city centres will have to address.

Given the ongoing grind of austerity I can't see anything funded happening (combined library/crèche/CAB) so I think homes on the high streets seems the next thing to explore.

It's going to need proper mixed type/class social planning on the Dutch model.

We did find some gems: Cavens Arms and Back Street were good for food and it has all the makings.


The Guvnor
Staff member
Well the next day we headed North, first to Drumlanrig Castle then to Moniaive (closed) then across the beatiful hills and moors to Ayr. Scone and tea on the seaside and then up to Gleddoch, Port Glasgow.

This was a haphazard recce, next we shall return backtracking some of the previously suggested itinerary via Jedburgh.

Photos follow.