Meandering in Melrose

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In March, we went on our very first overnight trip in Poggle, staying in a small town in the Scottish Borders called Melrose. I’m happy to report that the trip was mostly okay though there were some scary bits…

@HeatherAlex quite sensibly decided that our first trip would be to a proper site, with water and toilets and electricity and all that (and a pub nearby!), just to make life easier on our first sleep-over. Mind you, someone got soaked trying to fill the water tank – a little matter of a high-pressure nozzle on the hose which did an imitation of a whirling dervish when the water was turned on! #chuckle

Once we’d parked up and she’d dried out a bit, we went out for a walk up some local hills called the Eildons – there are 3 tops to do, but we only did one of them.

view of Eildons

2 of the 3 tops (we only did the one on the left)

The start is quite steep, up a LOT of steps. Easy-peasy for me, of course…

steps on Eildon path

Someone (not me) was puffing by the top of these!

The lower slops are covered in gorse.

lower slops of Eildons

Look at all that rabbit-infested gorse 😉

Fellow rabbiteers will know, like me, that gorse bushes are an amazing place to hunt out rabbits. Which made it very unfair that I was on the lead as soon as she spotted the gorse 😦

Now the path from the steps to the gorse was a bit muddy but, oh my goodness, the next section was a VERY muddy and slippery pathway, inches deep in orange mud. Now I don’t mind a bit of mud, I must confess, and I have 4 paws so I’m pretty sure-footed in amongst it, but it’s a lot harder for humans to keep their balance especially with me tugging on that lead. I think @HeatherAlex was worried about slipping over, which is why we only did one of the 3 tops. At least, that’s what she said – personally, I think she had run out of puff!

Once we were past the gorse, we did play quite a lot of Fetch with my ball so I did get a chance to run around a bit.

On the Eildon path

A quick break from chasing the ball to check for rabbits…

And then we were at the top!

I do manage a very nice Sit & Wait 🙂

Coming down was every bit as muddy and slippery, not to mention rabbit-less thanks to my lead, but we made it in the end. We went to the pub for “a swift half and a chew” (I’ll let you work out who had what!), but it was very crowded and noisy, thanks to the Scotland-England rugby match being on the tv. Don’t ask me about the score, it’s still a sore point… So we wandered around Melrose for a while before tea – there’s a nice abbey but we didn’t go in.

Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey

The actual sleeping-over was okay, to my surprise. It was like a proper bed with all our usual blanket, fleece & so on, so it was more or less like home. The only bit I really really didn’t like was when @HeatherAlex went off to the toilets in the morning, and I started being a bit frightened and shivery till she got back.

We were going home that day (it really was a short trip) but we managed to fit in a walk by the river before we left.

chain link bridge

We’re headed for that bridge…

Tweed banks

I do love walking beside a river…

All too soon, it was time to turn around and head back to Poggle.

chain link bridge

Can you read the notice? No horses or cattle, no loitering or jumping, and no more than 8 people at a time…

chain link bridge

And there are the Eildons again…

We headed home after that walk, happy that we’d survived our first stay in Poggle!

Adventures in a van – maybe!

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Some of you might remember that last year we hired a campervan and headed north to a wee village called Contin. You might also remember that I wasn’t particularly happy about that whole trip. Maybe it was the smell of all the furs who’d been in the van before me, I don’t know. Anyway, I thought that me being unhappy meant that @HeatherAlex would give up on her idea of buying a van.

Hmmph.

It did not.

In January, she came home from a day away and told me she’d bought our very own van and wouldn’t that be lovely? Hmmmm….I wasn’t so sure.

autocruise accent van

The van … It’s quite big …

She brought back some pictures of it (of course) so I could see what it was like…

autocruise accent van

That’s the kitchen on the right – doesn’t look very big to me

autocruise accent van

Seems that these turn into our bed?

autocruise accent van

There’s even a toilet!

autocruise accent van

That kitchen still looks small to me…

About two weeks later, off she went to get it and brought it home.

autocruise accent van

It’s been clamped already! 😉

When she brought it home, she put loads of my things in it – blanket, seat cover, vet-bed, a towel or two, even some toys. And it smelled like it was, well, mine. So maybe I could get to like it?

Since then, I’ve been in and out of it a few times to play and get treats. It doesn’t live with us any more, as it is too big for our street really, but I’ve been over to visit it at its new home a couple of times, and every time I get a nice chew. I think someone is trying to bribe me!

Oh and it’s got a name now. Seems that “it” is really a “she”, and she is called “Poggle”. If you are very clever and observant, you may spot that that is based on its, errm, HER numberplate. And that is thanks to my pal, Teagan, whose mum suggested her name. So Poggle she is, aka the Pogmobile, or the Pog for short. I’ll be writing about our adventures with Poggle in future!

Chillin’ in Contin

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This month, we had a bit of an adventure. Normally, when we go on holiday, we rent a dog-friendly cottage in an interesting place with lots of walks and fur-friendly places to visit. This time, it was a bit different. No cottage for us – we rented a campervan instead. It was from Big Tree Campervans near Perth who have a fur-friendly campervan.

campervan

Our van! (it’s called Alder)

Simon from Big Tree was very helpful and kind to us newbie campervanners and showed us how everything worked. Well, actually he showed @HeatherAlex while I ran off and explored their garden 🙂

The van was bigger than I thought it would be. Lots of room for all our stuff (I need lots and lots of my favourite things when we go away!) and a kitchen and cupboards and a seat that turns round and a clever bed that folds out. Oh, and another bed in the roof – that was VERY clever – not that I was allowed up there in case I fell through the hole in the ceiling.

Twiglet on seat

But it’s rather a long way up here…

Now the first thing I noticed when we drove off was that @HeatherAlex was a lot further away from me than she is in a car. I was a bit lonely all the way back there on the seat, so I tried jumping off it a few times, until I was told very firmly to stay put and the harness safety lead was shortened so I didn’t have much choice 😦

We drove for quite a bit, with a visit to a place called Ralia for lunch, a quick walk and checking of pee-mail, and finally we ended up in a wee village not far from Inverness called Contin, at the Riverside campsite.

Roverside sign

Our home-from-home for 3 days…

Guess why it’s called that?

riverside pic

Yep, there’s a river at the end of the site 🙂

Once we’d parked up, it was time to put the roof up because someone kept bumping her head 😉 During the day, we could fold up the bed platform so it was out of the way.

van with roof up

There’s a bed in that roof!

If I’m being completely honest, I wasn’t entirely sure about this campervanning malarkey. It probably didn’t help that the weather was cold and wet. I did point out that the previous week was lovely and sunny and would’ve been much better but that didn’t cheer anyone up for some reason. I had to be on a lead on the campsite, but I didn’t want to be in the van, so I sat outside for a bit getting wet.

Twiglet sitting outside

I *know* it’s raining but the van’s too small for the 2 of us!

Eventually, we went for a walk in the forest at Contin, which is handily just a few minutes’ walk away down the main road.

Contin forest sign

Time for a forest walk 🙂

It wasn’t a very long walk though because I was a bit fed up and didn’t want to walk very far. Well, it was raining, after all! Life improved when our friend Ally arrived though, and we went for another walk in the wee wood across the road…

five-acre wood

All set for our big walk…

Actually, 5 acres isn’t very big at all so it only took us about 10 minutes to walk round the whole wood! I did have to stop and inspect a Giant Squirrel though.

wooden sculpture

It’s HUGE!!

So quite soon we were back at the van, and it was time to celebrate Ally’s big birthday.

birthday cake

Happy Birthday Ally!

I wasn’t allowed any of the chocolate cake (sigh) but I did get some special treats.

Twiglet getting a treat

Yummy, it’s chicken!

It was quite cosy in the van, and the heater worked very well (just as well as it was chilly outside). Bedtime was … interesting. Ally had to climb up into the roof-bed (that was quite fun to watch). We turned the seat into our bed but I was still not very happy about being dragged away from my home, smells, parks and pals, and I slept on the other side of the bed for most of the night just to show I wasn’t very pleased. Until I got too cold and started shivering, so I caved in and snuggled up to keep warm.

The next day we all went for a nice long forest walk. We started at Rogie Falls and worked our way almost all the way back to Contin then turned round and headed back to the car at Rogie.

Rogie falls suspension bridge

The bridge at the falls has gaps in it – I had to be careful where I put my paws!

Rogie Falls

The falls are quite impressive…

I was keeping an eye out for deer to chase, but the only deer we saw was carved on a signpost.

signpost

You’d think the signpost was pointing to where you’d find deer, wouldn’t you?

We found a great spot for lunch. Someone has built a shelter in the forest and it was big enough for us to sit and have lunch inside it, out of the showers.

wooden stick shelter

My own lunch place…

Well, to be honest, once the other two were inside, there wasn’t that much room for me!

Twig in the doorway

I need to fit in as well, you know!

We added in a detour up to a place in the middle of the forest called View Rock. I think on a sunny day, it would actually be a nice view…

view from the rock

…but the cloud was down and it’s a bit dreich!

We only got lost once. I didn’t mind as I got to scamper down and back up beside a lovely burn but the other two were muttering under their breath all the way back up the path. Actually it wasn’t really under their breath 😉 All in all, though, it was a good walk, and we didn’t get too wet, which was a bonus.

Ally headed off to go to a concert after tea-time and so we had a quiet evening. I did deign to cosy up on the seat while @HeatherAlex was reading, but that was mostly because it was chilly!

On our last day, we decided to drive most of the way back to Perth in the morning and go visit a different wood at The Hermitage near Dunkeld. It’s owned by the National Trust for Scotland, but parking is free for us members.

sign for the woods

Hermitage Woods – lots of paths and a river as well…

We just did a short walk of about an hour, but there are much longer ones as well. We went round an interesting trail that had Ossian’s Hall and Ossian’s Cave on it. The Hall is quite small but has a great view of the river…

Ossian's Hall

I’m glad the bars were there – it was a long way down!

Ossian's cave interior

The cave has more interesting smells though!

I had to be dragged out though, cos I found some food in there (hee hee)

I had to be dragged out though, cos I found some food in there (hee hee)

On the way back to the van, we met loads of people in red and yellow suits and wetsuits, coming up the path. I think it was a rescue team going to practice rescues at the river. I’m glad they had wetsuits though because it was very wet and even more chilly by then!

Fire & Rescue service

They weren’t here to rescue me, honest!

That was the end of the adventure, because then we took the van back, and I snuggled into my usual spot in the car with some relief. Familiar territory at last! I fear that may not be the end of the story though, as I think we may try again in the future to see if I can be persuaded to enjoy it. We will see……..

Wandering in Wales (May 2015)

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After Cornwall, our second week of holidays was in North Wales in a place called Caernarfon. It was MUCH bigger than where we stayed in Cornwall, and had a HUGE castle as well.

Caernarfon castle

It’s a very big castle but it’s not dog-friendly so we didn’t go in…

This week we had our good friend Carolyn staying with us for most of the week. I like snuggling up with Carolyn…

twig on seat

There’s just about enough room for both of us…

We used a different book to help us find good walks this week. It was very clear in all its instructions which made doing the walks straightforward.

guide book

Lots of good walks in here, but only a few were near where we stayed 😦

We stayed in a nice dog-friendly house just on the outskirts of Caernarfon, with a park across the road for our early morning walks and a steam railway just below us! The only slight problem was the two (TWO) cats next door as I spent a lot of time trying to see them and chase them. There was a lovely conservatory with views into the garden so I could play Spot-The-Cats 🙂

view to garden

No cats on view just now…

squirrel thru window

… SQUIRREL!!!!

twig on sofa

…and sometimes it was nice to doze after a hard day’s walking

park

Our morning walks were in this lovely wee park…

Erw Goed

… and the house was right beside the railway line

There weren’t very many trains a day so it wasn’t too noisy, and in any case, I liked hearing the trains chuffing past every so often.

WHR engine

Here comes the steam train…they tooted when we waved 🙂

We even took a trip on the train one day, just a short ride down to Dinas so we could walk back along the cycle path.

train tickets

I really like my special “Rover” ticket (and the people were third class!)

twiglet on train

I was mostly well-behaved…

WHR locomotive

This was our train when we got to Dinas – it’s quite big!

Then we had an easy walk back to the house along the cycle path. It was a very handy path as you could also walk into Caernarfon on it, and stay off the busy roads.

cycle path entrance

We walked into Caernarfon a fair number of times on the path…

Our first proper walk though was up a hill called Conwy Mountain. It was a great hill, but it was very windy that day – my ears kept blowing the wrong way!

path on Conwy Mountain

Ears flapping in the wind…

view of the hill

It was a lovely walk, even if it was on-lead (because of the sheep)

After our windy walk on the hill, it was time for lunch so we went into Conwy and found a great cafe where we could sit outside. @HeatherAlex had what sounded like “welsh rabbit”, which would obviously be delicious, but she told me it was mostly cheese, which is also delicious. I did get a few crumbs 🙂

Conwy has a castle too, but we didn’t explore it. Instead we went for a walk across the suspension bridge and had a look at the tiny Toll House where people used to pay to cross the bridge.

COnwy castle

All these places have castles, it seems…

suspension bridge

…but I liked the bridge better

mussel statue

… and there was this pile of HUGE mussels by the harbour!

We needed to walk off our lunches, so we went to explore Aber Falls.

slate fence

First, we walked past some fences made out of thin stones called slates – very different to the stone walls I’m used to…

view to the falls

It was a great walk out to the falls, even if I did have to be on the lead…

welsh ponies

…because there were other animals about

Aber Falls

It was definitely worth the walk, and I had a great paddle in the stream below the falls

My people quite like woods and waterfalls, like me, so the next day we went off to find the Swallow Falls. We had to drive up a VERY narrow and steep road to get to the car park. It had nice views but I did NOT like the drive (I don’t think my people much liked the drive either).

view from car park

There were peacocks hollering in the distance too but I wasn’t allowed to chase them this holiday…

in the woods

…still, it was a really lovely woodland walk…

twig with a twig

I found some tasty sticks to chew…

Swallow Falls

…and the falls were impressive

We had taken a picnic lunch so we didn’t have to find a dog-friendly restaurant but we found one in Capel Curig anyway, just for a wee refreshment, as they say in Scotland. And then it was off to our afternoon walk at Cwm Idwal.

view of the mountains

It was a beautiful area but it was oh so windy!

cwm idwal

The lake (Llyn Idwal) has waves and spray from the wind…

My people could barely stand up in the gusts of winds (I was fine, being nearer the ground), so we didn’t finish the walk that was in the book, and hot-pawed it back down the path to the car!

It was nice and sunny the next day, though, so we went to find a nearby beach for a long walk and much chasing of the ball. DInas Dinlle has MILES of sand. Part of it is not for dogs though, so it’s best to park in the last car park as that is right by where dogs can be.

beach view

There’s a LOT of beach….

view of hills

…with great views …

seagulls on beach

… some seagulls for chasing …

twiglet chasing ball

… and of course, balls to chase too 🙂

twig on beach

… I’m ready – you can throw it again now!

That afternoon, after lunch and some snoozes, we went to find Gelert’s Grave. It’s a sad story about a brave dog 😦 There’s a statue to him as well as a tombstone.

Gelert statue

Not sure what he’d have made of the lamb, mind you

We had a good walk after that (another one from the book) and ended up at a cafe in Beddgelert having ice creams. Yum!

On our last day, me and @HeatherAlex were on our own and had to do packing and stuff (again!), so we went back to the beach at Dinas Dinlle for some ball chasing.

twig with ball

There’s no escape for this ball…

twig with ball

Here I come – throw it again!

And all too soon it was time to leave Wales. I had a great holiday with loads and loads of walks and ball chasing. Still, at least we were driving to a very special birthday celebration with the family, so we had that to look forward to.

Cavorting in Cornwall (May 2015)

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I’m a very lucky dog as my best friend takes me on holiday with her (mostly!) and so I get to explore new places, new woods, new beaches, and there are loads of new smells for me to sniff. This year, we went on two holidays in one trip, as we went to Cornwall for a week and then to North Wales for a week, followed by a birthday celebration in Oxfordshire. (I was quite glad to get home after all this, by the way – 2000 miles is a lot of driving!)

Anyway, this is my tale of our travels in Cornwall. Where we stayed was over 500 miles from home – the furthest I’ve been away from home ever!

We stayed in a lovely dog-friendly cottage called Vernon’s Retreat (I’m not sure who Vernon is – we didn’t meet him – just our lovely landlady-next-door who was ever so helpful and friendly). It was toasty warm, very comfortable and had LOTS of information about where I was welcome and where I wasn’t (that was especially handy for the beaches). The pub in the village, the Lanivet Inn, was also dog-friendly and we popped in there after a walk so I could bark at the other dogs. Well, I don’t think I was meant to, but I was there first so it was MY pub, right?

We had a great week there, mostly thanks to Toby the Dalmatian. I didn’t know Toby (sadly he went OTRB in 2011) but he wrote the most fantastic book telling you about all the great walks you and your humans can do in Cornwall.

book of walks

Every walk we did was a winner!

We did all of the walks near us – King’s Wood, Cardinham Woods, Luxulyan Valley, Padstow Beach – and they were all fantastic.  We also did some other walks, but Toby’s were easily the best!

For most of the week, our good friend Linda was with us. She’s great. She throws the ball for me loads, and for some reason that’s much more fun than when @HeatherAlex throws it so I usually take it to Linda for throwing 🙂

linda throws ball

Throw it again, please please please – yay!

Our first walks were in Cardinham Woods.

map of cardinham woods

We did all of these trails at least once!

There’s one walk where you go past an old mine and can catch a glimpse of the old engine house and chimney. We did that walk once and didn’t spot the buildings at all. I think it’s because it was raining and the people had their heads down trying to get back to the car. Because, honestly, they are very easy to see if you just look! We went back another day, and there they were, right by the path 🙂

chimney in the trees

See – it’s pretty obvious really…

Another of Toby’s walks was in a beautiful valley, called the Luxulyan Valley. You wouldn’t know it to look at it now, but it was a very industrial valley in its time. There’s a bit of a tramway that forms part of the path (it was a horse-drawn railway really) and up in the valley there are old buildings from that time…

Wheelpit

The old Wheelpit – I had a good sniff round this

Water was delivered to turn the wheel using “leats” – I liked checking them out in case there were any small furries lurking at the banks:

stone bridge

This little bridge is handy for checking out the leat…

This was part of a building that dried china clay…

china clay dry - chimney

…there’s lots of wildlife there now – I disappeared for a while to go sniff it out 🙂

At the far end of the walk, there was a viaduct and aqueduct across the valley so we just had to go out and walk on it, of course.

cornwall 2015-05-04 11.01.34

The aqueduct is dry just now, but runs right under the viaduct…

It’s amazing how beautiful an industrial site can become when it’s left to recover, with interesting reminders of what used to be there.

path thru trees

And it had lots of places to sniff out furries…

That afternoon, we went hunting for camels on the Camel Trail:

camel trail sign

We didn’t see a single camel! 😦

We did see lots of bikes though, and I had to stay on the lead because I could’ve found my way into fields with sheep (I think that’s why Toby didn’t put this walk in his book, to be honest).

cycle path

Too many cyclists – I think they scared off the camels…

The next day, we headed off to the Eden Project. This too is an old industrial site – it used to be an old clay pit so it is pretty amazing how it has been changed. It turns out that this was the main reason why we came to Cornwall but – impressive as the place is to the humans – it wasn’t my favourite day, sad to say.

biodomes

I wasn’t allowed inside these big bubbles 😦

It is dog-friendly – we’re allowed in the outdoor grounds and some of the buildings, and there’s shaded parking for when the people want to visit the bubbles and have to leave us dogs in the car. But I did spend quite a lot of time snoozing in the car – it was a bit lonely 😦

Still, I did get to walk around the outdoor part later on (on a lead, mind you) and found a few interesting bits to have a sniff at.

on stone seat

Wonder what’s on the other side of this?

I was allowed inside the Core building so we had a wander round that. I was a wee bit bored though…

twiglet yawning

…very clever, but can we go get lunch please? *yawn*

We went to have lunch in a dog-friendly pub called the Ship Inn, right near the beach at Par so we could go for a walk and run around the beach afterwards. Sadly the weather changed while we had lunch and it was VERY windy on the beach. It was a bit too windy, even for me, and I kept getting sand in my eyes, so after a few minutes I had had enough …

ball catching on beach

… sorry folks, I’m going back to the car!

So far we’d explored the middle of Cornwall and the south coast, so the next day it was the turn of the north coast. Being right in the middle of Cornwall was very handy! We went to a place called Padstow – among other things, it has a nice beach, as recommended by Toby, so off we went to explore it.

view across estuary

Lovely views, but I’d quite like to go to the beach…

It turns out that this is where the River Camel meets the sea. So THAT is what the Camel Trail is – it’s by the River Camel! Why they called a river after an animal from the desert beats me. Still, deserts have sand and so do beaches…

Twiglet on beach

…quite a LOT of sand, as it turns out 🙂

After running about and chasing my ball for a while, we went to find a dog-friendly pub called The Cornish Arms. It was very lovely, and very dog-friendly, with quite a lot of dogs. I barked a bit at some of them, but then I did settle down to chew my bone, so I was allowed to stay 🙂

After lunch, we went to Harlyn Bay along the coast a bit. It’s not one of Toby’s walks, which may be because it has a car park where you have to pay quite a lot even just for an hour or so. It has a massive beach too, but we were off for a walk on the South West Coast Path, so we didn’t worry about playing on the beach.

Actually it was quite hard to get across the beach if you wanted to keep your feet dry. @HeatherAlex just splashed through the stream but Linda decided to try and keep her feet dry…

rock clambering

Hard work, but the shoes stayed dry!

It was still quite windy though not as bad as the day before…

beach safety flag

You can see the beach flag blowin’ in the wind…

waves on the beach

…and the waves were HUGE – much bigger than me!

bay view

There are just so many fab beaches here…this one is further along the coast path

lifeboat station

A house on stilts, very odd…

For the next couple of days, we were on our own, so we went back to Cardinham Woods to find that old mine chimney – which we did, of course. We also did one more of Toby’s walks, at King’s Wood near St Austell. It was a nice walk through the woods and by a stream.

twiglet by stream

I like exploring woods and streams… it’s my favourite kind of walk

twiglet in stream

…especially if I can paddle in the stream too

That afternoon, we headed back to Par Sands for a less windy visit, thank goodness. I chased my ball and I found some places where furries live too…

twiglet on the dunes

Surveying the beach…

on beach with ball

I had fun with my ball…

Twiglet at hole

… then I found some rabbit holes in the bank of the stream…

twiglet in hole

What else could a terrier do…??

It’s just a shame I was on the lead – I’m sure I could have headed further in and found the furries…

Still, that was the end of the walk for me, and pretty much the end of our week in Cornwall too. We headed home and packed up all our stuff (we always seem to have a LOT of stuff!) so that we could drive north to Wales the next day. We had a great time in Cornwall, I loved it and was sorry to leave. I think we will have to go back…

The Big Walk in June & July

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The astute among you will notice that I’m writing about 2 months in one go here. Yes, I know, it’s cheating but honestly I have some great excuses. For a start, June was mega-busy. We were on holiday at the start (I mentioned that at the end of my May blog) so I had LOTS of pictures to sort through from that week, and then we were away again at the end of the month, visiting @HeatherAlex’s mum down in the Far South, so we had even more pictures. And then July…well, July was a very different month because I really didn’t see much of @HeatherAlex at all. I did LOTS of walking with my friends at Tails, but of course those walks don’t count for this Big Walk, because it has to be both of us walking.

Anyway, here goes with our Big Walk in June and July…

You’ll remember from May that we headed to the south of Scotland to a place called Newton Stewart to stay for a week, and we had a couple of good friends stay with us as well, which was great because they play with me too and throw the ball so it is double the fun (at least!). This is our friend Linda looking at waterfalls when she could be helping me chase squirrels…

woods wander

Waterfalls are nice, but I prefer sniffing out the wildlife 🙂

And this is our friend Ally, helping us to conquer the mountain (errm, hill) behind our cottage.

Cairnsmore of Fleet

On the very top of Cairnsmore of Fleet

We were staying near the Galloway Forest Park. It’s a great place with loads of walks, because it is quite a big park! And it has been there for over 60 years, which is a very long time – it’s even older than @HeatherAlex…  *chuckle*

Galloway F P 50th cairn

This is the cairn celebrating 50 years of the park (I’m behind it!)

The forest park has lots of trees, lochs and hills, so of course, most of my pictures are of trees, lochs and hills 🙂

Loch Bruntis

Our local loch near our cottage by Kirroughtree – bit chilly for a dip tho!

Loch Trool

Lovely and misty by Loch Trool

Loch Trool - east

This is at the other end of Loch Trool…

otter look-out

There were s’posed to be otters here but I couldn’t sniff or see any 😦

Loch Bruntis

Loch Bruntis again (the local loch)

Loch View trail

This was on a walk called “Loch View” – this was the ONLY spot with a view!

Some of the walks had things we weren’t expecting to find…

This is called “The Eye” at the Black Loch…

You can look through a tiny hole in it…

looking thru the eye

Well, you can look through it if you are tall enough (I wasn’t!)

And there was wild life of a sort too:

carving of deer head

I spotted this in one of the woods – didn’t smell much like a deer tho!

There weren’t just deer heads – we also saw some people heads on one of our walks – they looked very uncomfortable!

stone carving of head

A lonely head on top of a wall.. how odd…

stone carvings

These 3 were guarding a hole in the wall…still very odd!

We found some great places to eat or get a coffee – I especially liked the ones where they let me in! The Galloway Arms in Newton Stewart let me in the bar area (where you can eat). The Belted Galloway cafe at the car park in town (owned by the same people) is terrific too – they gave me a dog biscuit or three – yum! And they have the most accurate weather forecast tool I’ve ever seen, much better than those apps you get on phones 😉

sign at the belted galloway

It’s *always* right!

So that covers the holiday at the start of June. I’m going to skip through the rest of June a bit, mostly because you have already seen pictures of the local parks, the Whangie and Loch Ard, because they are our favourite walking places. I can’t resist showing you my favourite bit by Loch Ard though:

sculpture trail - squirrels

Can you guess why I like this part of the forest?? Look closely at the trees…

At the end of June we headed even further south to visit @HeatherAlex’s mum. You’ve seen lots of photos of Chobham Common so I won’t put many here. This is one of my favourites, because I just *love* this pond for plashing and jumping in:

chobham common pond

Look how far I can jump! (good practice for agility long jump)

While we were there, the walking shoes completely shredded themselves and new ones had to be bought:

old and new shoes

Just remember…I walked all those miles on my PAWS!!!

On the way home, we visited Lincolnshire for a wedding, so we went exploring and found a pond for me to splash in (it’s in Twigmoor Woods, so it was VERY appropriate for me to walk there!).

pond in Twigmoor Woods

Lovely on the paws…

Back home for July and we squeezed in some walks in our favourite parks…

Rouken Glen

Hiding in the grass at Rouken Glen…

Pollok House gardens

Hiding in the maze at Pollok House gardens…

Boardwalk at Mugdock Park

Back on the boardwalk at Mugdock…

with Briso at Rouken Glen

Playing Fetch with my pal Briso at Rouken Glen

Reaching at Pollok pond

Just…can’t…quite…reach…that…darn…stick!

And finally… looks like I have a new playmate at Queens’ Park – this is Clyde, the mascot of the Commonwealth Games which were held here in Glasgow over 11 days in July and August.

Clyde at Queens Park

Errm, he’s quite a tall thistle, isn’t he??

So that’s a quick scurry through my walks in June and July. We clocked up 129 more miles in June, and a measly 67 in July. But we had reached the grand total of 757 by the end of July, which is pretty good going as it means we are three-quarters of our walk to our target of 1000 miles. As ever, if you’d like to sponsor me and help the John Muir Trust to keep wild land wild, you can donate here.

Thanks for reading!

PS In case you’re wondering if my typist/best friend/walking buddy had gone off on holiday without me, nope, she was being a Clyde-sider for the Commonwealth Games. She had a wonderful time, she says (even though I wasn’t around, so I do find that hard to believe), and drove some very smart-looking cars around Glasgow with Games people in them. I’ve decided to let her put ONE picture here to show what she was doing…

collage of cars

These are the sports logos from the car she drove each day…and the uniform is quite smart too!

A Grand Day Out

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Just for a change, this post isn’t about me but @HeatherAlex, cos she had a very exciting day last month. I went to stay with my friends at Tails of Tranquility, so I was having a great time while she was away.

Some of you may be tennis fans, so you will know all about this day too. It’s when my favourite favourite tennis player in the whole world won Wimbledon… *wag*

So this is the story I heard once all the excitement was over…

@HeatherAlex went to Wimbledon with our friend @CatCripps, who had been lucky enough to get some tickets for Finals Day. They decided to sit outside in a place called “The Hill” – it’s a big hill with a view of a big screen. It was very busy…

The Hill

Sitting at the top of the hill watching telly

All those bits with grass were filled up with people by the time the Big Match started.

I won’t bore you with a blow-by-blow account of the match, mostly because they didn’t take any pictures. I was watching it with my friends at Tails and it was VERY exciting. I had my paws over my eyes at the most exciting bits… And then it was all over!

Winning moment

He’s done it!

@HeatherAlex and @CatCripps were quite pleased with the result:

happy smiles

Don’t they look happy! 🙂

And Andy was pretty pleased as well, I think:

lifting the cup

He looks happy too!

So the scoreboard looked like this before the match:

Wimbledon scoreboard

BEFORE: there’s an empty space at the end for the result

and it looked like this afterwards:

Wimbledon scoreboard

AFTER: Andy did it 🙂

After all of that excitement on a hot day, some cool drinks were needed:

champagne cocktails

Celebrating with some fizzy drinks…

I didn’t mind at all that I was left behind. It would have been too hot for me on the hill, anyway, and I did get to watch it as well. We were all dancing happy dances when Andy won!

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