We live in a beautiful part of the world (windfarms notwithstanding - don't get me started), but in the year and a half we have lived here, we have yet to explore any of it. So, as part of our scaling back, we promised ourselves that we'd make the effort to get out more.
Our first trip was to nearby Clatteringshaws. Clatteringshaws has a dam (hydro electric, a loch, walks and a visitor centre. It's home to one of two Bruce's stones sited in Galloway. I found a walk there listed on www.walkhighlands.co.uk and printed out instructions. The dogs were ecstatic - new smells and new places to explore. We walked up the hill Benniguinea) through the forest following the instructions. Of course, we missed our turn and walked all the way to the top! But it was worth it for the views.
We found the turn off on the way back down and it was a lovely wee path through a mix of broad-leaf and pine forest. Of course, Haribo found the smelliest fox scat in the area and proceeded to roll in it. He managed to get it right under the collar and all over his neck. Cue impromptu bath in a nearby ditch. Boy, I cannot begin to describe how smelly that was!
Talking of Haribo, he really has chilled out lately. He came to us with many problems but, aside from a bit of fear aggression, he's a happy dog now.
Anyway, we had brought a picnic and came down to the loch and found a nice wee beach just down from the visitor centre. We thoroughly enjoyed our tea and sandwiches. A day out is definitely a great tonic. We have, since, also located excellent walks down on the coast between Kippford and Rockcliffe. These are helped hugely by the excellent we cafe in Rockcliffe.