Dispatches From the South – South of Scotland, that is

This week, I am reporting to you from the south of Scotland, the very south of Scotland.

At the tip of the Mull of Galloway is the Gallie Craig Rock, reputed to be the most southerly point in Scotland. We were staying n Kurkcudbright, which was only 60 miles away, so we couldn’t resist going to see it.

The site, in addition to a big rock, also has an RSPB Nature Reserve, a working lighthouse (that allows visitors on weekends and Bank Holidays—which this happened to be) and a nice gift shop and café.

A True Scot

To get to the Gallie Craig rock, we followed the A716 down the Mull of Galloway toward Drummore. Even I couldn’t get lost; it is the only A road on the peninsula. This road ended at Drummore and turned into a series of what could accurately be called “paths” that led us closer—via a winding and scenic route—to our destination.

As luck would have it, we ended up following another vehicle, which was good because it sort of paved the way for us. We were behind it from Drummore all the way to the car park at Gallie Craig. The two people got out of their car, and we followed them up the path to the light house.

The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse is the main attraction, providing a small, informative museum, an invigorating walk up 114 steps and a 360-degree view which includes—on a clear day—the Isle of Man, the Lake District and Ireland. The lighthouse was built in 1828 by Robert Stevenson, a member of the family of engineers responsible for most of Scotland’s lighthouses, and used a kerosene lamp until electricity was installed in 1971.

Overall, a fascinating diversion to discover at the end of long drive. However, the man ahead of us, who had driven and walked all this way with his wife, when stopped at the gate and told it would be two pounds each to visit the lighthouse, replied:

“I’m na’ paying tha!’” and walked away.

You have to admire them, sticking to their principles like that. But this is what they missed; surely worth two quid, even if only for the exercise.

Signs of the Ancients

Not far from the lighthouse is an ancient chalk drawing, smaller than the ones I’ve seen in Sussex and throughout the south.

It’s a strange hieroglyph—a large H surrounded by a circle. It’s reputed to be a hunting symbol meant to bring good luck to prehistoric hunters. (Hunting was important to the ancient inhabitants of the Mull because—living on a thin peninsula—they were getting really, really sick of fish.)


  1. avatar says

    A great advert for this often forgotten corner of South West Scotland – thanks indeed. I just hope nobody takes the last paragraph about the helipad seriously!

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