This was to be something of a shakedown trip with Mike and Lucky before the much longer trip Mike has put together for May.
With train tickets pre booked, we all linked up in Newcastle station. With a change of trains at Carlisle, we arrived at Sanquhar early afternoon. Although not raining there was a mizzly dampness in the air. The original intention had been to follow the Southern Upland Way over towards Cogshead and camp. However, the mizzle was turning to more persistent rain and it seemed wise to stop early. Casting about we found a nice wee spot out of the blustery wind by the Bogs Burn.
For whatever reasons, Wanlockhead appeared somewhat underwhelming. There was a visitor centre, loos and a café, (no dogs allowed). We did stop for a cuppa, sitting outside. The pot of tea was less than generous ditto the tiny quantity of milk provided.
Our way on led us over Whether Hill and Windy hill. Our eyes though were on Steygail. Mike had suggested it would be short and steep!
Our way on led us down the valley to Glenim cottage and the Mennock Pass. A farm track led us up Stell Brae and then it was across rough, boggy country to the Glencraigy burn. This involved another steepish drop but a quite doable one. Lunch was had by the burn and some nice camp spots were duly noted. More rough going across country and we eventually joined back up with the Southern Upland Way. From there it was an easier walk back to Sanquhar.
Sometimes first impressions really tell their own story. With time in hand before we caught our train, we strolled down the town's high street looking for a café. We found none, however, the local folk smiled and said hello. Surprisingly, the local butcher came out of his shop to chat and make a fuss of Lucky. He pointed us in the direction of a dog friendly pub. Here, once more, we were made welcome. The landlady giving us the freedom and sole use of the lounge bar and told us to make ourselves at home.
An interesting trip with a distance covered roughly in the region of thirty two and a half miles.