This blog is dedicated to sharing some of amazing places to visit and stories connected to the beautiful part of the world that is South-west Scotland. All the places I will mention in the blog can be reached within a 2-hour drive from Rigg House B&B, but today I will be telling you about a wonderful walk which begins right on our doorstep. Rigg House lies just a mile outside of the village of Kirkconnel, which, although only tiny, holds a little world of beauty and interesting stories. The circular walk I will take you on in this blog can either be done in a couple of hours (if you want a brisk walk), or it can fill a whole gentle day of lazy picnics and paddling in the river along the way.
Turn left at the bottom of the farm track and walk along the main road (A76) for about 10 minutes. Just before you get to the cattery you will see a signpost on your left for a footpath marked ‘Wanlockhead 15 miles’. Follow this uphill track for about half a mile until you see a footpath signpost on your right. This is the beginning of the Baker’s Burn trail which leads you across fields and over lots of bridges which criss-cross the burn all the way down into Kirkconnel.
There are loads of beautiful places to stop for a picnic or have a roll down a hill – on a dry day it is just a wonderful place to just lie in the grass and watch the Red Kites flying over. I have done this walk in deep deep snow and in pouring rain and in bright sunshine and it was like a whole new adventure each time, with new things to spot and a terrain which seems to offer something new on every visit. This fantastic blog follows Baker’s Burn and takes you up to Kirkland Hill if you fancy a longer walk: http://jimzglebeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/kirkland-hill-kirkconnel.html
The trail ends just as you come to the ruins of an old piggery. Turn right at the gate and walk straight down to the main road through Kirkconnel. If you didn’t take a picnic and you are feeling hungry, you could wander down the street to Poppy’s Tearooms where you can have a delicious lunch in the café or grab a sandwich to take with you on the next part of your adventure. Across the road from Poppy’s you’ll notice the miner’s memorial which commemorates the miner’s who worked in Kirkconnel’s Fauldhead Mine.
Walk back up the road and you’ll notice a park opposite to where the Baker’s Burn trail ends. Before you go through here you might want to continue up the road to the church to see the monument to Alexander Anderson, a railwayman and poet who was born in Kirkconnel in 1845 and who went on to become Chief Librarian at Edinburgh University.
Head back down to the park and follow the footpath to your right. This wonderful little trail was restored by the Kirkconnel Parish Heritage Society and runs along the River Nith and offers the chance to see a whole world of wildlife. This trail ends back on the A76 – turn left out of the gate and head up the road for 5 minutes and you’ll arrive back at Rigg House B&B.
If you are spending a few days at Rigg House B&B then we definitely recommend doing this walk – other than lunch it won’t cost a penny and you’ll have filled your head with beautiful sights. If you are seeking peace and tranquility, then you won’t go wrong with a little adventure in the Kirkconnel Hills.