It is often said that we need one vacation at a time.
So my stay in rural Scotland came at an ideal time, having just returned from the hustle and bustle of Barcelona.
The cozy Cluaran cottages were the perfect place to relax and unwind after my Spanish mayhem.
The site is nestled in the scenic countryside around Annan in Dumfries-Shire, with rolling hills, lush pastures and stunning views across the Solway Firth and across to the peaks of the Lake District.
With just two large glamping huts, the spacious and tranquil property feels more intimate than other locations.
My partner Claudia and I had booked two nights at her Solway Breeze cabin.
But before we arrived we took advantage of the sweltering early June weather and swam wildly in stunning Loch Ettrick, about 40 minutes drive away.
The beautiful spot was popular with paddle boarders and is an ideal spot for dog walkers.
Arriving at our cabin late on the first evening we used the well appointed facilities to enjoy our take away meal and relaxed with a few drinks on the sofa before slumping into our very comfortable bed.
When we woke up early the next day there was hardly any sound except for the birds and animals.
We enjoyed a cooked breakfast in the morning sun on the terrace and then went for a nature walk – one of several recommended by owners Emma and Cammy.
We chose to do the 2.8 mile pipeline walk, winding along peaceful lanes to the Solway waterfront.
It was a great start to the day and the cool breeze off the estuary provided a welcome respite from the dry inland heat.
Information boards provide an interesting insight into the area’s proud fishing heritage and we then made a trip into central Annan to visit the museum.
Admission is free and offers a fascinating history of the city’s 3,000-year history. Exhibits include World War I artifacts, mummified baby crocodiles, and a Bronze Age burial urn.
We grabbed a delicious lunch from family run TA Francis and Son – a delicious Scotch pie, homemade lentil soup and a coffee to set us up for the afternoon.
I couldn’t resist trying the 110-year-old bakery’s tempting muffins, and being a huge honey lover, I bought a jar of the local sweets.
Our next stop was half an hour across the border in the market town of Brampton, where we viewed a section of Hadrian’s Wall.
The 73-mile-long fortress – built in 122 AD as a bulwark against Picts from Scotland, then known as Caledonia – was also the last frontier of the Roman Empire in Britain.
GO: ANNAN, Dumfries-shire
The surrounding Cumbria countryside is stunning, especially on a sunny day, and lies between the stunning North Pennines Area of Natural Beauty to the south and Northumberland National Park to the north-east.
In the evening we reserved a table at The Bank in Dumfries. Claudia had amazing katsu cauliflower bites and hispi cabbage with cashew butter and sriracha.
I chose the beer breaded cod, triple cooked fries with mashed mint peas and had to try the Irn-Bru Pulled Chicken Fries which were delicious.
A nice outdoor nightcap in front of our cabin and we left that night well fed, rested and just fine!
Having spent the majority of my stays in the highlands or islands, a trip to the South West was a truly enlightening experience.
The area has vast forests, welcoming towns and villages and some of Scotland’s most beautiful lochs.
The road signs for Dumfries and Galloway say ‘First in Scotland’ and our stay at Cluaran Cabins was a first for us, but it certainly won’t be our last break from a break.
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