Since we arrived back on Arran on the first of July we have been very busy with campsite duties, enjoying the beautiful countryside around us and playing host to wonderful friends and family who have been kind enough to visit. Combine that with virtually non existent wifi and the result is that I haven’t been able to write any posts for weeks!
As ever our return trip from Leeds was great. We stopped off for an overnight at The Hopetoun Arms Hotel at Leadhills which is reported to be the highest hotel in Scotland, although nearby Wanlockhead is acknowledged as the highest village at 1,295 feet These villages are only about 5 or 6 miles from the A74 motorway in South Lanarkshire and so are ideal for breaking a journey further north.There is also another pub at Wanlockhead , the Wanlockhead Inn, which also welcomes motorhomers ….and which we also intend to try at some point.
Both villages are very interesting and well worth a visit. Leadhills, as its name suggests, originally developed to accommodate miners who came for the deposits of silver and lead which could be found there. Gold was also found and the area around became known as “God’s Treasure House in Scotland”. In fact gold is still panned in the area, although you need a licence.
The Museum of Lead Mining looked fascinating and includes a real 18th century lead mine and 2 reconstructed miners cottages. But we didn’t have time to visit the museum or the Leadhills Miners library which is the oldest subscription library in the British Isles. Another attraction we didn’t have time for was the Leadhills and Wanlockhead narrow gauge railway which closed in 1939 but has been reopened by volunteers and railway enthusiasts.
So we will definitely be back for a longer visit!
This was the second time we had stopped over at The Hopetoun Arms and wont be the last.
The friendly landlord welcomes motorhomers and has 4 or 5 hard standing plots with hook up at the back of the hotel. Hook up costs £10 a night. He insisted that he recognised us, well… Gary at least, from our previous stopover a few years ago.
We have had lovely meals both times ……standard pub grub but well and freshly cooked with portions suited to hungry appetites. Several of the other couples/ people who were eating there that evening were also returnees …..another good sign with regard to the quality of the food and the warmth of the hospitality on offer.
The village shop is next door to the pub and has a good selection of groceries and the very helpful shopkeeper even offered to order newspapers for you if you ring him up in advance as they only have a couple of copies of each one.
The next day we drove along the winding B797 over Mennock Pass and through a beautiful, steep sided valley beside Mennock Water. There were lots of people wild camping along the way and some of them even seemed to be panning for gold. It seemed a beautiful, if a little desolate and wild, spot and it also all seemed a little vaguely reminiscent. I felt as if I had been through that valley before.
Was this aged photo taken in this valley too?
Can anyone identify these two youngsters?