What’s A Sparling?

Dumfries & Galloway Day 3 – Easter Sunday

Yes! So what is a sparling? Firstly, it’s not a mis-spelt starling!

Day 3 (our last full day) is a lazy day. Long(ish) lie in, full Scottish breakfast, followed by a riverside walk by The Cree. No sun today and the breeze is just a little bit fresh. The walk is on the opposite bank to the town of Newton Stewart. It’s a fast flowing river and it looks freezing. At the ‘end’ of the walk you reach the recently constructed Sparling Bridge. Strange name, but an engraved granite stone enlightens us (appropriate for Easter). The sparling is a fish which spawns in the lower parts of The Cree.

We cross the bridge into town and head up the main street, eventually turning right and over the bridge to Creebridge. We take the first road on the left, passing our cottage and on towards Minnigaff. Minnigaff is a quiet residential area – some nice houses here. A four mile trek would take you to the RSPB reserve at Wood of Cree, but instead we find the Queen Mary’s footbridge which will take us to the north end of Newton Stewart.

Queen Mary’s Bridge
Crossing the river for the third time

There’s not much to see here as we walk back into town, although we do get a fine view of our holiday abode. We cross the River Cree yet again for the last few yards back to the cottage.

It’s the grey building in the middle

It’s 3pm. The heating is on. The cottage is cosy. An enjoyable two hours of nothing follows, sipping a cool cider, half writing this and half watching a repeat of Susan Calman exploring the sights of Northern Ireland.

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