Friday, 13 November 2015

Solway sojourn - suggestive stone structures and a smuggler's stash

From Ardwall Island we crossed the to the mainland coast and paddled past Knockbrex House......

...where the channel to a tiny harbour is marked by "The Priapic Pillars of Knockbrex"

The map shows clearly that they were, erm, erected to guide the way into the haven, but it's hard to believe that they weren't either a product of the builder's subconscious, or that he was sending a subliminal message with these suggestive stone structures!

After pausing to admire the pillars we sailed along to land below the castellated folly we'd seen from Ardwall Island.  There's a pleasant sandy beach on which to land, and we scoped out the surrounding ground for likely camping spots for a future visit.

Douglas led us to a cave at the base of a rocky outcrop which has a remarkably level and dry gravel floor.  It would undoubtedly have been utilised as a stash by the smugglers for which this area was well known, being close to England, Ireland and the Isle of Man.

Although it was mid-October and undeniably autumn we found this single Bloody Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum) flowering amongst the grass above the shore.  A native plant, it can flower right through October and the sanguineum (bloody) part of the name refers to the deep red shade which the leaves turn after the flowers have finished.

The predominant shade of the day wasn't red however, it was sparkling blue with a huge cloudscape stretching out to the silhouette of the Isle of Man and beyond - a simply brilliant day to be on the water.


  1. It's a moot point whether man made suggestive stone structures would qualify as being mimetoliths. :o)

  2. Moot point indeed Douglas - "maybe aye, maybe no" !


  3. Good while it lasted. Snow, storms and flooding here we go. Bet you are not paddling much now although it looks good for touring the Lake District fields and streets by kayak in recent news photos.

    1. It was a great autumn Bob, and you're right - winter's in with a bang! Waiting for a chance to paddle and nipping up the odd hill inbetween gales is the order of the day :o)

      Kind Regards

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures! I was wondering if by any chance you might be able to give any more instructions on how to get to that cave? I've been searching for a cave to explore, for a project for my masters of environmental literature. I'd really appreciate it!