We arrived at New Abbey and found a place at the end of the car park with a good view of the Abbey but away from the busy area. By the time we had our, now rather late, lunch and then had a good chat to the full-timers in the motorhome next door it was too late to try and visit the Abbey or the watermill at the other end of the village. We did have a walk around the village to see what was where and what we might do another day. We plan to be here for several days.

Bertie parked up in New Abbey car park with a great view of Sweetheart Abbey

On Monday morning we drove Bertie 6 miles back in to Dumfries to go Lidl and to explore the shops. In the afternoon we visited the Corn Mill which was not actually milling but was open to visitors. Although called a corn mill it was actually built to process oatmeal – a surprisingly complex process as oats need to be dried in a kiln before they can be ground to oatmeal. Very interesting visit and one day we will return in the summertime to see it in action.

On Tuesday we had planned an early start on our way north but horror or horrors – Bertie would not start! Clearly the starter battery had failed. I briefly wondered about using the leisure battery somehow but soon decided it was much better to get it fixed properly and so we called out the AA. By 11am the AA were on site and quickly replaced the battery. By now the rain had stopped so went to visit Sweetheart Abbey properly as opposed to gazing at the ruins through the fence. A very fine building with a distinctively Scottish look both from the pink sandstone and the big square tower.

Eileen examines the grave brasses

It was a nice drive through the hills of Dumfriesshire to our overnight stop at Lanark. There was no proper sunshine but the light was good and the autumn colours were lovely.

Our stopover tonight is a commercial “aire” – a small, informal motorhome site actually built in grounds of someone’s house and business. They are motorhomers themselves and are well aware of the dire shortage of facilities like this in the UK. We paid £8 for the night and that included all services including electric hook up. The owners were actualy away at the time but we left our payment in an envelope in their letterbox.

Commercial Aire near Lanark. Drive-over drainage and water in the foreground and free electricity too. After the battery worries this morning we decided that we would get Bertie fully charged!
Sweetheart Abbey
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