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Thank you to Irene and Billy for sharing this wonderful place with me. Bonnie and Skye love going here as do I.
If you like tranquil beaches to relax or swim with fantastic views then this is the place for you. If you have an interest in geology, wildlife, local history oh and a game of golf? Then this is also the place for you.
Leave Garlieston in the direction of Whithorn on B7004, take the A746 Port William Road from Whithorn, after the Monreith Animal World on your right, after a few minutes you will see Knock School Caravan park on your right , turn left opposite the caravan park following the sign to St Medans Golf club . After the cattle grid you will find a parking layby on your left. Park the car and cross the lane to find overlooking the bay is a bronze otter, sculpted by Penny Wheatley, standing as a memorial to Gavin Maxwell, the author of the famous book "Ring of Bright Water", which was also made into a successful film. Gavin Maxwell was often seen exercising his tame otter, about which he wrote his book, on the beach below Kirkmaiden church, when he returned to the area. From this monument there is also a Scottish Core Path to Monreith but I have not been on this walk.
Go back to the car and drive down the lane to the Golf club, you can park in the Club car park on the left or carry on through the Golf course to the large car park.From the large car park, find the path to the beach by the Toilet. From this beach when the tide is out walk around to the left and you will find some amazing caves to explore and sandy coves to relax in. I have never been in the caves, Bonnie and Skye have but have not shared their exploits with me!! Here you will some amazing rock formations and lots of wildlife. Please Be aware that the tide comes in very quickly here and it would be easy to be trapped on this area of the Beach. Here there is also a good sandy beach to relax, even at the height of the summer holidays I have never seen more than 10 people across the whole beach.
From this beach walk to the right and find the 2nd beach. Again quiet, sandy and lots of rocks caves to explore at low tide. If you like Bird watching I am reliably informed that this is the place to go.
From this beach go up the steps and at the top of the steps you will find the ruins of Kirkmaiden church, one of the oldest churches in Scotland, and the resting place of many of the McCulloch and Maxwell family members, who owned the Monreith estate. Legend has it that when this parish was united with the Glasserton, the pulpit and bell were removed from Kirkmaiden church and were to be transported by sea across Luce Bay to a church of the same name near the Mull of Galloway. A strange storm blew up and the boat foundered, sinking the pulpit and bell. The story goes that on the approaching death of any descendant of the McCullochs of Myrton, the wraith-bell rang from the depths of Luce Bay. Also buried in Kirkmaiden Churchyard is Francois Thurot, naval officer of the French Navy, who was one of many Frenchmen whose bodies were washed ashore after a battle fought at sea off the Isle of Man in 1760 between Britain and France. Francois Thurot introduced the secret society, the Order of Coldin, into Sweden, which is the only country still to have this order, and members of the Swedish society erected a plaque to Francois Thurot on the wall of Kirkmaiden Church in 1960.
I am fascinated by this cemetery that has graves going back to the 1600’s and the architecture of the church which I am informed you can enter in if you climb over the broken down gate !! but I have never ventured. The views from the cemetery are also fab.
St Medans Beach/Golf Course. DG8 8NJ
Garlieston Lodge Campsite - Escape to a Different World