Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Bowman Leads the Way

It was just 4 of us on a local short walk today. This was done to please Bowman who is getting a bit elderly and cannot walk too far. It was a very pleasant day as we walked up to Springhill to collect David and the boys and then walk round Gaskells, Skippers Bridge, Round House, and back to The Buccleuch Centre for lunch. We had a couple of rests for Bowman at The Round House and then Langholm Old Bowling Green.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Another Westwater Walk and a First for John

This must be Tom's favourite walk as he seems to select it every year. We first walked the Westwater valley in April 2015 which was a year or two after they first planted the trees. We walked it again in May 2016 and October 2017. It is growing dramatically but its still a good walk with plenty of wildlife and good views. Maybe it will still be good for a few more years but eventually when the trees mature the views will be spoiled. This was the first time John has walked up this valley.
In the four trips up this valley we have never met another walker and its a lovely area to walk with fairly easy climbs and some spectacular views. 
There are Wind Turbines in every direction. This will be the Turbines at the Craig in the Esk valley 
These Wind Turbines will be at Minska
The trees are growing fast but there are still good views on the other side of the valley. 
This was a lot of Bluebells but they never seem as good in the photograph as they are in real time when you are there. We did almost 6 miles in perfect weather and were back in Langholm by 1.00pm with me going to a meeting at The Buccleuch Centre and Tom and John dining at Whitshiels, where they always get excellent service and good food. 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

A Bluebell Day on a Walk through Westerhall

Once a year we walk through Westerhall Estate just to see the flowers on display. Usually its the Azaleas on display but today it was Bluebells in their splendour. David and Bowman and Ruger had started at Burnfoot and we met them near Westerhall and they walked with us back to Burnfoot as Bowman is getting older and cannot manage the 6.5 miles all the way to Langholm. 
From then on it was nothing but Bluebells with the next 3 photos taken nearer Langholm between Potholm and North Lodge.
The photograph doesn't do it justice as it is much better to just be there.

I reckon another week and then they will start to fade. We finished our walk at The Buccleuch Centre with one of their usual excellent lunches. 

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

The Duchess's Drive Walk at Bowhill

It was only Tom, John, and myself today as the rest of the gang were otherwise engaged. The weather was not as good as it has been over Easter but it was dry and almost warm except on the top of the hills. John arrived from Edinburgh and Tom and I arrived at Bowhill at almost the same time. The Duchess's Drive is a 7 mile walk round Newark Hill. It follows the route of a Victorian Carriage Drive and is therefore an easy track underfoot and a gradual climb to almost 1600ft. 
The route up the hill is a gradual climb and therefore fairly easy for old men 
This stone seat is carved with the letters BQ which stand for The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, owner of the estate. Its a nice place to stop for a short rest.
We soon leave the forest and head onto open hillside with this photo taken looking back to the way we had come.

As we got higher the visibility was not as good. These are stone Grouse shooting buts on the side of the road looking over the moor. The last time we walked this route over 4 years ago there were loads of Grouse about but today we only saw one bird.
Tom has a practice shoot
Gaining height with plenty of Heather. We saw no Raptors unlike the Langholm Moor where there is always a good few Raptors at this time of the year. This of course is still a working Grouse Moor unlike Langholm which has not been shot for over 20 years. 
Plenty of good Heather
On our way down the other side of Newark Hill we stopped for a snack and just as we set of on our walk again we had a RAF Hercules Cargo plane fly past below us. 
The Hercules flying below us and just as Tom had stopped for a pee. There is no privacy these days.  
On the last leg of the walk we pass Newark Tower, built in 1423. In the Covenanter's Wars, 100 prisoners were slaughtered in the courtyard  
The Tower is all closed up now and I am delighted to see the it is the nesting place each year for a family of Barn Owls 
There are some lovely cottages in the grounds of Bowhill Estate 
Bowhill House
Our walk took just over 3 hours and we had completed 7.25 miles and climbed over 1300 ft.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Lyneholm Moss Walk near Westerkirk

Despite a cold wind it was a perfect day for walking and we selected this route which included a couple of miles on the Castle O'er road from Enzieholm Bridge and then a forestry track over Lyneholm Moss and Hill. Finding new routes in this area is quite difficult as we have walked many of them before. This was our first visit to Lyneholm Moss. It was good to have Niall back after his winter in Australia. Unfortunately it was only 3 of us today as John is playing a Golf tie, David is in Barbados, and Tom is still recovering from the flu. It turned out to be an excellent walk through the forest.  
Near where we left the road to go into the forest is this summer house sitting next to a small pond. On a nice day it will be a perfect place to sit in the sun. 
The forestry road.
After the forestry section we came through a couple of fields and this stile which has seen better days.
A view over the Esk Valley
These guys were very curious but kept their distance 
More views over the Esk Valley 
Our map of the route walked. By walking the road section first it was a fairly easy climb over the first 2 miles and then the forestry section was mostly downhill. We met Tom after our walk and headed to Whitshiels Cafe where we had a splendid lunch in record quick time. 

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Martin's Birthday Walk in Dalkeith Country Park

Martin choose Dalkeith Country Park for his Birthday Walk and what an excellent place it is. There were loads of paths and plenty to see. The weather was perfect for walking and the company excellent. Everybody arrived within minutes of each other and Martin was the perfect guide and had done his homework about the place so we were all well informed. 
There were horses everywhere and this one was particularly friendly with Peter and Ken
Like Langholm the river is the Esk and there are two of them the North and South Esk with plenty of bridges to cross.
This is the Meeting of the waters where the North and South Esk meet. Not as spectacular as where the Black and White Esk meet up in Eskdalemuir but it was rather nice. 
Time for a lunch break and a seat on an old Oak tree.
This is Dalkeith House owned by the Duke of Buccleuch and rented out to the University of Wisconsin 
The South Esk 
The Park is famous for its forest of ancient Oaks with some of them over 700 years old so these are a few photos of these famous trees.

We think this is the oldest Oak tree in the park
The trees were heavily coppiced many years ago so the bases of the trees are much older than the trunk.
There are many hollow trees
This one looks very delicate but still in reasonable health hopefully.  
This is Montagu Bridge and was given by the Montagu family to the Queensberry family in 1792 to celebrate a marriage. It was designed by William Adam.
This is a new shopping area with cafe and restaurant. The shop according to Aileen is one of the best in Edinburgh and very expensive. Our meal was excellent in a lovely dining area. 

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