Monday 22 June 2009

Walking the Border

We walked today the Border from Gretna to the A7 at Marchbank by following the River Sark and then the famous Scots Dike. This proved to be a very difficult 11 mile walk with only about 1.5 miles of it on an actual road. The rest of the walk was through fields of Barley, Woodland, Rivers and Burns and the final 4.5 miles along the Scots Dike. We must have climbed over at least 20 barbed wire fences, many gates and scrambled up and down river banks and ditches. Part of the walk was on the Solway Moss peat bog where there are 2000 acres of peat workings that look like a desert.
On one of the above photographs you will see an actual milestone in the middle of the dike and we found several of these at regular intervals. The other photograph is at the A7 end of the walk and is actually the only proper path on the whole of the Scots Dike. It is signposted from the A7 at the border and you are supposed to read the poem on the sign and look through the hole in the sign along the Dike.At one point on the walk we were walking in a field when about 30 cattle in the next field were spooked by us and they charged towards the gate we were heading for and all of them jumped through the gate knocking it to the ground and went past us within a few yards. If we had been a few yards closer there is no doubt it would have been very serious. We were guided for the day by James Taylor from Englishtown Farm (the owner of the cattle) and his farm is rather unique as it is part in Scotland and part in England, but although his farmhouse is in England he is classed as a Scottish farm having been give a choice many years ago. It is worth noting that during Foot & Mouth in 2001 when his animals had to be destroyed he had his herd put down and incinerated in 2 days while his neighbouring farmers controlled by England had to wait for 3 weeks before their dead animals were taken to be buried. By the time we finished after about 7 hours on the go we were all absolutely knackered but were delighted when we arrived at Marchbank Hotel as Richard came out just as we arrived with a huge jug of cold beer.

Thursday 18 June 2009

Arran, Islay, and Jura.

These 3 photographs show the 3 Islands we visited on our short break this week. We only spent an hour on Arran as we were travelled via there to reach Kintyre and it saved many hours of driving. The Beach photograph is on Jura and of course Lagavulin is on Islay and the picnic table photo is Lochranza on Arran. The weather was beautiful and we had a super time.

Sunday 7 June 2009

The Famous Festival Teas

Hannah sees the walkers on their way

Ice Cream and Pies

As we arrived at Potholm Bridge we were delighted to greet the arrival of Pelosi's van so we all purchased a lovely Ice Cream. This of course was the start of Langholm's 8th Annual Walking Festival. The other photograph is our friends from Kelso who produced the largest pies ever seen when we stopped for lunch on Whita on Saturday morning.

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Kielder Walk

Our regular Monday walk took us this week to Kielder Reservoir where we took a 30 minute ferry and then walked the 8 miles back to the car. The weather was superb and we hardly met a soul during the whole afternoon walk. An early June Monday in Kielder is definately the time to beat the crowds.

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