Wednesday 30 January 2013

The Tweed Walk to Lyne

Peter, Tom, and I set off from Langholm to meet John, Martin, and Ken coming down from Edinburgh at Peebles for 10.00am. The forecast for this morning was not good and when we arrived at the car park in Peebles it was bucketing down. We agreed to go for a coffee and by 11.00am the rain has eased off so we set off along the Tweed. Within 15 minutes the rain was back and for the next 2 hours it was very unpleasant but we voted to continue. Just after the half way point the rain stopped and we actually had a wee bit of sunshine for the last mile of the walk.
The walk was just over 7 miles and on a good day would have been excellent but the path was extremely muddy in places but the crack was good and we did not let a bit of rain spoil an enjoyable walk.

A happy band of walkers set off before the rain set in. Martin, Peter, John, Tom, and Ken.

Tom negotiates the slippy path with Neidpath Castle in the background. Just after I took this photograph he fell flat on his face and was covered in mud.

The bridge over the River Tweed just after Lyne station. Part of the walk was along the old Symington, Biggar and Broughton Railway.

We stopped for lunch at Barns Tower. The Tower is typical of many such fortified houses erected in the Borders during the troubled times of the 15th and 16th centuries. It dates from the late 16th century and has a very old grated iron yett (gate). The building was restored recently to provide an unusual holiday lett for which it gained a special commendation from Scottish Borders Council's Design Awards in 2007.

The view over the River Tweed and the tributary the Manor Water on the last leg of the walk when we climed to the highest point of the walk.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

A Walk along the River Esk

Today's Wednesday walk had us on the 9.25am Service Bus from Langholm to Canonbie which arrived bang on time in the Market Place. If it had been yesterday we would have had to wait almost all day as the road was blocked a mile north of Langholm. Within 30 minutes of setting off from Canonbie we bumped into these 2 gentlemen and their dog. They were improving the river bank for fishers as they were committee members of the new Esk Fishing Asssociation. This was set up last year and their first year has been very successful as they have 150 members and a waiting list for new ones. The Association has done a great job and long may they flourish as it is bringing visitors to the area. During the autumn season Gaye and I met a group of Fishers from Linconshire fishing the Deed Nook Pool and they had decided to spend the week on the Esk instead of going up north to the Tay and they had a great week with each of them landing at least one salmon and the weather had been superb. They were very lucky getting one of the few good weeks last year.

Spot the Spelling Mistake

Lunch was in this wee fishing hut near Irving House and a chance for Tom to have 40 winks.

The nicest part of the walk is the mile stretch of the river near Irving House as it involves a well managed pathway on the river bank with several excellent places to stop and watch the river wildlife.

The meeting of the Tarras River and the Esk. At this point the Tarras looks fairly insignificant but it hides the true character of this wonderful river.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

The Duchess's Drive, Bowhill

This was a 7 mile walk commencing at the car park of Bowhill the Selkirk home of the Duke of Buccleuch. When we started the temperature was reading -5c and it had only warmed up by 3 degrees by the time we finished the walk just over 3 hours later. This was a superb walk with stunning views looking over the Eildon Hills towards Melrose. The first part of the walk was through the forest and then it opened up onto a Grouse Moor and the calls of the many Grouse could be heard all the time we were walking.

The first 2 miles of the walk were all uphill and we eventually reached a height of about 1300ft. We were glad of a short rest at this point.

The Eildon Hills in the background looking much like the Paps of Jura with the sea of mist in the valleys

A line of Grouse Buts on the side of the walk. One can just imagine during the Grouse shooting season the Duke bringing his shooting party up this hill as it must be superb shooting. There were loads of Grouse flying about and the ones you could not see were certainly calling to each other.

Tom has a go from one of the buts.

The ruins of Newark Castle or Tower in the grounds of Bowhill Estate. This was built in 1423 and belonged to the Douglas family, though it was later gifted to the Scott's

Bowhill House with all the windows shuttered as it is closed for the season

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Drumlanrig Castle Walk

Today's walk started at the beautiful Drumlanrig Castle and included 6 of the Last of the Summer Wine walkers 4 from Langholm and 2 joining us from Edinburgh. It was a 9.5 mile walk following the Nith valley and then looping round on quiet country roads for the journey back to the Castle. When we left Langholm it was very misty and even when we set off from the Castle it was still there but beginning to lift. Within an hour the mist had gone and the sun was out although it was a real winter sun and very low in the sky.
We were back at the Castle after 4 hours of superb walking with the Nith looking particularly fast and fierce and it is say to see how it is such a popular river with canoeists.

I added this moss covered tree for Mr. Tootlepedal who is a great lover of this kind of photograph

Lunch as we leave the muddy paths for the road section

These sheep were very interested in us

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to all my Blog Followers. The last of the Summer Wine walk Group started the year off with a six mile walk timed to finish in the Market Place at 11.00am along with the runners and walkers in the Muckle Toon New Years Day run. We set off at just before 9.00am and were back in the market place at about 10.50am. Niall. Tom, Peter and myself were there and unfortunately John and Martin were still in Edinburgh and David is still on the injury list so it was not the full team. When the walk ended David, Tom, Niall and I headed up to Springhill for a New Year drink with David, Alix, and Bowman and I must say a few glasses of the finest Malt certainly helped to ease the aching knees.

On the Potholm Road

The sun appeared for a few minutes.

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