Thursday 27 June 2013

Trip to South Wales

We are spending 3 days in Pen- y Fai with our friends Doreen and Norman and their beautiful Labrador Finlay. He is named after ex Scottish Rugby player Finlay Calder. 
The Summer House in Normans garden. What he has done with the garden in the 3 years since they bought the house is tremendous.
The Azaleas taken a couple of weeks ago by Norman
Today we took the train into Cardiff to see the Cardiff Bay Barrage and the Welsh Assembly Building. The Welsh built their Parliament building for about one sixth of the cost of the Scottish Assembly and inside it looks just as nice, although a bit dull from the outside.
Finlay in relaxed mode.

Wednesday 19 June 2013

Whita Walk

Today's walk was just local as I had to attend a meeting in the Town Hall Council Chamber this afternoon about the CADISPA Report with the Community Council, Eskdale Foundation, and Langholm Initiative. My god some people can be so boring. I am suffering from Meeting Fatigue at the moment and the only cure is stop attending meetings. As I have another one tonight I am not practicing what I preach.
We set off at 9.00am to walk round Whita on Walk No 10 from the Langholm Walks Booklet. The weather was lovely and got even better as the walk progressed. The Moorland is beginning to look much better and the display of Cotton Grass is the best I have seen for many years. We also had a superb view of a Barn Owl hunting in the fields at the Rashiel where it has a nest in the barn at Head Keeper Simon Lester's house. We met Simon on his Quad Bike and he was very informative about the Moorland Demonstration Project. Our final visit was to the Moorland Feeding Station where a Woodpecker entertained us to a very noisy demonstration of how to eat peanuts. An excellent walk with us back in Langholm by 1.30pm and time for Tom to sample the delights of Truly Scrumptious.
A group of 6 Siskins on one of the Feeders at the Moorland Feeding Station.
Looking up the Little Tarras Valley
Another farm building lying empty. This is Perterburn and further along the road Cronksbank and Broomholmshiels are also empty. Buccleuch Estates have them on the rental market but the prices must be too high as nobody is renting.
Cotton Grass is everywhere and looking really good this year. A lot is growing where the Moorland Demonstation Project put down Roundup last year and also took the sheep off the Moor so the regeneration of the Heather is starting to happen. The Cotton Grass is a direct result of taking off the sheep.
MacDiarmid Memorial looks good from this angle.
Tom, John, and Niall looking up the Ewes Valley from the Birnie Braes

Monday 17 June 2013

A Trip to Lanercost Priory

For many years on our regular journeys to Newcastle along the A69 I have seen the signpost for Lanercost and said "We must go to the Priory sometime" so on Sunday we went there. It was a lovely day so a trip to the Priory followed by a walk round Talkin Tarn on the way back was the order of the day. The only negative to our visit was the price of a Tea, Coffee, and one small piece of chocolate brownie. I think £7.50 for this is a bit on the steep side. The Priory and the Parish Church were beautiful and well maintained and we really enjoyed the experience. A walk and a nice Ice Cream at Talkin Tarn completed the day and then when we got home I was pleased to discover the Tennis at Queens had been delayed by rain so I was able to watch Andy Murray win an excellent match. The charity match afterwards was very funny and all credit to Andy for organising it and raising so much money for a worthwhile cause.

Thursday 13 June 2013

River Tweed Circular

This weeks Wednesday Walk was once again on the River Tweed and a section we have never walked on before. We were due to meet the Edinburgh contingent at 10.30am in the village of Sprouston near Kelso but Martin got lost trying to find the bridge over the Tweed and they were 15 minutes late. Martin's map reading is usually spot on but in this instance he failed and it was quite some time before he got over the experience of his error. I must admit that John and Ken took full advantage of the situation and gave Martin endless abuse from the passenger seats. The first half of the walk followed the River Tweed and the second half follows a disused railway line. It had rained heavily all the way from Langholm but as we arrived in Sprouston the sky cleared and we only had one further shower of rain all day.  

The area we were walking is heavily farmed and this field of potatoes looks as if it is greatly in need of some rain.

The River Tweed

After we left the River Tweed we stopped for lunch next to this stream which is close to the border between Scotland and England. Perhaps in a few years time there will be a Customs Post on this bridge. Our Lunch time discussion was of next years Scottish referendum and by the time lunch was finished we were no more clear on the situation than before but had enjoyed the discussion. 
This is Carham Station on the former Kelso to Cornhill Railway Line

Old Lime Kilns next to the railway line.

The 2.5 Mile walk along the old railway line was spectacular for the Hawthorn blossom on the trees. At times it looked as if it had been snowing.

Wednesday 5 June 2013

New Road to the Roan Fell

Every time recently we have taken the Tarras road to Newcastleton we have seen the new road being built up to the Roan Fell. Tom decided to tackle it for our Wednesday walk today so we left a car at Lodgill for our return journey and then headed to Blackburn Farm for the start of our long climb to the Roan Fell.Nobody seems to know why the road has been built but I have a meeting with Buccleuch Estates tomorrow so shall ask the question. It does not look good enough to be a Forestry Road but it is used by the Moorland Demonstration Project so it may have some connections there. As far as walking goes it is a superb way to get to a height of 1874ft which is the highest point of the walk at the Roan Fell. The weather was just perfect and we eventually walked 10 miles to Lodgegill.

We saw a couple of these vermin traps set on what must be a Stoat or Weasel run probably set by the keepers from the Langholm Moor Demonstation Project. I should also add we saw a beautiful Male Hen Harrier hunting on the way just over the back of Little Tarras.

Lunch stop near Peden's Stone.

Another trap this time set to catch Crows with one in it to attract others.
The new road winding its way up to Millstone Edge. It was a superb walk taking us about 4.5 hours and i managed to take cramp just after I got in the back of Tom's car. A very painful experience but now OK.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

A Visit to the Photographer

While in Newcastle our Grandchildren were taken to a photographer friend of Mario's and I am sure you will agree the results are superb.

Monday 3 June 2013

American Family Back in Langholm

After a week with Fiona and Family in Newcastle and Northumberland they came back for 3 nights before going back to Newcastle on Tuesday and then flying back to San Francisco on Wednesday morning. The weather has at last warmed up and we have had some nice walks and fun in the park plus a lovely visit to Tom and Alison Hutton's garden. 

Blog Archive