Thursday 29 August 2013

John's Birthday Walk to Cross Fell

John selected a walk to the top of Cross Fell for his Birthday Walk so a car from Edinburgh with 4 walkers and a car from Langholm with 4 walkers met at the the very small village of Kirkland to commence this walk which rises to almost 3000ft.
At about 2500ft my hip was causing me a lot of problems so I decided to go no further and made a painful journey back to base leaving the rest to climb to the top. I aggrevated my hip two weeks ago on the coastal walk at St Abbs and it looks as if it will end my mountain walking for the forseable future. I am afraid that 25 years of playing squash has caused this problem combined with Gaye's good cooking.

This looks like an old Lime Kiln in the valley

The birthday boy at the top with fiance Sandria and the rest of the Last of the Summer Wine walkers.

After the walk John had planned for us to have a meal at the Brief Encounter cafe at Langwathby Station. He had checked on line that it would be open and it advertised as being open 7 days a week during the summer from 9.00am to 5.00pm. When we arrived at 4.00pm it was closed. Why do people advertise one thing and then do another. Not good for business so they lost 8 good paying customers. Just as we arrived at Langwathby station we heard the unmistakable sound of a Steam Train about to arrive at speed through the station. I managed to point my camera and this is the result more by luck than anything but it shows the train speeding through the station.
After the disapointment of Brief Encounter we headed into the village and had a lovely meal in the Shepherds Inn so their gain was the others loss. As we departed this horse drawn Gypsy caravan pulled out in front of us and again I just had a few seconds to grab the camera and take this slightly blurred photo.

Monday 26 August 2013

Armidale Pipe Band

The Armidale Pipe band and their Langholm Hosts before they departed this morning for a visit to the Lockerbie Memorial and then on the Drumlandrig Castle, the home of the Duke of Buccleuch. The weather has been beautiful during their short stay in Langholm and they have had a wonderful time.

Ami, Barry, and Stafford with host Gavin. They were lovely guests and enjoyed a Malt Whisky with me each of the 2 nights they stayed with us. Gaye was presented with a lovely bunch of flowers and I received a bottle of Laphroig Malt Whisky.We learned more about Australia in the short time we were with them than we ever knew, but maybe it was the fact they were teachers that helped them to explain it all to us.

Sunday 25 August 2013

Visitors from Australia

Langholm welcomes a visiting Pipe Band from Armadale in New South Wales, Australia this weekend and we are hosting  three members of the band in the photograph. From L to R Barry Hyde - Piper, Ami Robinson - Drummer, and Stafford Cameron - Piper. They are with us for 2 nights so a visit at 8.15am this morning to the MacDiarmid Memorial was a must prior to their departure today for a visit to Gretna Green and then the Roman Wall. Tonight we have a buffet laid on at Margaret Pool's and they will then rehearse with Langholm Pipe Band prior to engagements at Cowal and then the Braemar Gathering. We hope to manage a walk to the Monument eary tomorrow morning. More photos to follow.
The Australian visitors and the hosts were invited to Margaret Pool's for a Garden Party this evening and the weather was just beautiful. The food was excellent and a very enjoyable evening was had by all. Special thanks go to Margaret for all the hard work she put in to make such a lovely meal.

Margaret being presented with a gift from the leader of Armadale Pipe Band

A garden full of Aussies

Could not resist taking this photograph of the cat watching what was going on and looking very relaxed about it.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Ken's Birthday Walk to St Abbs

This weeks walk was Ken's Birthday Walk and he selected a 9 mile walk from Coldingham to St Abbs Head and then the Berwickshire coastal path to Eyemouth. We met at Coldinham and set out in glorious weather along the Creel Path to the harbour at St. Abbs.

This Memorial made by Jill Watson commemorates the East Coast fishing disaster of 1881 when many boats from harbours along this cost were lost at sea.

St Abbs Harbour

This is Mire Loch on the RSPB Reserve at St Abbs Head
St Abbs Lighthouse

The village of St Abbs and the harbour

No coastal erosion here.

Coldingham Bay and the nicest beach in the area. This was on the last stage of our walk from St Abbs to Eyemouth. These coastal walks are excellent but they dont half cause me problems with my hips. By the end of the 9 mile walk I could hardly lift my legs due to the hundreds of steps up and down the many cliffs. It was however a superb walk in glorious weather and excellent company so despite the aches and pains well worth the long drive there and back,

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Superb Eskdalemuir Walk

Today we headed up to Eskdalemuir for a walk starting at Clerkhill Farm and taking us up the Clerkhill Burn to the highest point of the walk Wisp Hill and from there to Raeburn and Moodlaw and then along the East side of the White Esk past Samye Ling and Eskdalemuir Village. The weather was just superb and the views seemed to be endless especially from the top of Wisp Hill and we walked with the sound of a Buzzard crying high in the sky for much of the time.

At Raeburn we came upon the old caravan surrounded by loads of Rasps. We did enjoy them.

And then on the path from Raeburn towards Samye Ling this old Bedford Van that must have been parked here for over 30 years.
The only crop grown in this valley seems to be hay and today they were cutting it in fine style as we walked through several fields of newly cut hay. The smell was just gorgeous and it looks to be an excellent harvest this year. This field is just accross the river from Samye Ling.

The building among these trees on the other side of the White Esk is the retreat for Samye Ling where some of the followers are in retreat for up to 3 years. I could think of better ways of spending 3 years.

Just a few hundred yards south of the Budhist Retreat is the Church of Scotland

After our walk we headed to Samye Ling for tea and a cake followed by a look round the lovely gardens. In this Green House they had these superb Cactii with many of them just coming into bloom. I would reccomend a visit to the gardens there as there is a good combination of flowers and vegetables all well landscaped in a beautiful setting.

Thursday 1 August 2013

A Train Journey and a Walk

After a weeks break for the Common Riding we were back to our regular Wednesday walk again and this time it was a little different as we travelled to Carlisle Station and then took the train to Bardon Mill and walked 7 miles back to Haltwhistle to get the train back to Carlisle. The forecast was for a sunny day with rain moving in late in the afternoon and this proved to be spot on as it began to rain just as we arrived back in Carlisle.

Bardon Mill is a village I have passed by on my way to Newcastle many times and never took time to go off the A69 and have a look at it. It is in fact a lovely little village and well worth a visit. Shortly after leaving the Railway Station the route took us through this Pottery Yard and I have never seen as many huge Pots.

The route took us through a few villages with the nicest being Henshaw and again I have passed it by many times but it is worth a visit, although every second house seems to be up for sale so maybe it is not the best place to live. This is the village green with some lovely houses all round it.

The route was difficult to follow so we left the map Reading to Peter & Tom who after much deliberation managed to get us on the wrong route twice but soon corrected matters and found the right path.
One part of the route took us along a country lane with a dry stane dyke at the side of it. Next to the dyke was loads of thistles and there were hundreds of butterflys all along the thistles and the wall. Unfortunately they never sat still for long enough to get a photo of a lot together but I did manage to get this one on the wall. This was great to see as we have had very few butterflys in the last couple of summers.

This is Hollin Crags and the highest point of the walk

Once again we found ourselves on the wrong route and had to climb this old gate to get to the right side of the dyke. Tom found it a rather difficult job getting over.

The end of the walk was the town of Haltwhistle which advertises itself as the "Centre of Britain" and since it was by-passed a few years ago is now a very quiet place. We had about 40 minutes to spare before we had to catch our train so enjoyed a very refreshing pint in the Pub accross the road from Haltwhistle Railway Station. It was a very enjoyable walk in lovely countryside and hopefully we can do another of these railway walks again soon. 

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