Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Forgive me if today's post is mostly related to a dog. Not just any dog but Bowman who has returned to The Last of the Summer Wine Walkers after an 18 month absense due to a knee injury to his master David. It was just like old times with Bowman immediately back to his roll as Walks Leader in the front and occasionally looking back to see we were all following him. I should add it was good to have David back with us as well and we look forward to regular walks with him and especially his Birthday Walk at Selkirk next week.
Posted by Gavin at 17:21
Sunday, 24 November 2013
Fiona and Mario held this party in the Rising Sun Country Park in Newcastle and their friends turned out in force to celebrate Fiona's 40th Birthday and Leo's 4th Birthday.
Plenty of food for hungry kids after the Treasure Hunt.
Gaye with Fiona's University friend Helen from Edinburgh.
The Birthday boy with the Birthday Girl.
Posted by Gavin at 15:29
Wednesday, 20 November 2013
Having spent some time researching new walks in Cumbria I found what looked to be a hidden gem in a booklet called Solway Coast Rambles. I was unable to get the information I required from the internet so contacted Solway Coast ( area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) office in Silloth and they very kindly sent me the booklet containing 5 walks. The walk planned today was no 5 starting in Burgh by Sands and called the Solway Villages Trail. A lot of the walk was along the Sunken Lanes with high hedges or "Kests". These old lanes are a snap shot in time and are living examples of what highways looked like in Medieval times. We made the fatal mistake of doing this walk in the early part of winter when we should have done it during a dry summer. It was horrendous but it was a mile before we really hit the bad bits and by then it was too late to turn back. It took us almost 2 hours to do 3 miles and at times we thought it was impassable but Peter lead us with great bravery and we managed to make it to the village of Thurstonfield and then made the decision to return to Burgh by Sands along the B roads.
From here we decided to return to Burgh by Sands along the easy B road and miss out the final Sunken Lane. This was a good decision and enabled us to have a nice bar lunch in the Drovers Inn. If we had continued along the Sunken Lanes it would probably have taken another 2 hours to do the last 2 miles.
I should add that Tom had decided not to accompany us today as he was unwell but maybe this was an excuse as he knew what we were heading into. Looking back on it after completion it was an adventure but this booklet will remain in a drawer until next summer when we may attempt the other 4 walks in dry conditions, although I doubt if it will ever be that easy.
These photographs were taken on my I phone and uploaded to the blog from my I Pad so the quality is probably not as good as if they had been taken on my camera but I hope they give people the feeling of how hard the walk was.
Posted by Gavin at 16:25
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Today's Wednesday walk took us to Lochmaben for a walk round Castle Loch via Marlake. There was 3 of us this week as John was down from Edinburgh so with good weather forecast we headed off at 9.30 am.
John and Tom overlooking Lochmaben Golf Club where Tom has played many times. He was keen to show us the 15th hole which is a par 5 and is going to be dramatically restructured at a huge cost next year. Both John and Tom were very critical of the existing hole but I as a non golfer could see nothing wrong with it. I am sure the restructuring of it will still make it a difficult hole and if you play it well it will be a good hole but if you play it badly it will be a poor hole. That is the nature of golfers. They are rarely happy.
Burnswark in the distance from the Golf course.
Our next point of interest was the ruins of Lochmaben Castle by the shores of Castle Loch.
From here the route took us through some very marshy ground but fortunately there were loads of boardwalks in place to help us through the wetland area.
The board walks provided good access through the marshland area to the bird hide by the shore of the Loch.
The section of the walk at the south end of Castle Loch was very wet and in some places almost impossible to get through without water going over the top of your boots. In the spring it must be a superb habitat for wild birds but today it was just a boggy marshland.
On the way home Tom insisted we stopped at Crowdieknowe where Langholm poet Hugh MacDiarmid used to visit an uncle many times and it is mentioned in one of his poems.
A lovely walk spoiled only by the very wet marshy area but ending with a lovely plate of soup in the Bakery Cafe in Lochmaben.
Posted by Gavin at 16:19
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