Wednesday 18 December 2013

A Canonbie Walk

Our last walk of the year was planned for a 6 mile circuit of Canonbie followed by a bar lunch in the Cross Keys. Last weekend we considered moving the walk to Tuesday to avoid what looked as if would be an awful day on Wednesday. We decided however to stick with Wednesday despite the forecast. This worked out really well as we left the Cross Keys at 10.15am and arrived back at 1.00pm with hardly a drop of rain to be seen.
This is the railway hut near Rowanburn Station where as a young boy I learnt to play cards with the railwaymen.
The old mine wheel at Rowanburn. My father started work in the Rowanburn Pit at the age of 14 but left after 6 months underground to work as Kennel Boy for the Duchess of Gloucester at Holmhead.
 Today's conversation covered a lot to do with the planned coal and gas extraction at Canonbie. We were fortunate that Niall is an expert on mining and he gave us a very good explanation of the proposals and his independent views on the proposed coal and gas extractions. It would do the Canonbie folk a lot of good to listen to his reasoning instead of them listening to people like The Friends of the Earth.
Tom giving his lunch time Apple to his new friend.
John photographed in front of the house where his Granny was brought up. 
The Fairy Loup on the Byreburn 
We were so lucky with the weather and we enjoyed a lovely bar lunch in the Cross Keys in front of a super log fire.
We all wish our blog followers a very happy Christmas from The Last of the Summer Wine walkers.

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Tom's Birthday Walk in Gala

Although a week earlier than his birthday Tom with a little help from Martin decided the best place for his birthday walk would be halfway between Edinburgh and Langholm so Galashiels was selected.
A circular 6 mile walk was chosen with the highest point being about 1400 ft and to follow we arranged lunch at Abbotsford House.
The weather was almost perfect and very mild with sunshine during the first hour of the walk.
Setting out from near the swimming pool in Gala. The photograph at the top is the Cairn on Hog Hill about 1200ft up.
On the way to the top of Hog Hill we crossed this spring where the Stannis Burn starts in the middle of a field.
In this area the Eildons are always in view and must be one of the finest views in Scotland. Over the last year we have viewed them from every point of the compass.
From the cairn at the top of Hog Hill this memorial to the KOSB can be seen.
A superb Heather Moor on Neidpath Hill.
From Neidpath Hill we climbed to these three masts at the top of Meigle Hill at a height of just under 1400ft. From here it was a very steep drop downhill into Galashiels.
Near the masts is this huge cairn which shows the way to Wallace's Putting Stone in the wood.. As the wood is so dence we decided not to enter it so I will tell you the stone is an enormous glacial erratic boulder over 1.2m high. The rest will have to be left to your imagination.
The trig point at the top of Meigle Hill.
Back down in Galashiels we walked along this street called Eildon Street and we all agreed that it is one of the nicest streets in the Borders and probably the only place we would live if we were forced to move to Gala.
And this is the reason for Eildon Street being so nice, a superb view of the Eildon Hills with a lovely area of parkland in front of the houses.
We headed to Abbotsford after the walk to have a meal in the Ochiltree. This was a big disappointment  and proved to be overpriced with food not very good. Four of us chose Haddock and Chips only to be told that there was only one piece of fish left so we were forced to make do with the minute steak which turned up on a bread roll and was definately minute. Not good value for money. The visitor centre is however very attractive and well laid out, but everything in the shop is overpriced and not good value for money. None of us bought anything. 
Despite this it was still a superb day in great company and with smashing weather. 
This is the last birthday walk of the year so we will have to do it all over again next year. 

Wednesday 4 December 2013

David's Birthday Walk

After a gap of nearly 2 years David ably assisted by Bowman is back with us and was able to do a 4 mile walk along the Ettrick at Selkirk today. A year ago he could hardly walk 40 yards so has made great progress over the last year and is now delighted to be one of the Last of the Summer Wine gang again, although only for the short, flat walks.
The walk took us to the Salmon Ladder and a new mini Hydro Power Station on the Ettrick. The route back to Selkirk followed an old Mill Lade where the water was used to power the many Textile Mills in Selkirk.
The Ettrick River from the bridge. It's amazing to think that the bridge was washed away on 31st. October 1977 when the Borders was hit by huge floods.
This is the Hydro Power scheme and also incorporates a Salmon Ladder.

The weir which the Salmon have to bypass via the ladder. The sun was facing directly into the camera so the quality of the photographs is not good.
You can probably just make out this Archimedes Screw that is used to create electric power.
This is an old water wheel that once was used to power a mill.
A short distance from the Salmon Ladder is Philiphaugh Estate and this shows the wall behind which is not so much a walled garden but a walled orchard.
The many Apple trees in the orchard where hopefully the Apples come to Langholm for turning into Cider at Waukmill.
The last stage of the walk took us along this old Mill Lade which once upon a time provided power to the many Selkirk textile mills of which sadly there is now only one remaining.
We ended our walk by having a superb lunch at the Philipburn Hotel courtesy of the birthday boy.
A superb day out in great company with plenty of good conversation.

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