Wednesday 17 December 2014

Tom's Birthday Walk in Copshaw

After last weeks cancelled joint Birthday Walk for Tom & David we managed to fit in a Birthday walk for Tom on his actual 72nd Birthday today. We did a 7 mile walk at Copshaw Holm and were lucky for most of the walk with the exception of one heavy shower of rain during the last mile. 

The walk took us through part of the 7 Stanes Trail area and this is a bridge across the Whithaugh Burn. There are lots of walking and cycling trails in the area and during the summer months it is very popular especially with Mountain Bikers

After the Forest section of the walk we came out near Old Castleton and Tom insisted we visit the local cemetery. Whenever we visit a cemetery I always look for the predominant name and in this instance it is Elliot. This has become quite relevant to our family as our new Grandson has been named Elliot.

Although it was a lot milder today there was still a bit of snow on the north facing side of the hills

On the way back along the road to Newcastleton Tom insisted on walking over this disused bridge over the Liddel. Only Peter followed him with the rest of us using the new bridge. There was a barbed wire fence at the end of the bridge and Peter managed to get through the gap between the fence and the bridge.

But Tom got well and truly stuck

So assistance was required to get him over the barbed wire fence

So with much grunting and groaning he made it although there may be a problem with his trousers.

On the outskirts of Newcastleton (Copshaw Holm) there is an old church being converted into a house and next to the church is the manse. At the door of the manse is this set of stone steps for the minister to mount his horse from.

I just love Beech hedges and this is one of the nicest in the area surrounding the grounds of the old church. We completed our Birthday Walk with an excellent lunch in the Grapes Hotel.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Birthday Walk Cancelled & Christmas Jumpers

We had planned a Birthday Walk for David & Tom on Thursday with a walk round a Reservoir near Peebles followed by lunch at Kailzie Gardens but the weather forecast for tomorrow in the Borders is awful with heavy snow forecast for Peebles. We took the decision this morning to cancel and decided to have a short walk today in the narrow window of reasonable weather between 10.00am and 12 noon. We headed off to walk the new Byreburn and Fairly Loup walk and added another 3 miles to it by going round Canonbie and back along the road past the old Free Kirk. It worked out well with no rain, although quite cold and windy. Tom was taking nothing to chance with 3 items of headgear and about 5 layers of clothing.

Taken just above the new steps on the Byreburn Walk.

And the new steps.

And as its near Christmas I thought everybody would appreciate Hannah and Leo wearing their brand new Christmas Jumpers made by Fiona.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Brampton to Talkin Tarn and back.

Todays Wednesday Walk was Tom's choice and came from last weeks Cumberland News. The start was at the Moot Hall in Brampton and it took us along an old disused railway line towards Talkin Tarn and after a circuit of the Tarn followed by a Hot Chocolate drink in the cafe we headed back by another route to Brampton. It was frosty when we started and the temperature only rose to 1C by the time we finished. This photograph is of Brampton Station as we crossed the carlisle to Newcastle railway line. 

Tom where did you get that hat?

Our route back to Brampton took us past this fine copse of trees

On the outskirts of Brampton is this fine carved seat.

This Celtic Cross commemorates six Jacobites executed at this spot on 21st October 1746. Although the cross has been there for over 100 years the plaque was erected in 2005 by the 1745 Association.

The Moot Hall in Brampton and the start and finish of our walk. 
Talkin Tarn. The light was not good and the photograph was taken from my I Phone

Sunday 23 November 2014

Welcome to our new Grandson Elliot

Its been a great week for the Graham family with the arrival of Elliot Foster Graham in San Jose, California on Monday evening UK time. Our Daughter-in-Law Leslie is doing fine and baby Elliot is just smashing. 

Fraser looking the proud Dad.

Leslie's Mum Sidne from Utah holding her new Grandson. We will be going to visit him at the end of January so Granny Gaye and I will get to hold him then. 
He is a big hit with his sister Ellie. His big brother Tommy cannot understand why he does not speak to him yet.

Wednesday 19 November 2014

A Walk With the Caerlaverock Geese

This is the time of the year when a visit to Caerlaverock is a must as there are so many Geese wintering there. We were last over there a couple of years ago. The weather was perfect today, although in the distance Criffell was continually covered with low cloud. The path took us along the Solway Merse and the sea was about half a mile away, but you could see signs that high tides had brought the sea to almost where we were standing.

Just a few hundred yards from the visitor centre was a field absolutely full of Canada Geese. There must have been well over a thousand of them there. This is just a few of them just before they flew away.

Off they flew but just about 100 yards to the other side of the field

Half way on our 5.5 mile walk we had our morning coffee in this bird hide. 

We then headed to Caerlaverock Castle and first of all to the sight of the old castle build around 1220 and demolished about 50 years later. The site was so damp that the walls started to crumble. This is the moat and is now just a marsh with no clear water to be seen.

This is the elevated sight of the old castle with the moat surrounding it.

The new castle built 200 yards further north from the old one. On return to the visitor centre we had a light lunch in the Osprey Cafe which was acceptable but not that great.

Thursday 13 November 2014

A Walk Through Westerhall

As I was unable to walk yesterday because Gaye had a hospital appointment in Edinburgh, John , Tom, and myself headed up to Bentpath this morning for a short walk through Westerhall Estate. John had to ahead back to Edinburgh early afternoon so this 3 mile walk was all we had time for.
It is one of my favourite walks as there is always something of interest to see and today would be no exception.

Looking one way you see the big house at Westerhall which must be one of the finest holiday homes in the country.

And looking the other way you see the Folly at the top of the hill.

We walked along the paths running adjacent to the roads and came upon this new work of art. It has been done just recently judging by the chips of wood surrounding it. It looks to have been carved from a living tree with a chainsaw.

This is a closer view with better light. The light was not very good and these photos were taken with my phone camera as I forgot my good one.
This gives you an idea of the size of the wood sculpture.
The top half of it must have beed done from a cherry picker as it is very tall. we have no idea what it is in for or if it commemorates anybody, but I have no doubt we will find out in due course. it is a magnificent work of art. 
Just across from the tree sculpture is this work of art.

In the wood we found this cage trap containing a Red Squirrel. It was in good shape and we don't think it had been in the trap for long. The trap was probably to catch the problematic Grey Squirrels so the three of us decided we should release the Red and this we did. It may have been set to deliberately catch a Red for research purposes but we were not prepared to leave it as they are rare enough and we could not be sure the trap would be checked today.
Near the walled garden at Westerhall we saw this tree with loads of berries on but not a single leaf.

Wednesday 5 November 2014

Remembering early days in Rowanburn

Only Tom and I for our Wednesday walk today so we set out to walk from Canonbie church to the Meeting of the Waters and then along the old railway line to Rowanburn. I lived in Rowanburn until I was 10 and it brought back many memories.
Canonbie Church from the bank of the River Esk.
The memorial seat to our good friend Alastair Davies.
The skewed viaduct over the River Liddell. This is the only viaduct left of the 3 on the Riddings Junction to Langholm railway line.
A lovely line of Beech trees near the road to Rowanburnfoot.

This is no 50 Rowanburn and is the house we lived in for 10 years. It was the first house in Rowanburn to have a bathroom.
The rest of the houses had these toilets across the road from the house. This is a group of them on the Barrell Row which is the longest street in Rowanburn.
In 2005 when Tom was President of Langholm Rotary club for the first of his 2 spells as President we planted these 2 trees in the village.
I love a Beech Hedge and this is one of the best in the area on the lane hat runs parallel to the Rowanburn to Canonbie road.
On our return to Canonbie Kirk we headed back to Langholm Parish Kirk for a lovely afternoon tea.

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