Wednesday 23 December 2015

Westerhall and Running Water

Due to other commitments today's Wednesday walk had to be a short one and there was only Tom and me as the rest were away or unwell. We decided a short walk through Westerhall Estate which is always a very pleasant walk. The first 2 photographs are of the stream going through the estate at the Bentpath entrance and it has plenty of good clear water running in it today.
The stream is called the Kirk Burn
I have commented on this wooden sculpture before and it fascinates me how it was done. The light was not good but this is a lovely big house and a beautiful estate. It seems to be closed up for the winter at the moment, although signs that it has a housekeeper living there on a permanent basis.
Me and my friend who must be feeling the cold 
This is the Glenearls Sike and just half a mile up from here there is a dam that used to provide Hydro power for the estate
A lovely old footbridge at the Burnfoot Burn at the end of the walk.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Tom's Birthday Walk to Waterloo Monument

Today's walk started at Harestanes Visitor Centre near Ancrum and it was Tom's Birthday Walk. Unfortunately only 4 of us were able to make it due to illness and other commitments. The forecast was for better weather further east and this proved to be spot on as the heavy rain cleared once we were past Hawick and it remained dry for the whole walk, but very windy. This is a Spanish Hedgehog Fir at Harestanes. 
The first part of the walk took us through a lovely wooded area with some very old trees. Almost as old as these 3 guys. 
The Waterloo Monument in the distance
The Waterloo Monument was built by the Marquis of Lothian in 1835 and it sits at 774ft above sea level. 
There is a viewing platform at the top but you need special permission to climb it
Today's walkers getting the full force of the wind.
Birthday Boy Tom 
The Eildons in the distance

Wednesday 2 December 2015

A Walk from Silloth to Grune Point

Today's walk was in Silloth on the Solway Coast. The weather forecast indicated that the heavy rain would clear up at Silloth by 11.00am so we set off in good faith and trusting the BBC weather forecast and just as we arrived the rain stopped. It was still very overcast with mist on the Solway and a strong wind on our backs. Our walk was to take us to Grunde point north of Silloth and this is a peninsular sticking out into the Solway.

This is a type of lighthouse but I don't know if it is still in use today.
A dull and drab view of the Solway coastline on Silloth Promenade. 
This peninsular looks on to the Solway Marshes and there are many Creeks winding their way through the marshes. This is the largest called Skinburness Creek

At Grune Point there is an old wartime Pill Box 
It was very gloomy inside the Pill Box and I would not have like to spend much time their so whoever manned it must have had a very difficult job.
An old Fort in Moricambe Bay 
The only bit of colour in the gloom today was this gorse which seems to be in flower all winter.

This is the Skinburness Hotel which seems to have been closed for many years. Tom and I have a distinct memory of having a pint in it maybe 10 years ago but it could be longer. 
Back at Silloth and the mist has cleared allowing us to see Criffell on the Scottish side of the Sloway Firth 
The view of our walk as seen on Google Maps

Wednesday 25 November 2015

A Walk round Canonbie

After our wet Umbrella Walk to Broomholmshiels and the Laverock Bird Hide last week we were back to a nice day for walking today. Because of time restraints it had to be a short morning walk so we headed for Canonbie to do a 5 mile road walk round the village. We headed towards Rowanburn and then turned left at the top of The Cut where John's grandmother was brought up. This is the view from this road towards Whita Hill.
Gilnockie School and now a private residence
Gilnockie Hall which is still used now and again for social events
Gilnockie Station and now the home of Kirsteen Davies
On the road down from Gilnockie to Hollows there is a new plantation of trees. Tom insisted that we inspect them so that we can come back in 30 years time to take another photograph to see how they have developed. When Tom gets an idea in his head we have to humour him but I don't think we will be back in 30 years time.  
Tom inspects the trees. 
At Hollows Mill the Archimedes Screw is now in operation providing power to the mill and in times of surplus to the National Grid. This photograph is taken from Hollows Bridge.

Todays walkers
At the Hollows Bridge we met Arthur Irving who was doing his bit for the community in keeping the bridge tidy. He does the same at Canonbie Bridge on a regular basis.  
Back on the high road from Hollows to Canonbie we passed the old Free Kirk which has now been converted into 2 flats with each of them on the market at £500,000. I have a feeling they will never sell at that price but time will tell. 
When I got up this morning this was the red sky at sunrise which usually is a sign of bad weather but maybe that is for tomorrow as today has been excellent
From the new plantation we inspected this is the view towards Brockwoodlees and it is rather nice but once the trees grow up it will disappear. 

Wednesday 11 November 2015

The Duchesse's Drive at Bowhill

We had intended to go to Silloth for todays walk but last night we looked at the weather forecast and decided to head east as the forecast for Selkirk was much better. This proved to be an excellent decision as the weather was excellent and for about an hour we even had sunshine. We started our walk which is a 7.5 mile circuit starting at Bowhill the Borders home of the Duke of Buccleuch. This is the road through the wood at the start of the walk.
This is a stone seat engraved BQ for Buccleuch & Queensbury
Once we gain a bit of height we get one of the best views of the Eildons in the distance.  
One of the many Grouse Butts on the hillside. This is a working Grouse Moor and I am delighted to say that most of the Grouse from this moor is sold by Buccleuch to Marks & Spencer as a direct result of the sponsorship of Langholm's "Making the Most of the Moorland Project". This is because last year M & S had to stop selling wild Grouse in its food shops as people mostly in Yorkshire protested because of the persecution of The Hen Harrier in the Yorkshire Grouse Moors. By supporting our project they can now be seen to be supporting methods to help Hen Harriers and therefore becoming ethical in their product.  
In the distance we can see that Forestry is harvested just like many agricultural commodities. This is a perfect example of how great swarths of forest are cleared.
This is Newark Castle built by the Douglas family in 1423 and eventually gifted to the Scott family. 
The Tower
As we were standing at Newark Castle two of these came over very low and very quiet and I just managed to get my camera in focus for the second one.
One of the many log piles waiting for the timber wagons to take them away
The gates to Bowhill House. We ended up with a snack at Philiphaugh Estate cafe and by the time we were on our way home to Langholm the rain started with a vengeance so we had been very lucky.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Autumn Watch at Caerlaverock

Last week the weather was so wet we only were able to have an Umbrella Walk round Potholm and no photographs were taken as it was so wet. Today the weather was dull but dry as we headed for Caerlaverock Reserve for a 6 mile walk along the shore and past the Castle. The BBC are filming Autumn Watch from here so it is very busy and the car park was almost full by the the time we arrived at 10.30am. These are all the outside broadcast units but as it was so busy we did not venture into the reserve prior to our walk and we decided to lunch at the castle as the cafe here was too busy.
The lane taking us to the shore and the Merse. 
There is very little colour in the hedgerows at this time of year but this Gorse bush was an oasis of colour in the hedge. 
Caerlaverock Castle where we had an excellent lunch.
Barnacle Geese in one of the many fields. We are told there are 41,000 of them wintering here this year. 

Blog Archive