Wednesday 29 April 2015

Truckers Forestry Road and the Eskdalemuir Hub

The purpose of today's trip to Eskdalemuir was to visit the new Eskdalemuir Hub for our lunch after the walk. The forecast for today was for a wet afternoon so we set off early and our 6 mile walk round the Forestry Truckers Road was completed without a drop of rain and only minutes before the heavens opened. A bit of excellent timing of maybe just good luck. 
The view looking east from the Forestry Road

The road which was used by 3 trucks as we walked along this morning with 2 of them loaded and 1 unloaded. 
And the view looking west
One of the loaded trucks travelling at about 15 miles per hour. The surface of the road is still in good condition after a good number of years usage. 
On our way back to the village we walked through Samy Ling which is now almost complete after many years of building work. 
The completed Temple now in the form of a quadrangle with accommodation for visitors on the other sides of the quadrangle. 
Tom reckons that you can get good luck by going through this entrance gate. The last time we were here he walked through it and then scored his lowest ever golf score the next day. He is hoping it will work again for his game against John tomorrow morning, but as John also walked through it also he might be lucky instead.
We ended our walk at the Eskdalemuir Hub and enjoyed a lovely lunch. Many thanks to Nick Jennings for showing us round and to Sharon Tolson for inviting us. It is a lovely place to stop for a meal or a coffee but very quiet during the early part of the week. 

Wednesday 22 April 2015

A Walk in Wilton Lodge Park

Today's walk was in Wilton Lodge Park in Hawick and consisted of an outer and inner circle of the park making a total of 5 miles walked. This was ideal for David with his knee problems and also suited Niall who had just arrived from Australia yesterday afternoon and was a bit jet lagged. The weather was glorious and it was a lovely walk in this beautiful park. Bowman also enjoyed the day out and is ready for his summer hair cut as it got quite warm.
The early part of the walk took us along the A7 to this bridge over the River Teviot. It has just finished from almost 2 years refurbishment and it now looks as if a vehicle has hit it and caused a bit of damage.  
The highest part of the walk in the outer circle of the park
Looking over the town

The Wilton Burn Waterfall in the centre of the park. 
Hawick's most famous son Bill McLaren 
The museum in the middle of the park but it was too nice a day to look round it today.
Another of Hawick's famous sons Jimmy Guthrie the Motor Cyclist
In the inner circle of the park we passed this building which used to be the Teviotdale Harriers clubhouse and Athletics Field and this brought many memories back for David and Tom who competed there in their youth. On one particular day they entered many events and between them swept the board in prizes, although I think that David won most of them with Tom giving great support. We ended the day with lunch at the Drum Cafe at an outside table so Bowman could join us. A lovely day out in excellent company.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Glendinning and Greensykes Walk

Two years ago we did the same walk and it was so wet we ended up like drookit rats by the time we had finished. Today was much better, although we had to delay the start due to rain but by 11.00am the rail had cleared and the sun was out and it stayed that way for the rest of the walk. We met a shepherd checking his flock and his Border Collie came over to say hello while the shepherd took our photo. 
The only way to check the sheep these days and must save miles of walking. of course each shepherd has a much bigger flock to look after. 
And just a few of his many sheep and lambs
This house seems to have been empty since we were last here, yet it still looks in quite good state of repair. Maybe it is now just a holiday cottage, but it is very remote.
The trees have all been felled so it is now a much more open walk.
The main purpose of our walk was to visit the Bothy at Greensykes. It is regularly used by visitors and had just recently seen a couple of families staying for a night going by the visitors book.  
We enjoyed a seat outside in the sun 
The view from further up the hill
In the cooking area these two frying pans were left for the next visitors. I don't think I would like to eat any food from these as they are caked in grease and very dirty. We headed for home where Gaye had been spending the day baking bread and cakes so the four of us tucked in to a very enjoyable afternoon tea. 

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Trees, Trees, and more Trees at Westwater

Today we only had Tom and myself on our walk so we decided to stay local and headed for Callister to walk up the valley at Wastewater Farm. Leaving the car at the forestry road end near the house at the top of Callister we headed up the valley. It was a perfect spring morning and Tom even donned his shorts for the walk so that shows how warm it was. Good job we never met anybody as Tom in his shorts is not the finest of sights to meet on a walk.  
This used to be a sheep farm but a few years ago it was sold to someone who is now developing it for forestry. Walking today you can still see the hills and small valleys but in a few years you will be walking among tall trees and will see nothing else. 
The head of the valley and the small trees which will soon spoil the views. Tom a joy to behold in his shorts.
We came upon these puddles full of Frog spawn and Tadpoles. The one on the left was almost dry so we moved the Frog spawn to the other pool in the hope it will get a chance to survive. If there is no rain in the next few days this pool also will dry up and that will be the end of the Tadpoles. There were several puddles like this on the forestry road and they were all teaming with Tadpoles.
This line of trees had all been blown over at the same time 
This wee fellow was on its own in a field and what could have been its mother was a long way away. We hoped it was OK but no doubt the shepherd will be checking the fields later in the day.
Near Westwater Farm was a field of Donkeys and they really are a beautiful collection of animals in excellent condition
Near the farm there is a lot of building going on. We think this is a new project connected with the breeding of birds for the Falconry trade in the Middle East. We don't know what this circular framework is for but it could be a large exercise area for the Raptors. No doubt time will tell and we can visit again in the future. 
Wastewater Farm from the main road. A lovely 7 mile walk on a glorious day topped of at the finish with lunch in the Buccleuch Centre.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

Martins's Birthday Walk - The Cumbria Way Near Carlisle

As the date of Martin's Birthday Walk got closer the weather forecast looked awful but we decided to go for it and Tom, Peter, and myself met Martin, John, and Ken at Carlisle Station at 9.30am as they arrived from Edinburgh. We immediately caught a large taxi to take us 8 miles away to a bridge past Dalston so we could walk the final leg of the Cumbria Way following the River Caldew. We started the walk at 10.00am and it was still dry and remained that way until the last half hour of the walk.  
I am told that this house is the Bishop of Carlisle's Palace and is now up for sale. Why do the Church of England clergy have to live in such palatial houses?
The River Caldew where it forms an Island
The snow covered hills in the background and we are all well wrapped up as it was very cold especially for the 1st of April.
Lime House School near Dalston 
Our route took us through the Dalston Farmers Point to Point jumps course where they were getting ready for a meeting on Easter Monday.
Near Dalston is the factory of Jacob Cowan & Sons Ltd. and I used to visit there many times in my Atlasair days as I flew their products to many places round the world. The mill stream is diverted from the Caldew.
Jacob Cowan & Sons Ltd. and still in use producing cotton products that go into bandages and other health products. We also passed the factory of another of my old customers Stead McAlpine and they are still in business and very busy.
My favourite bird the Dipper on a rock beside the river Caldew
This weir is next to Holme Mills which is an old textile mill now converted to posh flats.
By now it was raining hard but we were back in Carlisle and finished the day with a nice afternoon meal in The Bobbin at Linton Tweeds.

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