Wednesday 21 October 2015

Canonbie to Langholm along the Esk

 One of my favourite walks is from Canonbie to Langholm along the river Esk. I had hoped to turn it into one of the Langholm Walks a few years ago but we were refused permission by Buccleuch Estates. Since then I have walked it at every opportunity and taken many people for their first experience of what I think is one of the nicest walks in Scotland. We set out this morning with a poor weather forecast but we were lucky and the rain stayed away. Niall will be heading back to Australia on Saturday so this will be his last walk with us for a while.
We were followed by this herd of cattle for a while but they soon disappeared once Tom started talking about his great round of Golf yesterday. Unfortunately we had no option but to listen to him.  
Superb autumn colours at Hollows Mill and on the left you can see their new Archimedes Screw which will soon be in use to give them Hydro Power.
Gilnockie Tower which is used by one of the 2 rival Armstrong Clan Groups. If the 2 organisations could pool their resources and work together they might achieve something but at the moment it seems to be a complete wast of time and effort.  
Irving House which has been empty for many years but has I believe just been sold and may even be turned into a sporting lodge. It would be great as a very classy hotel so maybe time will tell. 

Wednesday 14 October 2015

A Walk from Howtown to Glenridding on Ullswater

Todays walk was in the Lake District and we took the Ferry from Glenridding to Howtown and then walked the 7 miles back to Glenridding. The weather was glorious and the Ferry had a full load of passengers. This is Glenridding from the stern of the Ferry. 
The footpath round the lake was tough in places and you had to watch where you put your feet. This is the start of the walk just half a mile from the pier at Howtown.  
Half way round the lake we heard these rowers shouting out the timing for their row. We think they will be from the Outward Bound school on the lake and they were having a great time. 
The Ferry makes its way back along the lake heading for the furthest point at Pooley Bridge.

The final high point of the walk and Tom is in great spirits.

Wednesday 7 October 2015

A Walk Through Westerhall

The forecast was for heavy rain this morning so we decided on an Umbrella walk from Bentpath to Langholm through Westerhall Estate. This is my favourite walk and at spring and autumn it is at its best. We were very fortunate because despite the forecast we had no rain.
This is such a beautiful house and the gardens are always perfect.  
Tom is always keen to go to the top of this hill to visit the Folly but we are happy just to photograph it in the distance.
Westerhall gardens in all their glory.
At Burnfoot bridge we met a string of James Ewarts racehorses.
This area at Douglen has been cleared of trees and it makes the road much lighter

Saturday 3 October 2015

An Indian Summer Week in the East Neuk

We headed of to Fife last Saturday for a week in a wee cottage in Crail. The weather was looking good as we set of for Edinburgh to have lunch with John & Sandria on our way to Fife. Little did we know that this was the start of a week long Indian Summer and we had a week of glorious weather and as you will see the predominate colour on all these photos is blue with both sky and sea looking so good. This is Anstruther Harbour which is the most tourist orientated of all the fishing villages on this coast.  
Just half a mile north of Anstruther is this harbour in Cellardyke. It is hardly used but a lovely peaceful place and we enjoyed an afternoon sitting in the sun here with nobody else about to disturb us. It is interesting to note that the locals hang their washing out at the side of the harbour. 
This is our holiday cottage called Tapsalteerie in the centre of Crail.
This is Pittenweem Harbour and the busiest fishing port on this coast. 
On Monday I took the ferry to the Isle of May. It was the last ferry of the season and according to the skipper it was the nicest day of the season for weather with the sea flat calm and the temperature over 20C. We were allowed to stay on the island for over 2 hours and it was well worth the visit with plenty to see. Unfortunately most of the sea birds and especially the 92,000 Puffins had left for the season but the seals had started breeding and we saw many of them in the water around the island. On our way back to Anstruther about 5 minutes from the harbour and the end of the trip we were suddenly surrounded by a pod of Dolphins so the skipper stopped the boat and for 5 minutes we were treated to a spectacular display by the Dolphins before they disappeared again. My camera was in the bottom of my rucksack so I had no time to get it out and take photographs and would probably have missed them anyway as many with cameras were pointing in the wrong direction each time they leaped out of the water.   
At each end of the island there is a foghorn. This is the southern one as the northern one is on the small island of Rona and out of bounds to visitors.
The old lighthouse is built from a converted abbey and is the oldest lighthouse in Scotland. 
Saint Andrews harbour which is completely spoiled by the student accommodation built next to it. 
This is Leven but I don't think this is used as a harbour these days.
Lower Largo harbour and the hotel next to it is called the Crusoe Hotel after local born Alexander Selkirk who was marooned on an island in the Pacific and his story dramatised by the novelist Daniel Defoe. 
Elie harbour 
St. Monans harbour
Our favourite cafe next to Crail Harbour
Last but by no means least is Crail harbour where we often sat in the late afternoon at high tide and Gaye did her Times crossword while I watched the fishermen getting their lobster pots ready to take out to sea. It has been a fantastic week and we will never forget this indian Summer in the East Neuk of Fife.

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