Wednesday 27 April 2016

Sandria & Niall's Birthday Walk at Devil's Beef Tub

Today was a joint Birthday Walk for both Sandria and Niall so Sandria or maybe it was John selected a walk round the top part of the Annandale Way round the Devil's Beef Tub. There was 4 of us from Langholm and 3 from Edinburgh so we met a few miles north of  Moffat on the A701 at the roads highest point. The walk was shown as 5.5 miles but in actual fact we covered almost 7.5 miles. This photograph was taken by an American motorist from Seattle who had stopped to look at the view. 
And this was the view from the highest point of the walk at Great Hill overlooking the Devil's Beef Tub with the start of Annandale in the valley. 
The birthday pair pose for a photograph.  
There was quite a lot of climbing on the walk but it was not too steep and what was even better quite dry under foot. There were patches of snow but nothing too deep.
And this is the source of the River Annan according to the plaque on the cairn.
On the long drop down into the valley there has been loads of trees planted that should return the valley to the way it was many hundreds of years ago.
An unusual sheep pen
These lambs were in the shed at Ericstane Farm. They were much warmer here than on the open hillside where the start of the hill lambing is due now. 
More of the newly planted trees mostly Birch but we did see quite a few Juniper trees as well.
Almost exactly 4 hours after we started we were back at the car and ended our walk with a late lunch in Brodies back in Moffat. I was delighted to present the members of the Last of the Summer Wine Walking Group with photo albums recording their many walks together over the years. We have another Birthday Walk next Wednesday when it will be Peter's and a 6 mile walk near Galashiels. 

Wednesday 20 April 2016

Castle O'er & Bessie's Hill Walk

This was certainly the nicest day of the year so far and perfect for our walk up Eskdalemuir. This was taken at the site of a large iron-age Hill Fort at Castle O'er. This series of grassy earthworks, with obvious banks and dykes as well as traces of roundhouses in the centre dates back 2000 years. 
This is the view from the smaller fort at Bessie's Hill and clearly shows the Standing Stone Circle on the other side of the Esk.  
Castle O'er Fort at the top of the hill
From the Castle O'er fort you can see Tanlawhill Rig and this conical monument which is built with granite blocks and has a copper roof. Not sure what it is supposed to commemorate.
Much of the Esk Valley is covered in trees and will provide the Iggesund Board Mill at Workington with timber for many years to come. In my days with Atlasair they shipped consignments of Board products all over the world. 
Our walk finished with lunch at The Hub at Eskdalemuir. It is a lovely place for a meal stop and well worth a visit. 

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Hydro Scheme at Westerhall

Today walk was switched to a local Umbrella Walk as the weather forecast was so bad for the area we had planned to walk. This is the southern entrance to Westerhall Estate which is my favourite local place to walk especially in the spring. The weather was not good but not bad enough to stop us walking.
As a slight detour we headed up the Glenearls Syke at the farm to see the new Hydro Electric scheme.
This gate will stop the flow of water
What used to be an island is now mostly clear of water.
The new run off that will provide the power.
After this short detour we returned to the road through the estate where you can see this superb statue in the grounds.
Westerhall house with loads of beautiful daffodils in the grounds.
This was the old dam when we were there on 5th March 2014 as you will see if you look up my old blog on that date.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Squirrels everywhere

We took Hannah and Leo to Eskrigg Wildlife Reserve at Lockerbie this morning to see the Red Squirrels as it is reputed to be the best place to see the Reds anywhere in Scotland. We were not disappointed and the kids had a fabulous time.

This was one of the older ones and looks much darker than the young ones.

They are great to watch getting into the feeders.

Very cute.

This young one was so tame it came within a few feet of Hannah.

The kids just love walking with Granny Gaye

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