Wednesday 18 May 2016

Westwater Farm and a walk up the Valley

Only Niall, Tom, and myself today so when we met at 9.30am Tom suggested a walk up the valley on forestry roads at Westwater Farm especially as Niall had never walked there. Tom and I last walked there in April 2015 but the rate at which the trees are growing will mean that in a few years time you wont see anything because of the trees. This is the lovely garden which is very sheltered and not easy to see from the road. It is open regularly for the public to visit and well worth a visit. 
There are loads of animals running around including Peacocks, Hens, Donkeys, and loads of Dogs. The Dogs were chasing the Peacocks who were in turn chased by the Donkeys. It was a very friendly and happy place to spend a few minutes of our time. Many thanks to the couple who own it and apologies for not asking their names.  
The mist came down and a fine drizzle started so the photographs are not very good. This is the deciduous trees which are growing much slower than the conifers. 
Tom and Niall dressed for the weather.
This is the head of the valley 
This is the other side of the valley and the route we went. 
Another view of our route up the valley 
Tom was a big hit with the Donkeys at the farm
There were six Donkeys all there as pets not as a Donkey sanctuary.
We ended our walk with lunch in the Buccleuch Centre.

Thursday 12 May 2016

River Esk Walk the Nicest Walk in the Valley

After the excitement of 10 of us walking at Gala last week it was back to a local walk and my favourite but only Niall, Tom, and myself available. Peter and Elizabeth are enjoying glorious weather in the Inner Hebrides and John and Sandria are in Crete. It could be that Peter and Elizabeth are having the better weather. The walk along the river Esk from Canonbie to Langholm is glorious and on a lovely day like yesterday it must be one of the nicest walks in Scotland with loads of wild life to be seen.  
I just love these logs stored in a perfect way 
We hope to re apply to Buccleuch Estates for this walk to be included in our Langholm Walks portfolio after we were turned down by them a good few years ago and hopefully they will change their mind this time. If we get the go ahead I have been promised a seat will be placed here at Hollows overlooking this superb view.
The views of the Esk are spectacular and most of the walk is along the fishers footpaths. This is the new Archimedes Screw powering Hollows Mill.
Lovely Cherry blossom at Hollows Mill
The Mill stream at Hollows Mill for the new power turbine.
I hope nobody was on this ladder when the banking slipped into the river
The following few photographs are of the stretch up to Gilnockie Tower

And the actual tower which is hardly ever visited and wasted as an Armstrong Clan visitor attraction as much more could be done with it if the 2 branches of the Armstrong Clan worked together instead of always being at loggerheads.
We were back onto the old road for a short stretch of the walk and this is the old Hagg on Esk School which has been a private house for as long as I can remember.
The next stretch of the river Esk walk to Irvine House is spectacular and should not be walked if the river is in flood.
The rapids just before Irvine House
The river Tarras joins the Esk and it looks such an inconspicuous river but in fact it is one of the nicest river valleys in Scotland and a hidden gem for wild life 
Irvine House which has been empty for many years but has just been sold by Buccleuch Estates. Let's hope it is soon occupied and maybe will become a small hotel or Sporting Lodge which would be a great asset to the area. 

Wednesday 4 May 2016

Peter's Birthday Walk at Galashiels

Peter's Birthday Walk took us to Galashiels and a walk called the Buckholm Circular. There were 10 of us there with only David missing as he is enjoying life in Barbados at the moment. Although it was cold it was dry and the ground was only muddy at a few places. The views were spectacular at several places on the walk.  
Gala from our starting point. We have rarely walked at Gala as there is a story going among Borders folk that the sun never shines on Gala and that was certainly the case today. It was however a superb walk and we all enjoyed the scenery. This is the town as seen from our starting point just above the cemetery. 
The first point of interest on the walk was the Buckholm Tower which was built in 1582.
Peter and Martin explore the land round the Tower.
Some of the old ruined houses next to the Tower
The view of the Eildons is always spectacular and this is the first time I have seen them from the north
The last section of the walk took us along the edge of the Ladhope Golf Course. Our golfing walkers John and Tom tell me that this is not the best of golf courses as it is steep in places and there were not many members playing today. Our walk ended with an excellent meal in Melrose.

Monday 2 May 2016

Our 70s Safari Supper

Tom serving some cheesy nibbles to our 70s couple Niall & Elspeth. we started at Toms for drinks and nibbles followed by a Starter at Peter & Elizabeth's, then main course at Niall & Elspeth's and finally puddings at Gavin & Gaye's. Great fun and great food.  
Elizabeth in her genuine 70s coat.
The starters at Peter & Elizabeths. Due to the photographer imbibing too much alcohol no more photographs were taken. 

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