Wednesday 22 June 2016

The Canonbie (Overgrown) Walk

The plan for todays walk was to do a circuit of 6 miles and finish with afternoon tea at the Canonbie Community Cafe. It had been hoped that David would join us but unfortunately he had meetings all day. He must get his retirement priorities right in the future and leave Wednesdays free. It is a while since we went to the Meeting of the Waters and the path is now very overgrown and difficult in places. It used to be maintained for fishermen but that no longer seems to be the case.  
A landslip at the Deed Nook may have the people who own houses at the cliff top worried as it looks as if more could slip into the river. 
A new set of steps has been put in just along from the Deed Nook as part of the banking had been swept away in the December floods. Hopefully these ones wont be affected by future flooding. 
The place where the old steps used to be.
With no grass being cut on the paths they are now becoming very difficult to use. 
Across the Esk is the very imposing Woodhouselees.
This time it is Thistles that is causing John a problem. 
The Liddell skewed viaduct separating Scotland from England 
On the old section of railway line to Rowanburn the trees have been cleared now allowing views of the small valley. 
To settle an argument about when the trees were planted Tom decided to count the circles of a large tree. It had about 35 rings so the trees were planted in the early 80s. At the end of the walk we had afternoon tea at the Canonbie Community Cafe where 3 pots of tea (3cups in each), 3 scones and 3 slices of excellent cake came to an astonishing £7.20 in total. This surely is the best bargain for afternoon tea in the country and served by volunteers in a very friendly manner. 

Wednesday 8 June 2016

The Sunken Lanes of Cumbria (when we found them)

The last time we did this walk was in November 2014 and many of the lanes were flooded. As they are sunken they are below the level of many of the fields so water just collects in them. No such problem today as they were so dry and overgrown we had a problem finding our way. We even got off to a bad start and had great difficulty following the instructions in the book so it took us half an hour to get on the right lane. There were loads of locked gates as well so these had to be climbed. If the lanes are on the OS maps as rights of way then each gate should have a stile like this one in the photo. Lots of the gates were not in good condition and it was a real effort to get over them. 
The fences were all barbed wire as well which causes problems
This is the best of the Sunken Lanes and is about 600 years old. They date back to medieval times and were used by villagers to move their stock between the villages which is why they have such high banks so the stock will remain in the lane. 
A short break on the village green at Thurstonfield.
This is Thurstonfield Lough. It has many log cabins round the sides of it and is used as a holiday centre. 
Thurstonfield Lough
In the middle of Thurstonfield Village is this beautiful old house. I don't know what it is used for today.
It was just along this lane we went wrong in a big way and added another 2 miles to our route. It is a mixture of bad map reading and bad instructions in the book. We ended up going all the way round a huge corn field and ending up back where we started on this lane. 
The Corn Field with no exit. We eventually found our way back on the right lane and ended up back at Burgh by Sands for a very welcome pint in the Greyhound.

A family of Swans on Thurstonfield Lough

Saturday 4 June 2016

Newcastle Break with our Grandchildren

Gaye and I headed to Newcastle on Monday evening to look after Hannah and Leo for a few days during the mid term holiday. Unfortunately we left the good weather back in Langholm as it was cold, damp, and very windy with the east wind coming straight from Siberia. We did however enjoy our time with the kids despite the weather.
A selfie with Leo and myself.
Leo ready to bake some chocolate chip cookies
Leo has been growing Cress at school.
Mother and Daughter
A family photo
Hannah just loved dogs, but used to be nervous of them. She is now getting used to dogs and this one in particular is going to be a firm favourite. He is only 4 months old and its owner who is a good friend of Fiona's will now be getting regular visits from Fiona & Hannah. Leo is still very nervous with dogs but will gradually get used to this one and will in time love him as much as Hannah does. 
On Thursday I headed out to Seaton Sluice and walked the beach from there to Blyth. It is a lovely walk with the return walk on a path through the sand dunes. It was however blowing a gale and even with 4 layers on I was frozen. 

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