Wednesday 25 January 2017

Checking out our Holiday Cottage in Colvend

There was only 2 of us left to go walking today as David & Tom are in Barbados, Niall is still in Australia, and Peter is in Switzerland so John and I decided to go and check out our holiday rental in Colvend. The Last of the Summer Wine Walkers are spending a week there at the end of June (13 of us) so we headed out to see if it was as good as the brochure and website says. This is the back of it and it looks onto White Loch at Colvend just behind the public hall. The building on the extreme left is a boathouse converted into 2 bedrooms and there are 5 on suite bedrooms in the main building. 
This is Barean Loch about half a mile from the Loch the cottage is on. . 
Our walk took us through Dalbeattie Forrest for 3.5 miles and then we headed down the road into Kippford. We were fortunate it was high tide and very, very quiet. We arrived at the Anchor Hotel at 12 noon just in time for a bar lunch and we were served and back on our walk again by 12.40pm. The route through the forrest is well signposted and has lots to see.  
John in a very quiet and deserted Kippford. It wont stay this way for long and will soon be attracting visitors once the weather warms up.  
This is the quietest I have ever seen Kippford but probably the first time I have been there in January. Many of the cottages are closed up for the winter which shows now how many of them are holiday cottages.  
A lovely beech hedge and of course the view is spoiled by telephone wires. 
After leaving `Kippford we took the higher footpath to Rockcliffe and it passes what used to be Barrons Craig Hotel. This closed a few years ago, but there were people working in the grounds so I don't know if it has been bought as a private house or if it will re open as a hotel. 
Back at Colvend after a 7 mile walk we looked over a high fence to get a slightly better view of our holiday cottage. We look forward to what I am sure will be a great holiday. 

Wednesday 18 January 2017

A Day in Hawick is not a day Wasted

They say in Hawick that a day out of Hawick is a day wasted so we decided to spend a day in Hawick to see if that was true. It was dry and reasonably mild so we headed out from The Teviotdale Leisure Centre along the old Waverley railway line to the outlying hamlets of Hornshole, Ormiston and Cavers, a distance of 7.5 miles.  
This is Mansfield Park the home of Hawick RFC 
An old bridge on the Waverley Line. If the extend the new line from Edinburgh any further we think it might just come as far as Hawick but it is very unlikely it will come as far as Langholm 
Half a mile after this photo Tom realised his walking stick was back at the bridge. 
The line has become very much waterlogged and unsuitable for walking 
John tells us the hills are at Minto and are shaped like a woman's breasts. I could not possibly comment.  
This bridge over the River Teviot is called Hornshole Bridge where a famous battle was fought in 1514
The monument commemorating the Battle of Hornshole in 1514
The seat has an inscription on it "Bright Eyed Daughters" but what it means I have no idea. 
This is Cavers Church and it has a weekly service unlike many rural churches 
In the grounds of Cavers Church there is a statue to William Leggat. Born in 1716, the son of a Blacksmith he worked as a servant for the Douglas family of Cavers House where Lady Cavers had a soft spot for him. In return he ran messages and fetched vegetables. Legend has it that he was stabbed to death with a carving knife by the cook, enraged when he brought the wrong vegetables.
It was an excellent walk and we finished up in a small cafe on Hawick High St called the Pickled Orange where we had excellent soup and sandwiches at a reasonable price. 

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Bitterly Cold in Copshaw

Its amazing how quickly each Wednesday walk comes round. This week we are off to Newcastleton to do a 5.5 mile walk along the old Waverley Railway Line and to cross this new Whithaugh Bridge for the first time. The Bridge has helped the village to attract more visitors as all the Mountain Bike Trails now start from the Square in the village instead of the other side of the river. The proprietor of the Grapes Hotel says it has made a big difference to his business and was great investment. We were very fortunate with the weather as we only had one heavy shower but the wind was biting cold so we kept up a good pace and never stopped for a break.  
The village of Newcastleton nestling in the narrow Liddel valley 
It was a day of horses coming to see what we had to offer them. This was the first group of the day looking rather splendid in their winter coats.
The first part of the walk followed the road but we then took a path down a very muddy track through the wood to the old Waverley railway line.  
Once on the Waverley line we passed the remains of Mangerton Tower. It was one of the many Armstrong fortified houses in the Borders. The tower has been ruined for at least 200 years. Tom tried to get me to take a step back for the photo but no chance of that as it was quite a drop.
Our last group of horses. These youngsters were part of a group of six but these two were the cutest. they will need those winter coats in the next few days. We had a heavy sleet shower just as we approached the village but it did not last long and when we arrived back at the Grapes Hotel for lunch the sun was shining. 

Wednesday 4 January 2017

Search for the River Lyne

Todays Wednesday walk took us to Longtown and a walk along the Esk to the River Lyne or at least that was our plan. The first couple of miles were easy along the bank of the Esk but then things started to go wrong. Tom was in charge of the map and he insisted that the burn we had come to was the river Lyne. We subsequently found out it was not and was in fact the Hall Burn. We then proceeded to take the wrong lane to the wrong destination and went from bad to worse.  
As you can see Tom is in charge of the map
The river Esk looking very peaceful 
One of the many lanes we went along in our quest to find the correct spot 
Tom climbs the gate and yet again lead us in the wrong direction.  
Good job there is no sound on the photograph as by this time we were cursing him 
Two Deer in the far corner of the field. 
Peter asking these 2 cows the right direction and they were more accurate with this than Tom.
This is the old Waverley railway line and shortly after this we were persuaded by Tom to walk back to Longtown along it but we only got about half a mile before thick brambles stopped us in our tracks and we had to go all the way back to the gate we started at and walk across the field on the proper route.  
This seat near Arthuret Church was a real sun trap and we enjoyed a 10 minute break in the warm sun while we put the world to rights. 
St. Michaels Church Arthuret
This is the point on the Waverley Line where we had to turn back. It was in actual fact an excellent walk with loads of wild life to be seen and some very funny arguments with Tom. We lunched at the Buccleuch Centre and then ended up at Tom's house for our New Year drink and his excellent hospitality. We never did find the River Lyne. 

Sunday 1 January 2017

New Years Day Walk

Once again we managed to get up early for the New Years run but of course we only walked it and managed to reduce the course from 8 miles to 6. Its still a good way of starting the new year. Peter and Elizabeth managed to catch up with us not long after this photograph was taken as they had been a wee bit late getting up. Bowman as usual enjoys looking after us.
All the group together. We had enjoyed a superb evening at Hogmanay and despite being a bit on the cold side it was a lovely morning for a walk. David will not suffer the cold for long as on Monday he will be in Barbados closely followed by Tom in 3 weeks time.
This very important young lady is being escorted by her father and grandfather across the suspension bridge. Three generations of the Hutton family and we all know who is the boss. To the few followers of this blog may I take this opportunity of wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year and thank you for following our adventures during 2016. 

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