Wednesday 25 October 2017

Gardens and Donkeys at Westwater

Tom and I have walked the valley at Westwater 3 times in the last 6 years but Peter has never done it so we headed there today. We soon met Mrs. Clapperton from Westwater who delighted in showing us her Woodland Garden. Over the last few years she has planted Tree Ferns, Bamboo, and various other trees and shrubs. This has been such a wet summer so the area is very wet and muddy but the ferns have thrived as a result of this.  
The gardens at Westwater are open to the public under the Scottish Gardens Scheme several times during the year.
An old Urn in the Woodland Garden 
The family also have several Donkeys on the farm. They were quite a long way away today. 
These are the wind turbines at Westerkirk 
Peter and Tom well wrapped up for the cold wind blowing down the valley 
This is the plantation of trees taken today and the photo below was taken in April 2015. It wont be long before all we see when walking up this valley will be trees. 
Peter looking after me
Some large tubs have been put in at the garden at Westwater
After our walk we had a nice lunch at Whitshiels Cafe where Tom tried out the garden furniture

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Walking the River Caldew from Dalston to Carlisle

The train that took us from Carlisle to Dalston. It was a beautiful day for our walk. Within 2 minutes of buying his train ticket Peter had lost his but the Ticket Inspector was very nice about it and as we were only travelling to Dalston she accepted his explanation.
This will be Tom's longest walk since his operation and from now on we will include a few hills in our walk as he is getting fitter every week.
The river Caldew
The walk took us through Cummersdale and the factory of Stead McAlpin. They were one of my biggest customers in my Atlasair days and I visited this factory on many occasions. It was one of their 2 tonne shipments I tried to book on Pan Am 103 in 1988 but was refused a booking because it had a full passenger load but when it blew up over Lockerbie there were over 100 empty seats on it. Maybe sometime in the future the real truth about PA103 will be told.
This is an old cotton mill at Denton Holme which has been converted into very nice flats

The Weir at Denton Holme which must have been put there for the cotton mill.
At this point in the walk the temperature must have been in the low 60sF. One of the nicest days we have walked this year.
The trees all along the river bank were full of berries. It will provide the birds with food all winter.
After our walk we had lunch in the Cakes and Ale Cafe near the Castle. The building in the background with the scaffolding is rumoured to be the new offices of EWM. Whether this is true only time will tell but if it is then its a despicable move by them and I feel nothing but contempt for them deserting the town that put them on the map. It will be the final nail in the coffin for our wonderful little town.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

A Rainy Day Walk

Our walk had been arranged for 10.30am but was delayed until 1.30pm as the forecast said it would stop raining by then.  It was wrong and it kept on raining right up to 2.30pm and then it stopped and the sun came out. We headed round my morning walk route but even that was flooded in places and very muddy so we kept to the tarmac area as much as possible. 
The Esk was in full flow but not at dangerous levels just big 
The stone Turtle at the Suspension Bridge is well built and managed to survive the flood.  
The Wauchope was the first to come down in flood but was well contained. Our walk ended with tea at Whitshiels Cafe and despite the weather the conversation was excellent and we enjoyed ourselves.

Thursday 5 October 2017

Downhill All The Way

In our efforts to get Tom back to fitness this weeks Wednesday walk would be just under 5 miles and the longest yet for Tom. We did the 2 car trick and left Peter's car at Hollows and took mine to the Kerr wood. We followed the old Drove Road to Old Irving and then along the old A7. It was downhill all the way and the west to east direction was very fortunate as the driving rain and wind was at our backs and not in our face. It was not wet for too long and we finished the walk with lunch in The Buccleuch Centre.
Facing into the wind and rain on the old road.
The area all round this old road is now being planted with trees so in a few years time there will be loads of trees and no moorland views 
Soon it will be all trees. 
From the old A7 looking up the Esk to Irving House

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