Wednesday 27 February 2019

A Glorious February Day at St. Mary's Loch

What a glorious day for a walk. We met John at St. Mary's Loch and parked my car there while John took us a mile further along the road to avoid us walking the first part of the walk on the main road. This reduced the walk to just under 6 miles. Just after we left the car and before we headed to the path along the hillside we passed this old church. We headed into the grounds to have a better look at it and discovered it had been converted to a house and we were therefore in somebody's garden. I normally don't like Church Conversions but this one was beautiful and the garden splendid.  
Just as we set off this C130 Cargo Plane flew down the Loch
There has been a lot of planting done along the hillside in this area. Just a mile or so from here there is the Carrifran Wildwood which was set up over 10 years ago and helped considerably by our friend David's charitable trust. 
There is a lovely path running parallel to the road. When we last walked round the Loch over 10 years ago we had to walk along the main road but there is now an excellent way marked trail round the Loch.
The weather was just perfect and the views spectacular. During the 2.5 hours we were walking we only met 4 other walkers. 
The Yarrow water at the exit from the Loch
Spectacular views of St. Mary's Loch

We stopped at this upturned rowing boat for a breather. A fast jet suddenly appeared but I had no time to photograph it as it headed down the Loch at about 100ft.

Our walk map
There is an old bridge crossing over the outlet between the Loch of the Lowes and St. Mary's Loch. This must have been the nicest February walk we have had for many years and we ended our perfect day with a lovely lunch in Selkirk

Sunday 17 February 2019

Whitley Bay to Tynemouth Walk

It was a glorious day in Newcastle so I took the Metro from Longbenton to Whitley Bay and walked along the cost about 4 miles to Tynemouth. This is St. Mary's lighthouse just north of Whitley Bay. There has been huge improvements to Whitley Bay with a complete renovation of the old Spanish City. It is looking much classier but there are still empty derelict hotels in places but the overall picture is of a seaside resort fighting back.
Just next to the harbour at Cullercoats is this lovely display of Crocuses  
Tynemouth beach was very busy despite a cold wind blowing which proves just how tough the Geordies are. It was a very pleasant walk and at Tynemouth Metro station there was a smashing market with loads of interesting stalls. If you add the mile walk each way from Fiona's house to the Metro I did 6 miles in very pleasant weather.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

A Bleak Day in Wanlockhead

John was staying in Moffat this week in a holiday cottage so he can visit his mum in her Care Home on a daily basis. We picked him up in Moffat and headed off to Leadhills for our walk to Wanlockhead and back. Our intention was to walk along the railway line for the first half of the walk and then go along part of the Southern Upland Way and an old trail back to Leadhills. Unfortunately the weather was pretty bad with low cloud and high winds so we decided to just come back more or less the same way we had gone to avoid going into the hills. This is the start of the walk at Leadhills Station.
The line out of the station 
This small station near Wanlockhead is as far as the narrow gauge line goes. It hopefully will eventually get as far as Wanlockhead. This station is the highest in Britain at almost 1500ft. 
This was Wanlockhead in the mist
This is the old Bowling Green which looks as if it has not been played on for a few years.
As we walked into Wanlockhead we noticed what we thought was razor wire round all the street lights, but on closer inspection we realised that they were Christmas Lights 
At the Visitor Centred we noticed these tubs and our guess was that they are used to assist people when they pan for gold next to the burn that runs beside the Centre. 
This small glen next to the Visitor Centre has been developed as a lovely walkway. 
Looking down the glen from the top looking towards the Visitor Centre 
On our way home we noticed this brand new Power Sub Station which has recently been built to handle the Electricity from the many Wind Turbines in the area. We headed back to Moffat for a nice lunch in the Balmoral and dropped John back at his holiday cottage

Wednesday 6 February 2019

A Walk Along the River Eden at Wetheral

This walk had been planned in January but due to bad weather we had to postpone it. Anyway better late than never so Tom and I headed to Peter's to collect him and he acted as our guide for this 6 mile walk. I will have been over this viaduct at Wetheral many times on my train journeys to Newcastle so it was nice to walk under it.
A better view of Wetheral Viaduct
This building is known as Corby Castle. The original building was a defensive Pele Tower dating from the Middle Ages. This part was built in the early 19th Century. Although the river Eden regularly floods this building looks to be very safe.
This part was built in 1720 by Thomas Howard following his grand tour of Italy
A spectacular lawn
Further along the Eden we headed down these sandstone cliffs to St. Constantine's Cells, supposedly occupied by a Scottish Hermit in the 6th Century and later used by Benedictine Monks from Wetheral Priory.
The second half of the walk took us through farmland and minor roads back to Wetheral
On the outskirts of Wetheral is Wetheral Priory Gatehouse.This was founded in 1106 by Monks from York. The Priory' was dissolved in 1538 and the Gatehouse was used as a Vicarage during the 16th and 17th Centuries.
This is Coathouse Island on the River Eden. A most enjoyable 6 mile walk and finished off with a nice snack in the Coffee Shop in the centre of the village.

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