Thursday 27 February 2020

Sharon's First Visit to Silloth

Sharon has a day of work on a Thursday and she asked me to take her on walks at places she has never been before. This will become a monthly excursion during the summer. On this occasion her son Luke joined us and Gaye also came to explore the shops of Silloth. Neither Sharon or Luke had ever been to Silloth before so it was good that the weather was so sunny. It was also very cold but we were well wrapped up so not a problem. This is a fabulous statue on the seafront and is very popular for people to stop and sit beside the man and his dog. 
A very friendly passer by took this photo of the 3 of us.
This is taken at Grune Point at the farthest point of the spit of land going into the Solway Firth. The masts in the background are at Anthorn on the Cumbria Coast and are special  VLF and LF radio transmitters operated by Babcock International.
Sharon loves taking the obligatory selfie. We finished our walk with a lovely lunch in Mrs. Wilsons Cafe in Silloth. This was in the old Bank Building and Mrs. Wilson was the famous singer Kathleen Ferrier who married the Bank Manager in Silloth in 1933. It is rumoured that the marriage was never consummated and they parted in 1940 when he left to join the army. Gaye had a grand time visiting Silloth's Charity Shops and came away with some bargains.

Wednesday 26 February 2020

River Annan Walk to Newbie and the Solway Coast

Annan Harbour with the only boats on show a couple of ageing wrecks just like Peter and Tom
Crossing the River Annan on the pedestrian bridge below the main Annan Bridge
The River Annan from near Cochran Boilers Factory 
The view from the pedestrian bridge towards the main bridge and the town.
The offices of Cochran Boilers. I started dealing with them in 1984 when they had about 750 employees and that will be reduced to less than 200 now. They were a great customer and in my time with Atlasair, Transglobal, Wilson Logistics, and EMS Cargo (Carlisle) Ltd we must have shipped thousands of consignments of Boiler Spares to every corner of the world. The most challenging was Ships Boiler Spares in Transit when a vessel with a Cochran Boiler was arriving at a port in some obscure part of the world and we had a window 48-72 hours to get the spare parts for it's boiler there before it moved on to its next port of call. They were an absolute pleasure to deal with and I have such happy memories with dealing them and especially their Shipping Manager Mario Motroni who was a real gentleman. 
A short seat beside the sea but we did not linger as it was a cold wind. Tom is back wearing his tea cosy hat, which we thought we had seen the last of.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Snowed off in Selkirk so Broomholmshiels Instead

We decided last night to postpone our Selkirk walk as the forecast for the area we were planning to walk was for severe snow storms. We were delighted however that Peter made it up from Carlisle to walk with Tom and me. They are admiring the Dragons in Buccleuch Park
Enough snow to make it look good in a photo but to be honest we have been lucky and missed the worst of it. Peter says there was none in Carlisle.
Tom wishes he was back in Barbados and after a few good arguments so do we
We do enjoy going for our lunch at Whitshiels and always get an excellent welcome. They have almost finished the new Log Cabin and are now improving the look of the Cafe.

Wednesday 5 February 2020

Thistle Viaduct and Netherby Walk

It had to be a short early walk today as Tom had to go to Dumfries for a funeral at 12.30pm so I took Tom to Kirkandrews where I had reconnoitred on Sunday to do a 3.5 mile walk over the Thistle Viaduct and through Netherby Estate. It was an area we had never walked before and it was a most enjoyable 90 minute walk. This is the Thistle Viaduct which was on the old Waverley line from Edinburgh to Carlisle.
Its amazing to think its only a few miles south of Langholm and neither Tom or myself had ever walked over it until this week but of course regularly crossed it when the train to Carlisle operated 60 years ago. 
Once over the Thistle Viaduct we followed the railway line for a few hundred yards and then turned onto this farm lane which was extremely muddy.
We joined a narrow road which then took us to the main road between Penton and Longtown. This signpost is to Moat where my father was born and where to be honest I don't think I have ever been. I must explore it sometime soon just to see where my father was brought up as a boy before he moved to Rowanburn.
This is Carwinley Mill now converted to a lovely house on the Carwinley Burn
Just above the Mill is this pond which must have been used to provide water to the mill. There now looks to be some holiday homes round it and it is a lovely place to visit. 
A bit of the old mill machinery
Only about half a mile of the walk was on the main Penton to Longtown road and we soon headed down in to Netherby estate once we reached the North Lodge. This is Netherby Hall which is fast becoming a very popular place for holidays and they are at present converting old stables into holiday flats. 
The Suspension Bridge at Kirkandrews and it can swing about a bit when 2 large guys walk over it at the same time. 
Kirkandrews Church
Kirkandrews Tower. Long after the Roman withdrawal the parish lay at the heart of the "Debatable Land" between England and Scotland with neither country willing to take control. This legal and political vacuum allowed the notorious and lawless Graham Reiving Clan to terrorise the area. Even the establishment of the border line in 1552 did nothing to bring peace to the region. Eventually after the Union of the English and Scottish Crowns in 1603, King James intervened to rid Kirkandrews of the Graham Clan threat, by exiling some of them to distant areas including Ireland. Obviously he did not get rid of them all. 
This is the route of our short but very enjoyable and interesting walk.

Tuesday 4 February 2020

The Snowdrops of Westerhall

I never tire of visiting Westerhall and the best times to visit are February for the Snowdrops, March for the Daffodils and May for the Azaleas and Rhododendrons. This was a beautiful morning so I drove up to Burnfoot and walked through the Estate to Benpath and back a distance of 5 miles in total. It was an absolute pleasure with so much to see. This is an old Douglas Fir that must be one of the largest in Scotland 
Loads of Snowdrops and soon there will be Daffodils as well

The big house in such beautiful grounds 

The village of Bentpath in the distance
These Snowdrops will be at their best in another week or so.
The entrance gate at the southern end of the Estate

Sunday 2 February 2020

A Walk Over The Thistle Viaduct

For many years I have wanted to walk over the Thistle Viaduct that crosses the River Esk just north of Kirkandrews on Esk Church. Despite the bad weather I decided this would be my Sunday morning walk. It was well worth the effort in all the mud and rain. The last time I crossed this bridge would be in the early 1960s when I was on the train to Carlisle.
I think it would be a double rail track over the bridge as this was the old Waverley Line which at Ridings junction just a mile further north would split into the single track Langholm Branch Line.
This is a Tree House on Netherby Estate. It costs about £200 per night to rent and it looks very nice from the outside.
Kirkandrews Church
The suspension bridge at Kirkandrews Church. It has been renovated in recent years and is now in excellent condition 

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