Wednesday 25 August 2021

Tom's Shortcut has all gone to Pot

Our walk today took us up to Westerkirk and the site of a brand new factory in the hills. It's a spectacular setting and this secret site is for producing legally a substance that is normally illegal but now for the benefit of the NHS. We were very impressed with the factory or giant greenhouse and it should create a lot of employment in the area when it opens. 
The bit on the right looks as if it is going to be a huge reservoir for water. These plants will need loads of heat and water.
Tom asked that we did not go right to the top of the hill to the wind turbines as he had a bowling match later in the day and to be honest I was quite pleased to agree with him for once. 
This is the road up and it's a gentle climb for most of the way.
Tom and I argued about the best way to get round the factory site. There was a road right in front of it but Tom said there would be a locked gate. He decided against my better judgement that we would follow a fence and get onto the top road. This was the shortcut from Hell and it took an age to get less than half a mile. It was  such rough ground and we both fell a couple of times. We eventually came to a high fence and that had to be followed until eventually we came to a gate we could get over. We were both knackered by the time we had completed the shortcut and we discovered the gate was not locked. It will be when the factory is up and running and then the site will be very secure.

The wind turbines at the top of the hill.
Looking up the valley at the start of the walk
This was a lovely copse of trees with loads of Rowan
Looking across the Esk valley.

 Another view of the Esk valley. We completed 6 miles but that half mile shortcut had nearly finished us and the last 2 miles of the walk were completed in silence.

Wednesday 11 August 2021

A Canal Walk from Polmont to Linlithgow

I love when a plan comes together. A few weeks ago on our last group walk Martin and I discussed a walk along the Union Canal from Polmont to Linlithgow so Martin checked the canal sections and I worked on the train logistics. Gaye and I arrived in Edinburgh Waverley at 10.26am and were met by Peter, Tom, Martin, and John plus Aileen who was taking Gaye to the Galloway Hoard Exhibition and also a Tapestry Exhibition. We made our train to Polmont with a few minutes to spare and by 11.00am we were walking East along the Union Canal. Unfortunately these photos uploaded to my blog page are not in the order that I took them. This is the first section of the walk near Polmont Station. 
This is Linlithgow Palace with St Michael's Parish Church in front of it spoiling the view.
This is Lin's Mill Aqueduct that carries the Union Canal over the river Almond. It was designed by Hugh Baird but modelled on Thomas Telford's at Chirk on the Ellesmere Canal. It was built 1820-2. It is a spectacular walk over it and you have to watch where you put your feet as these cobbles could cause you to trip or slip and fall into the canal. I am happy to report we all made it safely across.
A splash of colour near the Aqueduct with a collection of Poppies.
john and Tom enjoying the walk.
At the half way point we stopped at a Cafe for a Bacon sandwich and a drink and these Swans were sitting just in front of us. The parents were trying to get them to fly but to no avail. 

This is the Canal Basin in Linlithgow.
Taken from the Linn's Mill Aqueduct this is the river Almond.
Average age 75 but we walked along the canal like youngsters in order to beat the rain. No hills of course that is the attraction of canal walks. 
Another mooring area near Linlithgow where many years ago coal boats used to moor. 

This is the cafe where we had our refreshments. The Towpath is on the opposite side so we had to go past it to cross over a bridge and then back on the other side.
We were near the end of our walk before we saw a boat moving along the canal followed a few minutes later by a tourist boat full of people even older than us walkers taking them for an evening jaunt along the canal.
At this point in the canal a few years ago the embankment collapsed breaching the canal. It was repaired a  year later.

Some bullrushes beside the canal.
Peter completing his walk over the aqueduct.

 This is the gang arriving at Polmont Station all masked for our train travels. We left the station and commenced walking at 11.00am and were back in Waverley Station by 2.30pm in plenty of time for our train back to Tweedbank and just as Aileen and Gaye had completed their very enjoyable time at the 2 exhibitions plus 2 refreshment stops and a little bit of shopping. We should have had another 2 walkers but Ken was recovering from a hospital visit and David has a sore foot. It was a great day out and we had many humorous and interesting conversations.

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