Saturday 29 January 2022

John Muir Trail to Dunbar

We travelled to Edinburgh for a visit to John and Sandria. The journey up was tough going with gale force winds but we made it despite a lorry blown over at Soutra and a few trees falling over part of the road. Ken joined John and myself for the last section of the John Muir Trail into Dunbar a walk of about 4.5 miles. Luckily we had the gale force wind behind us and it really helped us along.
The winter wheat is coming along nicely.
In a field by the side of the path was a lot of Swans.
There are still a lot of wartime defence barriers by the side of the shore.
It was in incoming tide and very choppy.
Ken and John struggling in the wind.
Crossing one of the several bridges.
This field is on the farm where I came to Dunbar in 1968 for the Boys Brigade Camp at a place called called Hedderwick Hill Farm.
On the beach and heading for the bridge to nowhere.
The Bridge to nowhere over the River Tyne at Dunbar. We did the walk in no time at all thanks to the gale force wind in our backs and it was a splendid walk that brought back memories of my 4 annual camps with the BB in Dunbar.

Sunday 23 January 2022

A New Local Walk

In the last 2 years most of my walking has been near Langholm or within a 6 mile radius of Langholm. Today I decided to try a walk I had never done before. When you consider that I have walked for every day over almost 2 years there are a very few new walks. Looking on my OS maps on my Laptop last night I selected this triangular walk near Kerr. I have often done the old Drove Road to Old Irving but never the other way. It's a 3 sided triangle of minor roads for about 4.5 miles. They go through Moors, Forest, Hills, Marsh,  Fields and the most striking thing I noticed was the mile after mile of beautiful Beech Hedges all in perfect condition after an autumn trim. 
On the first section of the triangle there are many fallen trees as a result of the end of November Storm Arwen.
There is a lot of Conifers planted on the hillsides with Deciduous trees on the edges. In a few years time you will see nothing but trees and no hillsides.
A lovely profile of a large tree.
The road over the Tomshielburn
Loads of wind turbines on the horizon on the first leg of the triangle
Loads of fallen trees.
Yet more wind turbines
Mile upon mile of perfect Beech Hedges. If it was a local farmer keeping them trim then he has done a great job and is to be congratulated.
Trees up by their roots
Whita Hill with Langholm Monument and also Tennis Hill on the third leg of the triangle.

The Solway in the distance on leg 2 of the triangle
Lots of new deciduous trees
Moorland and Forest in the distance.
Side 3 of the triangle and more hedges perfectly manicured
Back at the start near the entrance to the Drove Road to Old Irving. A most enjoyable 90 minute walk during which I met 1 car, 2 cyclists, and 2 runners. There was so much to see and I will do it again when all the Beech Hedges are green. This photo was actually taken at the start of my walk.


Thursday 20 January 2022

A Walk to Grune Point at Silloth with Mike

Mike and I made plans a week ago to go to Silloth for a walk today as he had never walked to Grune Point before. We could not have got a better day as it was wall to wall sunshine all day. It was a wee bit nippy at the start but we were soon in sunshine and even had lunch sitting on rocks next to the beach in the sun.
An incoming tide and loads of birds on the shoreline. 
At Grune Point we had a lovely view of the low frequency transmitters at Anthorn.
At a sheltered spot near the shore this wild flower in full bloom in mid January.
Anthorn in the distance across the inlet.
Criffel at the other side of the Solway in Scotland
Loads of Oystercatchers all waiting to go to Langholm to annoy us all summer.

There was plenty of Gorse in full bloom and it is very colourful for January. 
Getting close to high tide
Another Oystercatcher waiting for the tide to recede so it can start feeding.


Wednesday 5 January 2022

Fantastic Walk up Stennieswater on a Cold but Sunny Day

This was our destination today for our Wednesday walk. It was only Tom and myself and we had travelled to Under Stennieswater once before together and I had been once with Mike Tinker so we decided we would have to walk the extra 3 miles round trip to Upper Stennieswater. It was very cold when we set of from Crook at 10.00am and for the first 3 miles we were in the shade all the way but once we got past the first house the sun poked its self over the horizon and it became a magical walk. This is a fantastic hidden valley and I am sure very few people walk here. 

The sun appears to make it a magical walk.
Tilhill Forestry have planted loads of these deciduous trees along the valley so it will be lovely in the summer.
The right hand side of the valley is still in shade but we were now in sun most of the way on the last mile to the head of the valley.
It gives you a real feeling of remoteness up this valley.

I love the way they have planted a good mix of trees.
On the way back down the valley at Under Stennieswater we met the owner of the house on his way back from a run. We had a good blether with him. I had met him last summer when I was walking with Mike Tinker so I knew his medical background and he gave us his views on the present pandemic and we both agreed with him to a certain extent, but Tom in his usual manner could create an argument in an empty field. Tom was keen to take the discussion further but it was getting cold and we still had a few miles to go so we left. We both enjoyed meeting such a nice person and will hopefully meet up again to continue the discussion and Tom may even invite him to speak at Rotary.
At Upper Stennieswter there is a copse of trees called Alf's Copse planted by Tilhill Forestry. I would love to know who Alf was and I suspect he lived in the cottage once upon a time. 
Still plenty of frost about.

Yours truly concentrating on keeping warm rather than being fashionable.

At the half way point where open hillside for sheep becomes forestry
The first ray of sunshine as we headed up the valley. It was a 4 hour (8.5 mile) walk and we loved every minute. We will be back in the spring and hopefully have a few of our friends from The Last of the Summer Wine Walkers with us. 

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