Monday, 15 April 2019

On Sunday March 31st a group of 14 BIggar Ramblers walked around Harrowhope, near Stobo.  This was a easy 7-mile route, starting from Stobo Village Hall, passing Stobo Home Farm   (lots of lambs) and following the Easton Burn to Harrowhope Cottage (now a ruin) where a coffee break was taken. After this the walk contoured the Harrow Hope.  This always feels a happy valley, little walked, very tranquil, almost serene; a place to be walked slowly and savoured.  Most of the time, apart from the merry chatter of ramblers, the only sounds were from a chorus of skylarks.  A slow lunch was eaten at a spot which looked over the River Tweed towards Dead Wife’s Grave on the opposite hills;  this had been the destination of a previous outing by Biggar Ramblers on March 3rd.  The weather was, until the final section, near perfect, with wall-to-wall sunshine, and this fed in the general mood of well-being.  The walk was led by Bernard Airlie. 
The next walk by BIggar Ramblers is on Thursday April 11th at Balerno. 

Sunday, 10 March 2019

It was a beautiful spring day on Wednesday 27th February when the Biggar Ramblers met on the Lower Green in West Linton to walk to West Water Reservoir. On the way up Medwyn Road we stopped to look at a plaque in a wall which says "This dyke was the work of James Fleming, West Linton, 1948." This was of particular interest to them as the daughter of James Fleming was until very recently a member of the Biggar Ramblers.
They walked past West Linton Golf Club on what was an old drove road and admired the pigs and Hebridean sheep which can be seen in the fields to the right. They turned left over the cattle grid and got a really good view of hills all around but Medick hill dominated the view. Shortly they arrived at West Water Reservoir. The water level was quite low. In the mid 1990s seasonal drops in the water level revealed a 4,000 year old Bronze Age burial ground. Finds from the graves included food vessels,flint tools, a bronze awl and a necklace made of lead beads -the earliest evidence for the use of metallic lead in Britain. The stone burial costs were moved to a site on the edge of West Linton Golf Club. Many flocks of geese rest here overnight flying over West Linton in huge numbers like commuters. Today only a few geese could be seen on the far shore.
The Ramblers returned to the golf club along part of an old Roman road stopping to read the story boards at the present site of the costs.
They then enjoyed a lunch of soup and scones in the golf club where they were made very welcome after which they continued back to West Linton and the cars, thankfully all downhill.
Walk Leader: Lesley Glidden
Biggar Ramblers ‘ Walk on Sunday 3rd March in the Stobo area had a 
historical theme.The Walk began at Dawyck Mill Farm .From here the group 
climbed steadily up to 1400 feet. There were lovely views of the hills all 
around, and to Stobo Castle. On reaching Dead Wives Grave a coffee stop as 
taken. There is no grave here, but on the South Gate pillar is the 
inscription ‘Dead Wife’ . After the Battle of Philiphaugh at Selkirk in 1645 
many Irish soldiers in Montrose’s army and their women camp followers were 
slaughtered . One woman was found by the wayside , this may be a memorial to 
her . The location of the Parish Boundaries of Manor, Stobo and Drumelzier 
is also at this point. The walkers then descended in sunshine and wind to a 
larch wood, much lower down. Here they saw a well hidden stone plaque on a 
wall marking the site of a World War One Prisoner of War Camp. Her more than 
100 German prisoners from submarines were held captive. Their job was to 
fell trees for the trenches. In 1916, Clement Bryce Gunn (1860-1933) the 
Peebles doctor who visited the camp once a week noted that the  guards were 
much older and frailer than the prisoners. This was because all the fit 
young men were away at war. Afterwards, lunch was taken in brilliant 
sunshine before returning to the cars, watched by a line of curious cows ! 
This short 5 mile walk with 13 participants was led by Jan Airlie.

On Saturday 23rd February a group of 17 members of Biggar Ramblers had an enjoyable walk in unseasonally warm weather in the Clyde valley. We set off from Crossword village car park and turned onto a steep woodland path running up the Nethan gorge to spectacular views of the valley and the impressive ruins of Craignethen Castle. Once past the castle we walked along a dismantled rail track, past the village of Netherburn, before heading down a picturesque road to cross the Clyde at Rosebank bridge. We lunched in bright sunshine by the Clyde before walking back along the Clyde Walkway through Milton Lockart estate and on to Crossword. The total walk of 9.2 miles was completed just before the weather broke and we were able to head home tired, happy and dry.

On Thursday 14th February seven Biggar Ramblers met for a short afternoon 
walk at The Mount. This forested hill near Skirling  has a number of paths 
and tracks that provide potential for good exploration. The chosen route 
weaved it's way through the trees to the secluded top of the hill where 
there is a lovely clearing and cairn of stones accumulated by the intrepid 
few who locate this spot. Evidence suggests that deer are the most frequent 
visitors here.  Coulter Fell, Tinto, Broomy Law and The Broughton Heights 
can be glimpsed through the trees. After lingering for a while the group 
took another obscure route back down to the main circular path. It had been 
only three miles in duration but a good sense of exploration was had by all!