Thursday, 21 July 2016

Two Adventurous walks with Lesley Potter-Laidlaw

The John Buchan Way- Thursday 12th July- 13miles-SB+
The Biggar Ramblers walk started in the lovely, busy town of Peebles which was built around the River Tweed as it flows through the Scottish Borders.
The 9 ramblers walked past the hundred year old Oak tree on the roundabout in the town to pick up the well waymarked route of the John Buchan Way.
The 13 miles route is named after John Buchan (1875-1940), a writer and diplomat who has many associations with the area. One of the most famous books was The 39 Steps.
The trail takes the ramblers from Peebles to Broughton and is split into two distinct sections with Stobo being the halfway point.
The path headed out into the hillside and gave some cracking views back over the town and beyond. Reaching Cademuir Hill and it's Iron Age fort brought surprising views eventually resulting in a quite stunning panorama of surrounding hills.
The route contoured gently around the hillside on a quiet and attractive path past the scots pine forests under-going deforestation leading to the road in Manor Valley. From here the walkers followed the route and crossed the bridge to Stobo.
Crossing the road the walkers gradually built up height again and once through the evergreen wooded area they got their first views of the Broughton Heights. These hills are just crying out ''walk me'' and there looks to be an impressive circuit born out by the fact that this area seems to be the most popular for walkers on this way, also this place has a great feeling of remoteness to it even though Broughton is just over 2 miles away over the brow of the hill.
The Biggar Ramblers had a great days walk with plenty of variety, the weather was gorgeous which made the walk a wee cracker

Leadhills- 10mi.- SB+
From the small lead-mining village of Leadhills sitting in the heart of the Lowther Hills the Biggar Ramblers meet up for another good long hard walk of 10miles.
The walk was to take them across the high undulating ridge from the 'Golf Ball' sitting on Lowther Hill at 725 mts, then along Green Trough ( 710mts) and Green Lowther ( 732mts)  where the walkers too a well earned rest and had their lunch. The weather walking up to Lowther Hill had been very misty with a few light showers but once reaching the top to start walking the ridge the sun had broken through and while they had their lunch on the highest tp they were rewarded with 360 degrees of spectacular views. Arran was pointed out in the far distance as was Ben Lomand.
The group of 7 ramblers would have been happy to stay sitting in the warm sunshine their tummies full and enjoying the views and peace but continue they must.
The next 'tops' on the ridge are Peden Hill (691 mts) and Dungrain Law (669mts) then dropping down slightly they traversed around the side of Dun Law which allowed the walkers to walk up to their last hill Glen Ea's (549mts).
Now the walkers could make out their route in the distance which would take them back to the start in Leadhills. This was along the track of the old dismantled Victorian Railway but to get to there they would have to cross a ford on the Elvan Waters and the scramble up a short hill of grass and heather to reach that track. On reaching the ford the group of walkers found the water too high so they each had to find a shallow place to cross over large stones and shingle which were covered in slimy green moss. To help with their crossing they used their walking poles to balance. No one slipped in but they all got wet feet, then it was just a case of getting up the bank and a level walk back to the village.
It was a long day and everyone was feeling hot and tired, but had a brilliant walk. Not easily forgotten, certainly not boring. Ready for the next one? Join Biggar Ramblers.