Sunday, 10 February 2019

On Wednesday 19th December, Biggar ramblers were delighted with their good fortune with regards to the weather for the last walk 2018. With blue skies and sunshine they met on the Manor Bridge near Peebles for the short circular walk to Lyne Station. The track was in good condition with very little mud and they made their way to Lyne where they stopped for a short break at the picnic table just before crossing the Tweed.
The walk before Christmas is also called the "Mince Pie" walk and here they enjoyed their Mince pies and coffee while the walk leader entertained them with a rendition of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore ( just to get everyone in the mood for the upcoming festivities).
They then continued across the bridge where the river was very full and followed the track to Barns, here they stopped to look at the Peel Tower which is mentioned in John Buchan's book John Burnet of Barns. They also noted that snowdrops were already peeping through on the grass verges and in the woods. The track now continued down to the river and alongside the Tweed where they saw some ducks who seemed to be enjoying floating down the river at great speed in the fast flowing water. Then a few more minutes brought them back to Manor Bridge.
A short but very pleasant walk which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Sunday 14th November was a day of idyllic autumn weather when 11 members of Biggar Ramblers took to the local hills at Coulter. The morning part of thwack was totally uphill, steadily climbing from Coulter village past Turkey Hill and finally to the summit of Lamington Hill (1600ft). The walkers were rewarded with fine views all around. The vista over to Tinto was particularly splendid. Lunch was taken at the foot of Lamington Hill on the return leg. Then the return journey down Girdle Glen, and a short road walk back to the cars.
The leader of this enjoyable 7 mile walk was Jan Airlie
Eight hardy Ramblers braved the wet and windy weather on October 31st to walk to the Hammerhead at Broughton. The walk began at the little car park just beyond Broughton Place and proceeded, more or less, directly up on to Trahenna Hill. The route then turned north towards the Hammerhead with, fortunately, the wind and rain coming from behind. On Hammerhead itself the wind was ferocious but occasional specks of blue sky heralded some improvement in the weather. Once down on the John Buchan Way the wind and rain calmed a little in time for a quick lunch. This was only a short walk of about four miles, but it felt much longer.
It was led by bernard Airlie.
Three members of Biggar Ramblers travelled into Dumfries and Galloway on Saturday 27th Oct. to climb Moorbrock Hill. Moorbrock is one of the 89 Donalds and is the easiest to climb although the climb is more of an afternoon amble with a steady continual ascent on a well defined track. Starting from the Water of Ken the group walked up to the cottages of Moorbrock Estate and then continued up to the base of Green Hill. The direct route to the top was ignored and the track continued to provide an easy ascent. Then a track took the group up round the north side of Green Hill to reach the flat top of Moorbrock. It was level going after that to reach the single stone which indicated the top of Moorbrock. Brian henry led the group and his walks are claimed to be wet and windy but on this occasion a clear blue sky was appreciated. From the top the nearby Donalds Cairnsmore of Carsphairn, Windy Standard, Alhang, Blacklorg and Blackcraig Hill were very clear. The visibility was clear enough to identify the Striding Arches on Benbrack, Colt and Bail Hills. On the walk the group encountered buzzards, jays, ramblings, a hare and 3 deer. The route back to the Water of Ken was by the ascent route.
A small group of eight left the Water of Leith Centre for the start of the walk which was by bus to Haymarket. Between the station and Mandala Crescent time was taken for a coffee stop before continuing past the side of the former Donaldson's College to access the long steps down to the river path. There was one short detour because of a previous landslip at Dean village, a former milling area producing flour, before returning the path opposite Hawthorn Buildings and Well Court - housing for 19th century workers of the Scotsman. From there the path runs along a steep gorge under Dean bridge, past St George's Well and the larger St. Bernard's Well with its statue to Hygeia, goddess of Health and into Stockbridge.
Crossing the road here the path continues into Arboretum Avenue giving a view of the colonies - low cost 19th c housing for workers away from the pollution of the city. A stop for lunch before continuing along Rocheid path into Cannonmills and towards Warriston. Before the next diversion, because of road and bridge works, the group took time visit the ScottishPoppy factory and were given a guided tour of the premises,meeting many of the workers and their dogs and making a contribution by purchasing the 1918 special poppy and some their other products . Continuing through the large housing development on the former Powderhall Stadium and crossing the modern foot bridge the walk continued beyond Bennington once the boundary between Edinburgh and Leith. Soon Leith was reached with many of the former buildings now converted to restaurants and housing but their use still marked by many information signs. Completion of the walk was at the whaling harpoon at their end of the port before returning to choose a place for are and coffee or tea. Two buses were needed to return to where the cars were parked and this took some time due to the route and the use city.