Wednesday, 25 September 2019

On Wednesday 18th September the Biggar Ramblers led by Lesley Glidden, traveled to Dalkeith Country Park, most for the first time, to enjoy two short walks. The park covers over 1,000 acres and has been owned by the Buccleuch family for over 300 years.
The first walk in the morning was the Od Wood Walk and Hermitage Walk about 3 miles. From the Laundry Room followed the track up hill passing trees of which some are over 700 years old and others growing to a great height from the banks of the River Esk far below.
They passed some fields used for equestrian cross country events, the old hermitage with trees growing out of the roof and crossing a bridge came to the Restoration Yard where they stopped for lunch and a look in the shop.
In the afternoon they wandered along the Wilderness walk, again, walking through woods but with the pleasant sound of the river beside them. This track took them past the old gates with it's avenue giving an impressive view of Dalkeith Palace.The path now took them past St Mary's Church, the Town Gate and to Dalkeith Palace. The Palace which was completed in 1711 for Anna, the 1st Duchess of Buccleuch is really elegant and a very pleasant sight. It sits above the river with a lawn below which has some extremely beautiful willow trees and the Montage Bridge, built by Robert Adam and commissioned by Henry, 3rd Duke of Buccleuch is an imposing sight. The Park which has been redeveloped and reopened in 2016 is well worth a visit at any time of year but in a few weeks the trees will be spectacular in their autumn colours
On Thursday the 12th September six members of the Biggar Ramblers visited the Hyndford Monument on the Carmichael estate near Lanark. It is a lovely walk starting from the estate car park. The route they took left the farm track to visit the impressive ruin of the eighteenth century Carmichael House. ( The roof was removed as recently as 1952). From here they progressed through woodland onto Carmichael Hill. At not much over a thousand feet it is towered over by the adjacent Tinto Hill which was shrouded in mist. The panoramic views from here were well worth the effort. Continuing over the hill top the Hyndford Monument soon came into sight. It's prominent position makes it a fitting memorial to the 2nd Earl of Hyndford. It was erected in 1774. Their route was down from here and back to the car park. The four and a half afternoon walk was sufficient to justify a visit to the estate cafe for tea/coffee and some lovely cakes!
On Sunday September 1st eight Biggar Ramblers walked from Walkerburn to Innerleithen and back. The walk began at The Coffee Spot in Walkerburn and ran north close to the Walker Burn, between upland fields and heather covered slopes, to the ruined cottage at Priesthood. Here the track turned sharply left and climbed steadily through woodland, past Pirn Craig before dropping sharply to a lower forestry road and back to Innerleithen. A heavy shower appeared from nowhere exactly at lunchtime but this did not dampen spirits, only the sandwiches. The route from Innerleithen to Walkerburn was along the banks of the River Tweed. Numerous cyclists were encountered during the day and there were many good natured exchanges. A most enjoyable 8 mile walk, led by Bernard Airlie

Thursday, 5 September 2019

The five mile walk on 26th August was a short hill walk from Manor Valley near Peebles to Stobo via Dead Wife's Grave. The gradual ascent up to the Grave was through woodland. At the summit there were lovely views all around, from Tinto Hill to Stobo Castle. Dead Wife's Grave is actually a plaque on a Gate post. This is thought to commemorate the death of an Irish woman after the Battle of Philiphaugh in 1545. She was only one of the many camp followers who were slaughtered after the battle in the borders hills. On the descent to Stobo lunch was taken whilst admiring the hillside scenery, already the vegetation turning to autumnal colours. Detour was made above Stobo village into the german Wood. This was to see the plaque denoting the site of a World War One prisoner of war camp, which housed a hundred inmates. They had been captured on naval ships. After this the enjoyable walk concluded at Stobo Village. The weather had been mostly sunny, at an agreeable temperature. The eight participants were led by Jan Airlie.