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