Thursday, 8 April 2021

 On 25th March, Biggar Ramblers set out on a short walk up and over Shaw Hill, a hill climb to 370 metres. The route up started from the Nisbet side with grand views over to Cardon Hill and Coulter Fell. Over the top of Shaw Hill there are views towards Tinto and Biggar. To reach the look-out point for the coffee break the route doubled back through a tree tunnel for views up the valleys to Cardon and Coulter Fell. Much refreshed, but braced by the winds, the group took a steep path down through the trees to join a track through the woodlands to the Church. 

The marks of bike paths crossing this track from the uphill side indicate the challenging descents that the cyclists have developed. Most visitors start from this woodland side of the hill, where, helpfully, there are two signs: the first says ‘Walkers! Please be aware of incoming cyclists. Thank You’ and the second ‘Cyclists! Please give way to passing walkers and dogs. Thank You’. Very wise! 

After reaching the Church, the group passed the Commonwealth War Graves and headed along the road to Keepers Cottage to take the ‘Chinese Walk’ for a pleasant meander along Coulter Water back to the cars.  

The gloomy weather and strong winds discouraged lingering, but the good mix of open views and sheltered paths through the trees made for an enjoyable walk. 

 Due to the recent announcement by the Scottish Government that outdoor sporting activities involving up to 15 people can resume, Biggar Ramblers wasted no time in arranging their first outing since this last period of lockdown began.
On Saturday, 20th March members of the group enjoyed some spring sunshine on a circular eight mile walk through the Carmichael estate. 
This was a low level, varied walk, taking in beautiful woodland, open fields, some agricultural vistas and the two impressive ruins of Eastend and Carmichael House. Passing through the village of Carmichael a well earned lunch stop was taken in the grounds of the villages church and the ancient graveyard.
Along the route the Ramblers saw a herd of deer which are farmed on the Estate and the first of the lambs of the year were also spotted as well as an abundance of snowdrops, a sure sign of better days ahead.
This was an enjoyable walk and COVID-19 guidelines were adhered to throughout.