Message from Chris on the suspension of our walking activities
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Weekly, Wednesdays at 9 a.m.
Programmes of weekly walks in the Lothians and Borders (and occasionally further afield) are created by contributions from members. Walks are usually between 8 and 10 miles, moderately demanding, sometimes including steep gradients, and with stops for coffee and lunch. The usual starting point is Whittingehame Drive, Haddington at 9 a.m. sharp. Full details of each walk are circulated to all members a few days beforehand.
We hope that most members will take a turn at suggesting and leading a walk. This does not have to be anything complicated. We are quite happy to do something as straightforward as a ‘there and back again’ on a well known path, such as the John Muir Way, or the Southern Upland Way, or, indeed, any other walk with which you are familiar. It does not matter if we have done it before. In fact, most of the walks we do are recycled over time. If most of our members came up with a walk we would each only need to lead about one per year!
18th March – Whiteadder Water to Cranshaws
“Today’s walk was lovely but not without event. Including crossing 3 fast flowing rivers. We all managed it and then noticed at Cranshaws (back of beyond) they had a defibrillator and a bike mending station! They must have heard we were coming! ” – from Catherine ( Campbell )
NOTE : This will be our last walk until we know we can resume walking as a group with safety to ourselves and most importantly to those we meet and live with. Lets hope its not long. This web page will not go static however, as it is hoped to be updated weekly with comments / news items from among our group ( and anyone else ) to let each other know how we are all doing in these serious times. If we are all to isolate, it may become another tiny little outlet to say hello in any sort of way to everyone in the group as friends with any daft to serious comment with or without photos. Chris Clark will be sending out an email detailing a possible format for this activitiy. I know everyone wishes everyone a good outcome to all of this and we will see each other very soon again on our great walks.
photos courtesy of Monika McDonald and Catherine Campbell
11th March – East Linton to North Berwick
A doughty group faced pretty wet weather initially, to be blown not quite dry in the sunnier second part of the walk on the John Muir Way to North Berwick. This walk used to be located only in East Lothian but in 2014 it was extended to Helensburgh making it a total of 130 miles long. Even so there will not be many stretches as scenic as this now ending part of the Way – ( perhaps in better weather did I hear ? 🙂 )
photos and captions courtesy of Peter R
4th March – Gore Glen Woodland Park to Temple
A walk in the South Esk Valley, described by our walk leader as a fine scenic ramble, and that is what it was. We had no rain and lots of sunshine, so that although the air temperature was low some of us were casting garments off ! The heavy rains have created a white water type flow in some of the areas of the steep sided river and were quite spectacular close up. We passed by the historic Temple Church in glorious sunshine and had a look in, Joy Clark has very kindly sent in a synopsis of its history which is addended below.
Note from Joy Clark
Temple Church, which until the 1500s was known as Balantradoch (Stead of the Warrior), was the site of an important monastery belonging to the Knights Templar. After the Templars were dissolved in 1312 the monastery passed to the Knights of St John, and it was probably they who built the now ruined church, using some of the original stones and foundations. Legend has it that the Templars’ treasure was brought from Paris and buried in Balantradoch for safety. Maybe we should have spent more time digging around in the mud!
photos courtesy of Peter R, Alan M, Malcolm M
26th February – Abbey St Bathans to Blackerstone
Pete’s Description of the walk – “We set out from the car park for the Southern Upland Way with a bit of roadwork to Toot Corner, from where we strike off for Edinhall Broch. Then we cross the shoulder of Cockburn Law and head down to the little steading of Cockburn East. From there there is a good track to Elba where we cross the Whiteadder Water and find our way to Blackerstone. After a bit of road walking we cut off at Moorhouse and head back down the SUW to the start.”
photos courtesy of Peter R, Mary A, Malcolm M
19th February – Berwick upon Tweed to Burnmouth
A terrific walk along the coast, meeting at Burnmouth, bussing it into Berwick and walking back along the Coast route. This walk offers constantly varying views of the cliff edged sea and being parallel to the mighty main east line, the fun of seeing the 125’s whoosh by at close proximity.
photos courtesy of Peter R
12th February – Athelstaneford to Barney Mains
The weather forecast a windchill of -2 deg C with a possibility of snow. Well, there was some snow, certainly a chill, but magnificent sunshine in the main. The hardy get outta bedders achieved their just reward of that unique cold fresh air and wonderfully clear views you get in between storms with lots of sunny periods.
photos courtesy of Peter R, Malcolm M
5th February – East Linton to Binning Wood
A very pleasant and easy walk in the lovely countryside west of East Linton. Our 800th walk ! The Red Arrows were to give a low flypass, but I think they got the timing wrong as nothing was seen or heard of them apparently. Our average is around 8 to 9 miles per walk – if that was on a continuous road we would be in Mongolia just west of Vladivostock !
photos courtesy of Peter R, Terry S
29th January – Penicuik House
A very cold day, but situated in the grounds of Penicuik House, much of it was sheltered. Built in the mid 18th century it was destroyed by fire around 1900 which is a shame as it was central as a meeting point, ( I had a typo there and put pint instead, I wonder if that was more appropriate 🙂 ), for many of the great figures of the Scottish Enlightenment.
photos courtesy of Dave S, Terry S
22nd January – Haddington to Morham Kirk and Linplum
A lovely walk in a broad loop to the south of Haddington. Muddy, but what else at this time of the year ? All our usual photographers were absent from the walk but 6 have been sent in to save the day ! Remember, if you want to take photographs, its easy and just send them to me on WhatsApp ( 07767086651 ) . It helps others who havent been on the walk to see what we are up to. Its a private connection, so it will be vetted before being published ! 🙂
photos courtesy of Malcolm M, Chris C
15th January – Peebles to Lyne Station
We had another lucky Wednesday for weather, with yesterdays gales and promise tomorrow of worse. Today, however, we had a fresh breeze and sunshine, – and no rain ! This walk along the River Tweed showed the river in all its power, being in spate, and seemed full of menace flowing deep swirling and silent past us. The pathways were not too bad considering the torrents that have come down and we managed a fine stroll along , for the most part, till near the end, a near flat journey.
photos courtesy of Geoff C, Malcolm M, Alan M
8th January – Dunbar to West Barns
A refeshing stroll along the coast from Dunbar to near the lighthouse. No one was struck by a golf ball passing the Dunbar Golf Club, nor were we savaged by THE BEAR ( does it have a name – yet ? ). The bear in question has been newly constructed by the same artist ( Andy Scott ) as created the Kelpies, see pics below. It isnt meant to look benign, but it seemed to some suspiciously gender neutral, but perhaps that is because it can be on the path to a short cut to the local Asda, and where can you hang your bags on a long walk ? 🙂 . We had Annual Lunch at the Dunmuir Hotel where all seemed to enjoy themselves. Terry gave out the news he was passing the baton as Group Leader on to Chris Clark, but staying on with the Committee to continue the growth and maintenance of all his now large and valuable documentation of our walks and organisation on Dropbox.
photos courtesy of Peter R, Alan M
11th December – Haddington to Colstoun House
A ‘ short’ walk – still 6 miles though in a bright sunny December morning. Today marks the last walk of 2019 before Xmas and the walk was curtailed to suit a celebration ‘Mince Pie Event’ at the Bridge Centre for 2.00. It is reported 42 turned up and had a good time, serviced by the hard work put in by Marje Ramage and Mary McCall,
photos courtesy of Peter R, Malcolm M
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