Showing posts from 2019

Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World

Midlothian | Eskbank | Wildlife attraction | ★★★ [Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World] Edinburgh 's own tropical, butterfly paradise is found close to the ring road, adjacent to a large garden centre. It probably won't set your heart a-flutter, but its easily accessible location means you can tag it onto the end of a day out from the city. The butterfly house also claims to be the world's oldest, with dozens of species flying freely around a hangar-like space filled with lush vegetation and ponds. This is only half the appeal though: in fact, the attraction undersells itself. Featured species also include insects, reptiles, amphibians and (slightly randomly) chickens, many in a smaller room adjoining the rear of the main hall. Look out for advertised feeding and handling times, which give visitors a chance to see several of the animals close up. Worthwhile for kids and insectophiles alike. [Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World] Location & info 📌 E

Walk: The slippery side to Largo Law

Fife | Upper Largo | Short walk | ★★★ [Largo Law] In a landscape as flat as southeast Fife's, the grassy old volcano of Largo Law is a distinctive landmark, visible even from East Lothian on the other side of the Firth of Forth. At closer quarters the muddy path up the hill's southern slopes is unfortunately pretty distinctive too, eroded by decades of Fifers trying to get just a little closer to heaven. There are two main summits, both visited by the same path. The northern top is the higher of the pair with good views into the interior of the Kingdom, but the southern top boasts the best views across Largo Bay, hopefully sparkling in bright sunshine 280+ metres below. A third top - the volcanic side vent of Craig Rock - is visible to the east. The nearby village of Upper Largo is also worth a brief wander (as is Lower Largo on the coast), and we had a reasonable meal at the Upper Largo Hotel in summer 2019. [Looking southwest from the south top] 📌 Walk: The

Walk: Dalmahoy Hill - it's the pits!

City of Edinburgh | Kirknewton | Short walk | ★★ [Dalmahoy Hill from Kaimes Hill] If there's a less loved pair of summits in Scotland, we're yet to come across them. These steep-sided, volcanic sills are surrounded by undesirable neighbours - quarries, a waste transfer station, railway line and airfield - and the beginning of this route is uncomfortably close to Ravelrig Tarmac Quarry's entrance. Nevertheless, Dalmahoy Hill sports a trig pillar and wonderful views of the capital and Pentland Hills beyond the noisy pit, while Kaimes Hill boasts an extensive western panorama. The latter summit is a rather dramatic sliver of its former self, its southern slopes having been gouged by quarrying before being re-purposed as a landfill site and finally covered over with suspiciously immaculate grass: an odd place to walk. A high bealach makes combining the two hills straightforward, and the unusual surroundings mean you're fairly likely to get them all to yourself.