Showing posts from October, 2019

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.

Walk: Ben Chonzie - tourist trail with a twist

Perth & Kinross | Comrie | Half day walk | ★★★ [Ben Chonzie from the Invergeldie Burn] Ben Chonzie's accessible position - fewer than 50 miles from both Glasgow and Edinburgh - makes it one of Scotland's busier summits, and a popular choice as a first Munro. Yet it's saddled with an unenviable reputation as a dull hill, thanks to some rather featureless upper slopes and a broad plateau which robs the summit panorama of airiness and depth. Our favourite route up the hill is from the less popular Loch Turret side , but here we describe the "tourist" route from Glen Lednock in ascent. Decent tracks and only a little boggy ground make for a relatively straightforward climb, with good views looking back west compensating for less interesting immediate surroundings. The hill also reputedly has a healthy mountain hare population, so keep eyes peeled around the summit plateau. Finally, we've varied the return with a pathless descent to the Invergeldie Bu

Coldstream Museum

Scottish Borders | Coldstream | Museum | ★★ [Coldstream Museum] Accessed through an arch just off Coldstream 's Market Square, Coldstream Museum is worth a browse if you're spending much time in the region of Merse - the southeastern extremity of Scotland, bordering England. A large part of the museum understandably features the famous Coldstream Guards, but there's also a fair amount of information about the town's early history, including Coldstream Abbey (long gone), border conflicts and leisure pursuits. An interesting temporary exhibition on our last visit featured the fortunes of the grand mansions liberally scattered across the Borders region. [Coldstream Museum] Location & info 📌 Coldstream Museum ★★ 12 Market Square, Coldstream town centre, G.R.: NT 843397 ///drums.messaging.steer Open daily, late March to September; Monday to Saturday in October (2019) | Free [Coldstream Museum] [Coldstream Museum] [Coldstream Museum]


Scottish Borders | Town | ★ [Coldstream from the River Tweed] Coldstream is one of the quieter of the Scottish Border towns, sitting pretty above a meander on the River Tweed with wide views across to the English side. We spent a good hour or so watching a couple of otters fishing in full sight of the riverside path here in 2019. A lack of properly old buildings in the town can be attributed to centuries of marauding armies, and the Battle of Flodden took place just a few miles away at Branxton, ending in a major Scottish defeat. Coldstream is however most frequently associated with the Coldstream Guards - the British Army's oldest continually serving regiment - ensuring that military connections continue to this day. Learn about this and more in the local museum; there's also a nearby country park ideal for a low key stroll. [Market Square] Location & info 📌 Coldstream ★ Scottish Borders, G.R.: NT 842398 ///dash.feel.reinvest 🚶 The Hirsel estate and l

The Hirsel

Scottish Borders | Coldstream | Park | ★★ [Hirsel Lake, The Hirsel] The Hirsel is a large country park based around a private Georgian stately home to the west of Coldstream , and makes a rewarding spot for a stroll at any time of year. Hirsel Lake is the highlight, with various species of ducks, geese and swans visible from hides on the south bank and breaks in vegetation on the east side, especially over winter. The main car park is at The Homestead: an attractive courtyard surrounded by arts and craft shops, a tea room and the interesting estate museum. [The Hirsel stately home] Location & info 📌 The Hirsel ★★ Off the A698 1 mi west of Coldstream. Homestead "hub" is at G.R.: NT 828402 ///sand.hazelnuts.hillside Open daily | Free (charge for main car park) [The Hirsel] [The Hirsel] [The Hirsel] [The Hirsel] [The Hirsel] [The Homestead] [Museum display at The Hirsel]