Friday, 22 May 2009

Day 47 Thursday - St. Mary's Loch to Peebles

Walking 7.30am to 5.45pm
Distance walked 19 miles
Total distance walked 685 miles
Distance left 367 miles

Another perfect start to a day.

The waking view!

St Mary's Loch
I followed the Southern Upland Way along the southern shore of St. Mary's Loch for three miles to its end at the farm at Dryhope, continuing past Dryhope Tower, one of many such towers built for villagers to take refuge in from reivers (robber barons) at the time of border clashes between England and Scotland.

Dryhope Tower

I stayed on the Southern Upland Way for a further two miles until Blackhouse where I took the track alongside Douglas Burn for half a mile before entering the forest at Blakehope Rig, north and then north west to Whitehowe Head. In the forest, I saw a footpath sign to Craig Douglas (well, I thought it was amusing)!

A welcome sign at NT273286

Whiteknowe Head

Here, things went somewhat pearshaped. On the map, the path I wanted to Peebles should have been there, going over Birkscairn Hill and Kirkhope Law. However, I couldn't see it at all in the heather around me or make it out in the hillside beyond. I floundered around a bit trying to find it but my schedule doesn't allow time for trailblazing.

There was a waymark for Peebles via The Glen and I headed in this direction although, I realised later, would result in three extra miles walking. From Whitehowe Head, there was no path to The Glen and little evidence of it on the ground but I found the way with little difficulty, dropping down to it by a derelict property called Glenshiel Banks.

I followed an unmade road for two miles, passing by Glen House, a grand, turreted affair, then taking the path round a hill called Orchard Rig. The path then entered Cardrona Forest and the way was easy to the forest track by Kirk Burn. I followed this for a mile and a half to the B7062 which took me for three and a half not unpleasant miles into Peebles.

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