Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Outing to Legends of Grandtully / Scottish Chololate Centre - Wednesday 8th June 2016

The second outing of 2016 takes place on Wednesday 8 June, when we have a full day trip to Legends of Grandtully / Scottish Chocolate Centre. Details of this outing have been sent out to members and should be with you shortly. If you wish to come on this outing, please complete the booking form attached to your email and return it, together with your cheque, to our treasurer to arrive by Monday 30 May.
The coach will leave from Waterloo Place, Edinburgh at 9.30am. Meet at bus stop ZE across from the Apex Hotel.

Coffee stop will be at Dobbies, Perth.  We will then head to the Scottish Chocolate Centre where we will be for about an hour.  We will then have some free time in Aberfeldy / Crieff.
High tea will be at the Crieff Hydro
at approx. 4.30pm.  We should be back in Edinburgh at approx. 8.30pm.  
As our numbers are rising each year, you are restricted to one guest per outing.  All applications will be dealt with on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. 
Please note that you will only be contacted if there is NOT room for you on the bus.
If you have to cancel your booking or wish to check availability, please contact Moira xxxxxxx directly.

Strollers Walk No.205 - Monday 23 May 2016, Dalkeith Country Park

The details of this walk have not yet been issued (as at 10th May), but it will be in Dalkeith Country Park on Monday 23 May. You will need to wait for email details of where to meet, but I'd assume time will be 11:00 as usual.

For details about the Country Park, see

I notice that they now seem to be charging £1 for person for entry to the Park.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Outing to Stirling Castle - Friday 13th May 2016

The first outing of 2016 takes place on Friday 13 May, when we have a full day trip to Stirling Castle. If you wish to come on this trip, please complete and return the booking form that you should have received.
The coach will leave from Waterloo Place, Edinburgh at 9.30am. Meet at bus stop ZE across from the Apex Hotel.
Coffee stop will be at Dobbies, Livingston.  We will then head to Stirling Castle where a guided tour may be available, if required. Audio equipment for a self-guided tour is also available for a small charge. 

We will then have some free time in Callander. High tea will be at the Royal Hotel in Bridge of Allan at approx. 4.30pm.  Please therefore indicate your choice from the Menu on the booking form. We should be back in Edinburgh at approx. 20.30pm.
The cost of this outing is £29.75 for a member and £39.75 for a non-member, which includes concessions and gratuities.  If you intend to come on this outing, please complete the booking form and return it, together with your cheque to Moira xxxxxxxxxx, to arrive by Monday 2 May.  (see full details in email, etc.)
As our numbers are rising each year, you are restricted to one guest per outing.  All applications will be dealt with on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.  Please note that you will only be contacted if there is NOT room for you on the bus.

If you did not receive details of this outing by email or post, please get in touch with our mailbox at

Monday, 18 April 2016

Summer Outings - Dates and Venues

We are close to finalising the coach and venue bookings for the Summer Outings. Here is what we are planning, so you can get the dates into your diaries.
  • Friday 13th May - Visit to Stirling Castle, then hopefully some free time in Callander
  • Wednesday 8th June - Visit to Legends of Grandtully / Scottish Chocolate Centre,
    then some free time in Aberfeldy or Pitlochry
  • Thursday 14th July - Visit to Greenlaw Organ Preservation Society,
    then on to Manderston House
  • Tuesday 23rd August - Visit to Lindisfarne (Holy Island) including Lindisfarne Castle
  • Monday 12th September - Cruise on Loch Lomond from Balloch,
    with free time at Loch Lomond Shores Visitor Centre
Each outing will be an all-day coach trip, with High Tea somewhere on the journey back.
Full details of the each outing, including costs, timings and booking form will be issued via email to members. The details of the first outing on 13th May should be available tomorrow, with replies needed by Monday 2nd May. Apologies for short notice of the first date.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Strollers Walk No. 204 - Thursday 21st April 2016, Kinross and Loch Leven

Walk No. 204:     Kinross and Loch Leven
Date:                  Thursday 21st April 2016
Distance:            6.6 miles approximately
Start at:     Boathouse Bistro, Sandport Close, Kinross
On a beautiful sunny morning 29 Strollers met at the Boathouse car park for this walk, with some taking refreshment the Boathouse Bistro to fortify them for the miles ahead. We set off along the excellent loch-side path through the reed-beds, emerging at Kirkgate Park. Continuing northwards along the loch-side, we watched swans taking off and then passed Kinross House, admiring the daffodils around the hedge and walls and getting a view of the house thorough the gate. The path returned to the water's edge at Burleigh Sands, where a few walkers settled in the sunshine on a wooden bench to eat their picnic lunch while others walked into the shade where there was a circle of stone seats and some information boards.

Resuming our walk after this break, we crossed the minor road and headed up a path to reach the disused railway track. This was on a raised embankment giving a good view of Burleigh Castle and the passing through some fields where we watch tractors preparing the ground for potato planting. Now heading west along the railway path, we reached the main road and turned left to head back down towards Kinross. We paused at the new Community High School Campus to thank John for organising this picturesque and interesting walk, debating whether John or Drew should be congratulated for the excellent weather. As we walked back through Kinross, members gradually disappeared into various establishments for some lunch as the remainder returned down Sandport to the Boathouse Car Park.

Friday, 11 March 2016

National Trust for Scotland - Car Park Sticker

Are you a member of National Trust for Scotland? If so, like me, you will recently have received their Spring 2016 magazine "Scotland in Trust". Hidden away on page 49 of that magazine you will find the sticker that entitles you to free parking at NTS sites until 31/03/2017. Please don't throw out the magazine without detaching your car park sticker.

Strollers Walk No. 203 - Wednesday 23rd March 2016, Commonwealth Pool to Musselburgh

Walk no. 203:    Commonwealth Pool to Musselburgh via Innocent Railway path, etc.
Date:                 Wednesday 23rd March 2016
Distance:           5.25 miles approximately
Meet at:            Commonwealth Pool (outside main entrance in Dalkeith Road)

Finish at:           Fisherrow Harbour, Musselburgh
Thirty seven Strollers met up at the Commonwealth Pool to walk to Fisherrow Harbour, Musselburgh. It was very good of the schools to come along and entertain us with a swimming and diving contest while we were sitting and having coffee and bacon rolls. Dragging ourselves out in to the overcast day we set out on the stroll to Musselburgh. Walking along the Innocent Railway and passing Prestonfield Golf Course, home to a monastery at one time, watching the flight of the heron (sounds a good title for a book) and passing a tree full of bras. Obviously a hen night got carried away.
On past Duddingston Golf Course and down to Bingham and the Jewel, so called because of the quality of the coal mined there. It was there we encountered a field of shopping trolleys too numerous to count that had obviously escaped from their normal habitat at Asda. Crossing the Borders Railway line we continued on down the path of the Brunstane or Braidburn or Niddrie burn depending on what map you look at, passing the private golf course at Milton Glen and the big houses with some features including a dry-stane wall. Finding a tree filled with trainers, obviously the marathon runners having had enough and throwing them away.
Spotting a rare looking bird in a tree which turned out to be a pigeon, must get new glasses before the next walk, it was then time to finish the walk at Fisherrow Harbour and find a cafe for a well earned tea and cake.. Hope you all enjoyed the rather quicker stroll than normal and thanks again to Drew for organising the walk. Look forward to seeing you all at Kinross in April.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Strollers Walk No. 202, Thursday 25th February 2016, Historic Walk - Stockbridge to Botanic Gardens

Walk no. 202:    Historic Guided Walk - Stockbridge to Botanic Gardens
Date:                 Thursday 25th February 2016
Distance:           2 miles approximately
Duration:            2 hours approximately
Start Time:        10:45
Meet at:            Stockbridge at corner of St Bernards Row

Finish at:          Botanic Gardens, East Gate (on Inverleith Row)
On a rather dull morning in Edinburgh, 58 Strollers met in Stockbridge for a walk to Inverleith and the Botanic Gardens, guided by our Blue Badge Guides Karen and Helen. There should have been 59 of us, but it helps if the organiser remembers to let everyone know about a change of starting point! Many apologies to Bill M.
We started off in St Bernard’s Row, where if you need to ask the price of a house you can’t afford it. We heard the history of Malta House - a Church of Scotland support centre. Malta Terrace itself used to be used as a drying green. We then stopped across the river from the Glenogle Colonies for a brief history of how and why these houses were built. In 1861, a group of builders found themselves locked out of their building sites due to a dispute about working hours. Their three-month ban led to the formation of The Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company Ltd (ECBC). This group comprised many different trades - stonemasons, plasterers, plumbers and others sympathetic to their aims. Central to its mission was a co-operative spirit that was reflected in its adoption of the beehive motif, visible on the gable-ends of the houses and depicting the motifs of the different trades. We then passed a large red-sandstone house that used to be used as a hostel for SL Actuarial Students. Passing the Ferranti Bowling club we learned how the first rules of the game of bowls as we know it know were put together in Scotland in 1864, though the association had been started in 1848, with the Glasgow firm of Taylor’s still being a main manufacturer of the bowls.
As we approached the west entrance to the Botanic Gardens, we paused to look at a new planting of a yew hedge behind the perimeter fence. We then entered via the new John Hope building to warm up a little and see all the changes being made. We set off through the gardens and saw the tree of Friendship with the USA, before heading through the Beech Hedge to admire the small gardens made by the students and to pass by the Botanics Cottage. This building originally stood in Leith Walk at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens in the late 18th and early 19th centuries (before the Gardens were relocated to Inverleith). By the early 2000s it had been abandoned and was set to be demolished, but a plan was hatched to dismantle it and rebuild it here at Inverleith. It is now nearing completion and will become a centre for community and education activities exactly 250 years after it was first constructed, but it was too busy with construction workers for us to pause here to learn more. We moved on to see the Queen Mother's gardens with its amazing little house decorated with shells and pine cones.
Finishing up, as it began to feel a lot colder and a bowl of soup beckoned, we headed for the east gate exit and heard the story that the Wee Tea Company of Scotland now exports tea to China. How things change.
Our thanks again to our guides Karen and Helen for all their efforts in preparing for the walks and we’ll see them again next year.

Annual General Meeting - Monday 8th February, Edinburgh

Apologies for not posting this earlier. Our Annual General Meeting will be held in The Royal Overseas League, Princes Street Edinburgh on the afternoon of Monday 8th February 2016. Notice of this meeting was sent out to all members on 12th January. If you did not receive this, please contact our mailbox at with a note of your name and post code. Bookings to attend this meeting have now closed.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Strollers Walk No. 201, Monday 25th January - Historic Walk - Drumsheugh - Dean Village

Walk No. 201:     Historic Walk - Drumsheaugh - Dean Village
Date:                  Monday 25th January 2016
Started at:           Charlotte Square, outside West Register House
Finished at:         Dean Village / Stockbridge

Forty Strollers turned out for the January History Walk led by our Blue Badge Guides Karen and Helen. Changing the day of the walk proved to be very fortuitous on the weather front as it remained dry and mild though a trifle windy. Gathering together at Charlotte Square, we made our way into what was known as the Drumsheugh Estate when the Edinburgh New Town extended westwards.
At the start of Melville Street we learned about the fine wrought iron work and the history of Lord Melville. This street used to be home to Melville College, the all boys school, before it merged with Daniel Stewarts. In addition, St Georges, the all girls’ school, used to be here before moving to Ravelston. The Girl Guide Association still has its headquarters here as well as the Consulates of around 30 different countries and the Edinburgh office of the Secretary of State for Scotland. We then stopped in Stafford Street to see the site of a Turkish Baths that existed there in the 19th and early 20th Century, for both men and women, though at different times. It was one of several in the city but the only one surviving now is in Portobello baths. Moving on to Walker Street, we heard about the first site of the Elsie Inglis medical centre, the forerunner to the better known Edinburgh hospital. At the outbreak of the First World War she offered to set up nursing units but was refused by the British Government, however her offer was accepted by the French and she also worked in Serbia and Russia. She died in 1917 but her work was recognised by the countries she served in and the hospital in Serbia still bears her name.
We moved on to Rothesay Terrace to B+B Edinburgh, a boutique bed and breakfast hotel. No, not time for a nap, but time to see the former home of John Ritchie Findlay, once the owner of the Scotsman newspaper. It has a lovely view over the Dean Village from the window at the back. Its architect, Sydney Mitchell, also oversaw the apprenticeship of Findlay's son, James Leslie, who went on to design the Scotsman Newspaper's former headquarters on North Bridge, which is also now a hotel.
Leaving the Drumsheugh Estate, we headed down to the Dean Village to visit the site of all the grain mills that used to exist. Collectively known as 'The Baxters' or baker's guild, they provided the whole of Edinburgh and surrounding villages with meal and thrived until the 19th Century, when the larger flour mills in Leith eventually made them redundant
They have all gone now or converted to housing but the Miller Row name reminds us of who has been there, as does the engraving of paddles on the Brae Bridge. This was the main route out of Edinburgh to Queensferry before the Dean Bridge (designed by Thomas Telford) was built in 1832. The name of the village comes from the word dene meaning "deep valley”. The most striking building in the Dean Village is Well Court, recently restored with the help of Edinburgh World Heritage but built in the 1880s as model housing for local workers by John Ritchie Findlay, to improve the view from his house in Rothesay Terrace!. What goes down must come up again and so we did - up Bells Brae to Kirkbrae House which at one time was a tavern for the Dean Village Baxters. It has an engraving on the wall in keeping with its clientele: "In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread Gen 3 verse 19". Here we ended our walk.
Our thanks once again tour guides, Karen and Helen, for all the information we enjoyed on the walk. See you next month.

Strollers Walks - Planned dates for 2016

Here are the dates currently planned for Strollers Walks in 2016. Thses may be subject to change.

25 January       - Historic Walk - Drumsheaugh
25 February      - Historic Walk - Botanics
23 March          - Edinburgh Area
21 April            - Kinross
23 May            - Dalkeith Area
22 June            - Linlithgow
19 July             - Haddington
18 August         - Borders
19 September    - Edinburgh Area
19 October        - 
17 November    - Corstorphine, Pinkhill
8 December     - Christmas Lunch

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Strollers Walk No. 200 - Thursday 2nd December 2015, Christmas Lunch

On Thursday 2nd December we celebrated the 200th "walk" by meeting up for our Christmas Lunch at the Royal Scots Club in Edinburgh. Around 90 of us enjoyed a pleasant lunch in convivial company and were then entertained to a medley of appropriately scripted walking songs by our very own "Strollers Songsters". I'll remember "We walk on paths and cycle tracks that make our feet and legs go sore" the next time I hear that familiar Proclaimers tune. As for: "The hills are alive to the sound of Strolling...". need I say more.

Many thanks to all involved and in particular to Drew for organising the event. He has now issued a list of potential dates for our 2016 walks. I'll probably post them here at the start of the year.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Strollers Walk No. 199 - Wednesday 18th November 2015, Musselburgh Circle

Walk No. 199:   Musselburgh Circle - New Hailes, Esk Valley Way
Date:                 Wednesday 18th November 2015
Start Time:        11:00
Distance:          6 miles approximately
Never trust a weather forecast. Having gone from being on the verge of cancelling the walk as the forecast was dire, and then going ahead because the forecast had changed to be fine for the time we were due to start, twenty hardy Strollers turned up for the walk. The rain did eventually stop and blue sky appeared, just a tad later than the forecast suggested. It’s what waterproofs are for! Meeting at Musselburgh’s Fisherrow Harbour we made our way up for a brief look at Newhailes House, a National Trust Property gifted to them in 1997 by the Dalrymple Family. The original house dates from 1686, called Whitehill, but was extensively remodelled in the 18th Century and renamed as New Hailes. There are lots of things to see in the grounds but it was not a good day to loiter.

We crossed the road over into the small industrial estate and worked our way on the path running parallel with the main Edinburgh to London railway line. At Musselburgh station we paused to look at Queen Margaret University, which moved here from its site at Clerwood to a purpose built series of building with the emphasis on ‘green environment’ for which it has won many awards. From there we followed the cycle route down to Monktonhall Golf Course, now used as an Open qualifying course, admiring a nearby house already decked out in Christmas decorations. At least you won’t get lost on a dark night in that street. Following the cycle route down to the River Esk, we crossed the bridge to make our way back down to Musselburgh, catching sight of a heron as we walked down to Eskmills, which is now rejuvenated as offices from its original use as mills.
Colonel James Paterson, a local to Musselburgh, invented and patented in 1812 the first machine capable of tying knots for the manufacture of fishing nets. When he died his company was bought, along with the patents for the knot tying machines, by J. W. Stuart who established a new factory for the manufacture of fishing nets on the banks of the River Esk and expanded the business into a world leader with sales and repair facilities in North America, Europe and Australia. At its height Stuart’s mills employed over 800 people in cotton processing and rope manufacturing. Throughout the World, “Scotch Weave Nets” became the generic name for machine produced nets. The mill’s domination of the market faltered when newer man-made materials were introduced namely nylon and terylene (Dacron). They were late in adopting the stronger and cheaper materials, handing  their competitors a considerable advantage, so the Esk Net Mills slowly declined.
We crossed the main road and then the Old ‘Roman Bridge’. Although the current bridge dates from the 16th Century it has been the site of many bridges before which have been used by the various armies invading Scotland. Continuing down the river, past the geese and swans, down Eskside West and the Category B listed Gazebo in Eskside West House dating from 1776, we made our way in the sunshine back to Musselburgh Harbour.

Thanks to Drew for organising an excellent and interesting walk on firm paths, great for this time of year. We are now looking forward to the lunch, where hopefully we won’t need waterproofs while inside, although a few years back we slipped and slithered in frozen snow down the street to the venue.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Strollers Walk No. 198 - Tuesday 20th October 2015, Dirleton to North Berwick

Walk No. 198:    Dirleton to North Berwick
Date:                 Tuesday 20th October 2015
Meet at:            Castle Inn, Dirleton
Finish at:          Church Road, North Berwick
Twenty six Strollers met up at Dirleton to walk the John Muir Way to North Berwick. Ian had managed to arrange refreshments in the Castle Inn before the walk and, what was even better, a gloriously sunny Autumn day with very little wind.
The picturesque village of Dirleton is home to the ruins of the castle first built around 1100 and expanded by the de Vaux family in the 12th century. Being in the path of the English armies marching on Edinburgh the castle was besieged several times and finally left in its current state by Cromwell’s army in 1650. The Kirk dates from 1512 when Dirleton had a bigger population than Gullane.
Making our way from Dirleton past Yellowcraigs to join up with the John Muir Way. Named in memory of John Muir who was born in Dunbar but moved to America at an early age and was instrumental in setting up the National Parks there including Yosemite and Sequoia. The path has now been extended so you can walk from Dunbar all the way to Helensburgh. Joining the path we had a good sight of Fidra lighthouse built by Thomas Stevenson father of Robert who wrote Treasure Island which is though to be inspired by Fidra. Making our way along the path to North Berwick, Berwick meaning ‘barley farmstead’. ‘Bere’ meaning barley and ‘wic’ meaning farmstead from Old English.
We followed the edge of North Berwick West golf course founded in 1832, though local Kirk records show golf was played here in 1611 when two gentlemen were brought to task for playing on a Sunday. Passing the big mansions that were built for the wealthy in the 19th century when the visit of Edward Prince of Wales in 1859 boosted the popularity of the town we made our way towards the harbour area. The harbour was built around 1200, though evidence suggests there may have been a harbour from the 8th century. For over 500 years the harbour operated a ferry across to Earlsferry near Elie in Fife. This year a new ferry service was started to Anstruther over the summer.
We’d like to thank Ian for arranging the walk and such a beautiful day.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Strollers Walk No. 197 - Monday 21st September 2015, Tanfield - Leith - Newhaven - Tanfield

Walk No. 197:     Tanfield - Leith - Newhaven - Tanfield Circle
Date:                   Monday 21st September 2015
Start Time:          11:00
Distance:            4.0 miles approximately
Duration:             3 hours approximately
Start / Finish at:  Bus stop in front of Tanfield (opposite what was the Northern Bar)
We shall do this circular walk following some of the old railway lines to Leith, Newhaven and back. There are several places where walkers can leave for a bus if they don't want to complete the whole walk.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Theatre Group - Bookings for Christmas Pantomime

This year’s Christmas Pantomime at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. We have made a provisional booking for the Matinee Performance at 2.00pm on Thursday 10 December 2015. Details of this, including how to book, have been emailed to members who are part of our Theatre Group.
If you would like to go, please complete the booking form attached to your email and return it
together with your cheque
as instructed in the form, to arrive no later than 17 September 2015.
Note: If you want to sit beside your friends, it would be easier for us to administer if you could all get together and send back a single form for the group of you.
If you are not registered as part of the Theatre Group, but would like more information on this, please reply to and we will add you to the theatre group distribution list.

Outing to Glenturret Distillery and Drummond Gardens, Crieff - Tuesday 8th September 2015

Our fifth and final coach outing of the summer took place on Tuesday 8th September 2015, when we visited the Famous Grouse Centre at Glenturret Distillery, just outside Crieff. On the way there, we stopped for morning coffee and some retail therapy at Dobbies garden Centre near Stirling. In the afternoon we visited the beautiful Drummond Gardens, south of Crieff.
Around 80 attended this outing, requiring the usual 57-seater coach plus an additional minibus. We enjoyed high tea in the Queen's Hotel in Perth before returning to Edinburgh.

Many thanks to all involved in arranging our five outings this summer and to all who supported us by attending.

Strollers Walk No. 196 - Thursday 20th August 2015, Duns / Manderston Circle

Walk No:     196
Date:           Thursday 20th August 2015
Start Time:   11:00
Distance:     4.6 miles approximately
Duration:      2 hours approximately

On a surprisingly dry and very warm day fifteen Strollers met in Duns for the August walk to see the sights and sounds of the Manderston estate. From Market Square we headed up Castle Street over the road at Newtown Street and past the Horn Inn following the road towards Grantshouse and Cranshaws. Stopping to admire Christ Church, this Scottish Episcopal Church was built by Mr Hay of Duns Castle in 1857 to a design based upon a Romanesque style church which he had viewed on the banks of the Rhine. Looking over the cemetery to the right we had lovely views over the Merse, which means marsh but it was drained in the 18th century. Turning right for Johnsfield and Broomhouse we followed the road and then the track, avoiding stepping on the slightly flat frogs that seemed to be dotted about, taking us between the fields towards Buxley and past the entrance to the Manderston Cricket Ground founded in 1899.

Buxley has some interesting “A” listed historic buildings, and was built from 1897 to 1900 as the “Home” farm for Manderston. Here we met one of residents who works in the shop at Manderston House and did her best to try and entice us to visit the house  Continuing on we entered the grounds of Manderston House, the home of The Palmer family of Huntley and Palmer biscuit fame. Manderston is the supreme country house of Edwardian Scotland and was completely rebuilt from 1901 to 1903; the swan-song of its era. A house on which no expense was spared, with opulent staterooms, the only silver-staircase in the world, and extensive "downstairs" domestic quarters. It stands in 56 acres of formal gardens, with magnificent stables and a stunning marble dairy. We stopped off at the stables to have a chat with the horses and admire the stables with the horse names on the wall that all began with M.

We then made our way back to Duns along the edge of the A6105 following the wide grass verge that runs along the side of the road. Why is it all these roads seem to get busier just as we are walking along? Most Borders drivers think they are all Louise Aitken Walker and by “planning” we pass the Aitken Walker garage founded by her and her husband as we walk back to Duns. Louise's career began in 1979 when she was entered in Ford's 'Find a Lady Rally Driver' competition, without her knowledge, by her two brothers and was a winner from 2000 entrants. It spanned fourteen years up to 1993 when she retired to have a family. During those years she was the first woman to win a National Rally outright, survived a horrific crash in Portugal and became the first, ever British driver to win a world title - FIA Ladies World Rally Champion. Passing the garage we walked back into Duns down Bridgend returning to the Square and time for the Strollers to replace the calories burnt off on the walk.

Thanks Moira for organising this walk. Lets hope the weather stays as nice for September.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Strollers Walk No.195 - Tuesday 21st July 2015, Peebles to Lyne Water

Walk No. 195:   Peebles to Lyne Water Circular Walk
Date:                 Tuesday 21st July 2015

Start Time:       11:00
Distance:         7.0 miles approximately
Meet at:   Kingsmeadows car Park (just over the Tweed Bridge in Peebles)

Twenty Strollers met up for the July walk from Peebles to Lyne Station done in a figure of eight out and back along the Tweed via Manor Bridge. Starting off from the Kingsmeadows car park and following the path along the River Tweed and turning south at Fotheringham Bridge to go through the field and skirt the South Wood to the viewpoint above the Manor Bridge. Who works out these puff factors? From the viewpoint down and over the Old Manor Brig dating from 1702. Crossing the Manor Bridge itself to join the old Symington, Biggar and Broughton railway line, where contrary to the forecast it began to rain quite heavily. Not sure about the definition of drizzle to heavy drizzle. Following the railway line and sheltering from the rain under the trees we reached the bridge at Lyne Station where we stopped for lunch in relatively dry conditions trying to work out what type of birds were sitting on the telephone wires beside us.
From here it was over the footbridge and past Barns Tower, dating from the 16th century and Barns House dating from the 18th century to re-join the river and work our way back to the Manor Bridge. Crossing over to create our figure of eight we re-joined the railway line back to the Neidpath Viaduct, where the option of going over it and through the tunnel didn’t have an enthusiastic response. So instead we opted to follow the river below Neidpath Castle, now owned by the Wemyss family. It has had many famous visitors including Mary Queen of Scots, James the VI and poets like William Wordsworh. Following the river into Hay Lodge Park and across the Fotheringham Bridge and back to the car park in Peebles.
Apart from the rain, and Moira discovering that wearing walking shoes after going round in sandals for a long time was not a good move (big blisters), it was a nice walk.
Many thanks to Drew yet again for organising our walks. Here’s to next walk in hopefully a drier August.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Outing to Ayr Flower Show - Friday 7th August 2015

The fourth outing of 2015 took place on Friday 7 August, when we had a full day trip to Ayr Flower Show. Once again we had a full coach for this outing, but we managed to fit in everyone who wanted to attend with no waiting list, so no one was disappointed this time.
We left a sunny Edinburgh at 09:00 - earlier than usual but no one was late. Our coffee stop was at the MacKinnon Mills near Coatbridge. This stop was not long enough for some people to have a good look around, although someone managed to buy three pairs of shoes! Then we continued on to Ayr and the Flower Show, where the weather continued to be kind to us with sunshine all day. When it was time to board the coach to leave there were a few extra packages, as some people had bought plants or clothing at the various stalls around the Show.
Our high tea was at the Dumfries Arms Hotel, Cumnock. The information on its website says it is an “upscale Boutique Hotel, housed in an 18th-century stone building” and it was true. It was a lovely building and the interior had been renovated five years before. The meals were very nice. The only hiccup was some had almost finished their meal before the people having fish were served. However it was compensated by the lovely the home made cakes and scones available. Staff even brought an extra plate of scones to the tables.
The coach driver brought us back by the scenic route although it was a bit too twisty for one, who was sick. We were later than normal getting back but it was a very enjoyable long day. Some people were lucky and were dropped off on the way into Waterloo Place and those living in the east side got dropped off before the driver headed back to Earlston.
Many thanks to Moira for organising this outing and to others who helped with any of the arrangements.