Dun Caan circuit, Raasay

Jazz sniffing a Mermaid

Jazz sniffing a Mermaid

I’ve always wanted to go to Raasay: it’s something about its love of repeated vowels, and the fact that it is a lovely place.  A friend’s son spent most of his geography degree on the island so it obviously has nerd appeal too.  And with yet another beautiful day forecast it was easy to tempt the Missus over: and I had a special cycling treat in store for her… Continue reading

The Last Bit of the Southern Upland Way

Berwickshire coast

Berwickshire coast

This is one of those very rare posts where I describe actually finishing a long-distance walk. It is all the more incredible as looking back over these posts show that I started the Southern Upland Way over five years ago.  I know I’m a slow walker but that really is glacial.  Poor Jazz was barely out of puppy-hood when she started getting dragged along.

The official SUW distance is 212 miles but after 22 separate walks involving lots of circuits we took almost exactly 300 miles to complete it.  And today was the last day from Longformacus to Cockburnspath and so something to savour.  It’s such a pity that it was dire. Continue reading

Traquair to Galashiels

Three Brethren

Three Brethren

A rare combination of a free weekend and decent weather gave us the chance to get back to the Southern Upland Way for the last two sections: yes, we are frighteningly close to finishing this.  Today was the shorter one with a walk over the old Minch Moor drove road from Traquair to Galashiels.  So sit back and enjoy, because this walk was a cracker. Continue reading

Castlecary to Linlithgow

Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk Wheel

Continuing the tradition of doing canal walks in July Jazz and I were doing the middle bit of the Central Belt’s canal network.  We were dropped off near the Castlecary arches and quickly reached the canal.  It was at about this point we discovered that the map was still in the car currently heading west. Well, we were on a canal and the John Muir Trail (JMT) that is sure to be well sign-posted: what could possibly go wrong…? Continue reading

Mar Lodge to Forest Lodge

Looking down the River Tilt, 2

Looking down the River Tilt

I’ve been wanting to do this classic route through Glen Tilt for years and today the planets aligned.  It isn’t a difficult walk but there is one obstacle that can seriously ruin your day if the conditions are wrong: you have to ford the Geldie Burn. If it’s in spate you have to retrace your steps as it would be too dangerous.  The reason I managed to persuade the Missus to let me go (and on a work day too) was that it was being organised and led by the rangers of Atholl Estates: yes, Jazz and I would have to be sociable. Continue reading

Insh to Grantown-on-Spey

Insh Church

Insh Church

To amuse ourselves while the Missus was finishing off the northern section of the N7 cycle route, Jazz and I decided to do the Badenoch Way and then the first day’s part of the Speyside Way.  Conveniently the two routes now link up in Aviemore (or will, officially, soon – the path is there it just has a few fences in the way…).  Although we split it over three days, we’ll join this all up into one, east-to-digest post that takes us from Insh near Kingussie to Grantown-on-SpeyContinue reading

Tibbie Shiels to Traquair

St. Mary's Loch

St. Mary’s Loch

This is the second day of our weekend doing the central section of the Southern Upland Way (SUW) and a kind Missus dropped us back at Tibbie Shiels Inn for the much shorter wander around St. Mary’s Loch and then over the hills to Traquair.  This was probably just as well because although it was a gorgeous morning the forecast was for snow by mid-afternoon. Continue reading

Beattock to Tibbie Shiels

Loch of the Lowes

Loch of the Lowes

The central bit of the Southern Upland Way (SUW) is a bit isolated and needs help from a friendly spouse to do pick-up/drop-off duty.  The possibility of doing a couple of days walking opened up when I pointed out to the Missus that a couple of Sustrans cycle routes were in the area and she could amuse herself with a cycle invasion of northern England.  So it’s off to Moffat for a couple of days walking of the SUW heading east. Continue reading