Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Saturday, 29 May 2010

North Queensferry to Kinross

Up nice and promptly with only a slightly thick head from last nights wine, and we are off leaving the costal path, very quickly we get lost in the suburbs while looking lost a chap named Patrick and his son Jack gave us directions, following these we nearly get arrested by saying four words " does Gordon live here?" Yep we'd found the ex prime ministers house! The armed guards were quick to move us on! Oh and the big black cameras were sure to have filmed our little brush with politics!
As we left town a car screeched to a halt in front of us, thankfully not the police but Patrick and Jack again with some food and a 20 pound donation ! .
This next section of the walk was allways going to be a bit too practical rather than pleasant and apart from a good chin wag with my sis during morning break , it lived up to this this was until we reached Kings Seat , here the planned path was along an old railway then via a forest road to Kelty it didn't quite work out, the railway was almost impassable but stuborn me got through , then on the forest road we came to a no entry sign , now with Scottish rights to roam this normally means no entry to vehicles so we climbed over and carried on the path and the forest quickly vanished to become a working, open mine, with one kilometer to go I wasn't turning back thinking it would be shut on a Saturday ......wrong! Luckily not a day for explosions! And as we reached the exit (passing a supervised area sign and cctv camera oops!) we made good our exit passed workers leaving for the weekend! Some odd looks came in our direction understandably !
Going into Kelty you can really see that this is a mining town the place felt hard as nails ! So we got out quickly, in doing so we met a chap named Bill (i think, sorry if I'm wrong!)  really friendly and interesting conversation.
Carrying onwards towards Kinross once again the plan went awry where we hoped to walk an abandoned railway again this time it was impassable so we stayed on the road for a foot crunching 8 kilometres, along here Bill passed in his car beeping and waving hello! Cheered up a tough bit of walking thanks.
Camp for tonight is at Gallowhill farm just west of Kinross.

Carlops to North Queensferry 29/5

A late start of 8.45 was nice especially with a full fry up inside ,we left our refuge from the storm and set of in bright sunshine up into the pentland hills.
A nice easy stretch of hill walking through curvacious hills then down again into Buteland , quite heavily populated area this with our path heading into wilkieston we set of along the road to newbridge pleasantly there was a pavement all the way. Passing over the M8 we followed an abandoned railway (pleasently rural!) to Queensferry accross the maginficent Forth road bridge and into North Queensferry a pub meal later, we tried our luck with a not so wild camp 2 minutes walk out of town.
Luck was really on our side here wuth stunning views of the Forth rail bridge we set up camp, to be greated by a local Jeremy Hawkins who mentioned that our pitch was an old barrage ballon site used to protect the railbridge in WW2.
Now Jeremy is a really top chap he returned later with a bottle of wine which we sat and drank looking over the Firth of Forth, as Jeremy told of local places of interest.

Innerleithen to Carlops 27/5

Setting of through the early morning activities of Innerleithen, we walk down to the river path along the tweed, after a bit of hair raising road walking we enter the golfing village of Cardrona where the old railway station has been converted into a shop/cafe never one to pass a feeding opportunity, tea and a cheese toastie boosted our breakfast, talking to Linda the owner it seems that J.P also stopped here.
Passed the ruin of Horsbrugh castle a stretch of woodland had been cleared and an odd youth art/village had been constructed.
Briefly into peebles for provisions then out again to Hamilton hill , with mountains around us we descend to an old drove road which takes us along Eddleston valley.
With huge banks of black cloud scudding towards us ,threatening and then delivering our first soaking of the entire walk we drag our soggy selves into the hotel at carlops where we were able to get a room (dog too ! ) and a meal to end the day .