A Foot in the Chilterns in Scotland part 1

A group of 14 of us went walking in Edinburgh. Most of us stayed on the university campus https://www.edinburghfirst.co.uk/accommodation/salisbury-green-hotel-and-bistro/

which did mean trying to get the hang of buses. The bus service is amazingly good in terms of the locations and frequency but managing tickets was not so easy especially when bus drivers do not always sell you the right one. We were sold Lothian west to go to North Berwick which is clearly east and if the bus driver had good eyesight it did not work very well. After visiting North Berwick and being shown around by my sister we walked at least 8 miles along the coast to Gullane ready to be transported back on the next bus – this driver had good eyesight and refused to take us without further payment. When we sat down he turned off the engine and refused to move so we had to file off and wait for another bus who thankfully was more accommodating. He was a brave man to take on a bunch of middle aged nordic walkers armed with poles.

Day one was unexpectedly glorious sunshine – first walk for those who had arrived was from Blackford Observatory


We cheated a bit by driving up to the car park and walking from there. Edinburgh, due to its volcanic origins offers visitors the chance to view North, South East and West from the various hills in the city and surrounding area.

Later in the afternoon we walked over Arthur’s Seat to Duddingstone village, visiting the kirk http://duddingstonkirk.co.uk/history_and_buildings.html and Dr Neil’s garden http://www.drneilsgarden.co.uk/ on the banks of Duddingstone loch https://www.scottish-places.info/features/featurefirst7881.html before dinner at the famous Sheeps Heid pub https://www.thesheepheidedinburgh.co.uk/

Choice then was walk back along the old Innocent railway or drive back – those that walked had a lovely evening walk https://www.stuffedinburgh.com/innocent-railway-tunnel-2/

Day 2 – fuelled by a very tasty and indulgent scottish breakfast we set off for the Pentland Hills http://www.pentlandhills.org/ to work some of it off. Some people drove to Harlaw and walked there and the rest of us took the steep option from Swanston https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swanston,_Edinburgh

We parked by the Brasserie and set off up Caerketton Hill from where there were breathtaking views, on to Allermuir and then picked our way down some very steep terrain to return to Swanston for a well earned lunch with the others who had done a walk around Swanston after Harlow.

From there a short drive to the Secret Herb Garden and back for drinks and supper.



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