Mounthooly – Morebattle.
A very peaceful night in the cottage and breakfast without the dogs. We never seem to get away much before 9.30am but the day is not arduous and we have time to explore. The waymarking has been so good we have hardly had to consult map or guide.
Amazing change in the weather after the rain of the last couple of days. Bright sunshine and warm from the start. Dispensed with the major uphill in the first mile or so climbing on Dere Street, Undulating sandstone ridges and valleys were then the nature of the day. This gave delightful countryside walking on a summer’s day.
We met few people out and about, today a couple from the states walking SCW as part of their Scotland tour.
We had our first clear views of The Cheviot Hills as we progressed towards the farming community of Cessford. In the past these farms must have employed a small army as each one has numerous workers’ cottages on site. Now vast fields of wheat and barley are harvested by monster machines.
The next attraction was the ruin of the 15th century Cessford Castle on its fortified hill. The borders were a battle field for many years. The castle emitted solidarity and the beautiful red stone shone in the sunshine. Very impressive.
Lane walking took us into Morebattle and our convivial pub for the night.
St. Boswells – Mounthooly.
Our lovely hosts gave us a lift to the bridge on the Tweed where we left off yesterday.
Forgot to mention in the last post that I’m with my mate from school days, we meet up for a long distance walk every year – though these are getting shorter.
With all the rain in the night the river was running a good foot higher and the paths muddy. The morning was dry and the day remained so, only just!
Good progress was made along the river bank. We met a version of Two Blondes Walking [if you know the reference!] with a group of primary school kids. There was lots of interest along the way – particularly the pumping station up to an old house. To save the maids carrying the water up they had installed a pumping station using mule power in the upper room. The water from the spring looked crystal clear.Climbing slightly away from the the river we came to the hamlet of Maxton, a cluster of typical Scottish workers’ cottages. We reached the start of a few miles along the line of the Roman Dere Street. At its highest point there is a stone commemorating The Battle Of Ancrum fought here in 1544 and the mythical Lilliard – Fair maiden Lilliard
lies under this stane
little was her stature
but muckle was her fame
upon the English loons
she laid monie thumps
and when her legs were cuttit off
she fought upon her stumps.
We had good views back to yesterday’s Eildon Hills, in fact they remained in the background for several more days. Relief came at the end of this as we dropped into forest and the lovely Birdhouse Cafe in the atmospheric Woodside walled garden, This is how cafes should be – walker friendly, warm and comfy, relaxed atmosphere and excellent fare. Would be perfect on a sunny day with it’s outside seating. A stretch of walking by the River Teviot provided a pleasant end to the day. Our B&B spot was something from the past with an enthusiastic hostess, countless dogs and no hope for any hotel inspector. Suited us fine.