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 Mel 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 but 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 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 the forest and the lovely Birdhouse Café in the atmospheric Woodside walled garden, This is how cafés should be — walker-friendly, warm and comfy, relaxed atmosphere and excellent fare. Would be perfect on a sunny day with its 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.
So far you have been walking my LEJOG route in reverse. I joined St Cuthbert’s Way about a kilometre south east of Mounthooly having camped at Jedburgh the night before. I walked between the delightful Eldon Hills. As you say they seem to visible from a lot further away than you would expect in relation to their size. I seem to remember being able to see them during three days.
Was chatting about LEJOG the other day and I wonder if I joined up all the smaller LDWs I’ve walked how much would I have left to do. I know its not the same.