A busy couple of days and what glorious weather – see its always sunny in Scotland!
The bank holiday saw us head up from Corby Linn on the Philiphough estate to the 3 Brethren, this route nicely links Sunnycroft Farm B&B to Minchmoor and onto Peebles.
It was quite busy as it was a holiday for some and it was hot hot hot. The good weather brought out other natives and I was very excited to see my first ever Adder*, a small juvenile female. #1 trail assistant stood on her as she was sunbathing on the track and she shot off into the grass. Luckily not too far so I managed to get a picture of her
*please note I am terrified of snakes but she was so beautiful I was fascinated rather than scared
The Tuesday saw us at Yarrowford and ready for a longer adventure over to Traquair and Innerleithen. Our first attempt onto the trail was slightly hampered when the first field was filled with cows and calves. Cows generally don’t bat an eyelid at horses but not such a good idea with a dog so we diverted a short way down the road to the next farm track onto the hill and picked up the trail 1/2 a mile on. This is why you should always carry a good OS Explorer map so if you have to divert you can do so safely.
We followed the trail markers over the hill, skirting the southern edge of the Elibank and Traquair forest and descended down through the early mist to Traquair. We detoured into Innerleithen and had a bit of lunch – and maybe an ice cream! before picking up the Southern Upland Way back towards Selkirk. As we left Traquair we came across a rather peaceful spot where local horse owners have left tributes to their horses inscribed on slates.
The SUW takes you up onto Minchmoor and the point of Resolution. This is a living sculpture near the peak and changes from season to season. You then get to the Cheese well where generations of travellers have left offerings to the faerie folk for safe travels across the moor.
A great route and on a clear day it is worth the small diversion up onto the Mich Moor summit where there is a trig point and a fabulous view.
The trail splits just beyond here and you can ride straight onto the 3 Brethren but today we dropped onto the old drove road which heads back to Yarrowford. On our way down we met 3 separate groups of intrepid Duke of Edinburgh award trekkers on their way to Traquair, a long few days ahead of them but they were looking keen and all excited to hear about the project.