Castles and bridges in the Borders

I love going on new adventures, but sometimes it’s great to re-visit old favourites. Especially when I’m looking at the old stuff from a different angle. And that’s what yesterday’s adventure way: An old adventure, enjoyed a new way.

Yesterday’s adventure was enjoyed in two parts around Peebles in the Borders. And where my first visit to Peebles was all about walking and talking, this visit was all about exploring (with walking and talking, of course).

The day began with a trip to Eddleston to see the Great Polish Map of Scotland near Barony Castle. It’s one of those whimsical sites that I have often thought would be nice to see, but never got around to it. So, when my friend suggested it, I knew this was my opportunity!

The map was pretty cool, but it wasn’t what either of us expected: My adventure partner was expecting something smaller and I was expecting something bigger. I was mildly disappointed about the size because I had thought it would be something larger and accessible for climbing on – and I was really looking forward to climbing Ben Nevis! Still, it was an interesting history lesson and for that I am always grateful.

After visiting Scotland in scale, we enjoyed a 3.4-mile walk through the nearby woodlands. It was quite a gentle walk, but it provided plenty of great views. We then made the short journey to Peebles for the next part of the adventure.

In Peebles, we parked the car then walked towards the park so that we could enjoy a walk along the River Tweed. Whereas my last visit was a 10-mile walk, we only planned a “short” 4-mile jaunt this time – two miles on each side of the water for a little loop.

We spent a bit of time exploring Neidpath Castle on the way. It’s a private castle but there is access to the outside of the site which we took advantage of. Although it would have been really nice to see inside the tower house, too.

From there, we made our way towards the old Neidpath viaduct before carrying on to the Manor Bridge another half-mile away. That served as our turning point and once we got back to the viaduct, we walked across it to the other side of the river for the return to the car.

After the walk (and a nice picnic lunch in the park) we made our way into town to look around. I was very nervous about the crowds, given as I haven’t really re-entered society yet, so we made our way to another old bridge for a geocache instead, then returned to the car. It was a nice little day out with a slight autumnal feel to the air. But that, sadly, left me feeling a little down because I know that winter is coming and the outdoor adventures I’ve been enjoying during lockdown will come to an end soon. And as the virus is still with us (and getting worse) I won’t be able to enjoy museums and such anytime soon. Still… I am sure I’ll manage to get a few winter walks in, so there will be plenty of adventures to share in the coming months.

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