Escaping the estate

I have been at home for more than three months now as I continue my period of (near) isolation due to the COVID19 pandemic. But because I live in the countryside with hundreds of acres of nature to play in, I have not felt the strong need to venture far from home. Of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t escape the estate when I get the chance. And that chance came yesterday!

I mean, it’s not really that I haven’t had the chance to escape. I am a 10-minute walk to the Pentland Hills and only 10-20 minutes away from other large country parks. However, I know that those areas are used by people for recreation – especially those who live in properties without gardens or easy access to nature. And in the early days of lockdown, I knew that these spaces would be busy, even though people weren’t meant to be travelling for recreation. So, I decided to stick to my estate because I knew most people wouldn’t be aware of its existence.

But now that the restrictions have started to ease a bit, I’ve started to feel more comfortable venturing off the estate and into the surrounding woodlands. This is in part because The Science tells us that it is slightly safer now (R-numbers, overall infection rates, and all that jazz). But it’s also because I have noticed that people who visit the country estate where I live tend to be good at social distancing, so I felt that would be similar on the surrounding estates and public woodlands, too.

And so, yesterday I ventured off the estate as part of (another) socially distanced walk with a friend.

The adventure marked the furthest I’ve ventured from the estate since lockdown. It also marked the first time I’ve been to certain parts of the woods to the northeast of my cottage. So that was a treat!

We started with a walk through the Roslin Moat then headed through the woodlands and past Dryden Tower. Then we headed towards the old railway viaduct before making our way through Bilston. We ended our walk with a visit to the Easter Bush Campus, as my friend quite likes modern architecture, so I thought he’d appreciate the new(ish) buildings there.
I was quite impressed with the post-apocalyptic vibes from a couple of burnt-out cars. There was also a pile of rubbish that feels almost intentional. If it were in the Tate Modern, I am sure it would attract great attention (and money) from the art world! You can decide for yourself; there are photos in the gallery.

I know that doesn’t sound like the most exciting adventure day out, but it was great fun with fabulous weather and wonderful company. And, of course, when you’ve been cooped up at home in the country for three months, any new scenery counts as an adventure!!

As COVID19-related things in Scotland continue to improve, I am looking forward to more adventures with friends – whilst maintaining proper social distancing practices, of course. I will also be enjoying more solo adventures around the Pentland Hills as I feel more and more secure about the risks of leaving my cottage. So, keep checking back for more great photos from my adventures.

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