Monday, 7 November 2011
One of the things that years of hillwaking has primed me to do is, at the drop of the hat, take full advantage of good weather, especially in winter - wolf down breakfast, leave the house untidy, have the rucksack semi-permanently stocked, that kind of thing. It might cloud over and start raining by lunchtime. I may not be as cunning a fox as the blueskyscotland guys, but long experience of Highland weather has conditioned me to react to a crisp, sunny day with the urgency of a firefighter attending a blaze.
These days the people I like to spend most of my time with don't like hillwalking, but beautiful days like this weekend (and today) still give me a thrilling urgency to get out and about as quickly as possible. This Saturday, whilst helping out in the Borders, I was able to make a quick dash up Linton Hill. (I only know of this lovely wee viewpoint from the indispensible Relative Hills of Britain, my hillwalking bible.)
The Cheviots from Linton Hill:
A quick walk up a track, through a field full of cows, brought me to a small wood, turning gold for autumn, a transmitter mast above. I was soon on top, breathing deeply the clear, mild air, drinking in the views. What a tonic to be up there! I ran down the track back to my car, sheep chewing on the leaves of an unharvested root crop, glad to be alive.
Eildon Hills from Linton Hill:
It doesn't have to be a Great Hill to enjoy the sunshine and autumn crispness, although that does give me the most tremendous surge of happiness. I also visited this beautiful riverside on my way back.
So that was Saturday. Today, a mellow autumn day just begging to be maximised, I got out my Edinburgh office for a quick lunchtime walk. High above I could see tiny figures approaching the top of Arthur's Seat.
Arthur's Seat from Holyrood Park:
My feet only wanted to go in one direction. Were it not that I was due in a meeting when I took this picture, I would have headed up there to be with them.
Posted by Robert Craig at 09:32