Walk Day 52 – Peebles to West Linton

Day 52 – May 31 Peebles to West Linton
 Weather: Sunny  B&B: Meadows B&B (£32)
 Departed: 9:35 Arrived: 15:10  Walked: 4h 50m Rested: 0 hr 30m
 Distance Today: 15.7 mi / 25.27 km  Total Distance: 807.7 mi / 1299.87 km
 % Complete: ~ 69.99%  Pint of the Day: tbd
 GPS Track for: Day 52

I spent much of Rest Day #6 on buses but considering the showery weather that probably wasn’t a bad thing. The hustle and bustle of Edinburgh was quite a shock after having spent weeks in remote areas but I look forward to spending several days there after my walk is complete. Yesterday’s objective was to visit Kirkliston and its parish church. I didn’t find the graves I was looking for but I did meet someone who gave me a booklet on the history of the village and offered to research some of the names on my behalf. All in all a good day out.

This morning I caught the #62 bus to Peebles and with the sun shining all I needed to do was decide on my route to West Linton. There are no long-distance footpaths going in that direction and so I was left with two options. The option proposed by guidebook author Andy Robinson was more direct but trickier to navigate as it included sections with no footpath at all. The second option by guidebook author Mark McCloy was longer but stuck mainly to roads. I changed my mind three times before I finally decided on McCloy’s route, largely because it followed a beautiful valley I had seen from my bus ride yesterday.

I managed to cobble together a route that followed minor roads and an unmarked footpath along a disused railway line for the first section to Eddleston. I was forced to walk along the A703 for 20 minutes, not a pleasant experience but thankfully it was short.

I used McCloy’s brief description of the route around Barony Castle and through the woods to find my way to an old farm track which I followed to a minor road near Shiplaw. I followed the road for several miles until it eventually spilled out onto the A701. There were nice views to the Pentland Hills ahead but otherwise the scenery after Eddleston was a bit of a let down after what I’d seen in the last few days.

One of the frustrating aspects of the second half of this route was (as my GPS track clearly shows) that it zigzagged back and forth towards West Linton. Had there been a road, or even a footpath through the fields, it would have shaved several miles off today’s walk. That said there was nothing to do about it other than suck it up and plod on.

I met no walkers today and I doubt I will see many until I reach Drymen on Thursday afternoon. Tomorrow I’m heading north to Uphall, an area just west of Edinburgh and south of the canals that I will follow on Wednesday and Thursday.

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