Green Is The Colour

LETJOG – Day 40: Saturday 26 June – INNERLEITHEN to WEST LINTON (20 miles)

New growth on the Cross Borders Drove Road

What a pleasant surprise, to hear last night that I would be joined today by Fergus, my second cousin. Rachel and I had of course met for dinner with Fergus and his wife Susan last Saturday in Hexham, and, clearly caught up in the spirit of LETJOG, Fergus kindly made the trip up to Innerleithen this morning for an early start and a 20-mile hike!

And so ensued another wonderful day on trek, with the rain holding off, thankfully, once again. Even the grey skies did little to dampen our enthusiasm, lending a hue to the landscape that blended easily with the forty shades of green on the hills. Our morning walk, of around seven miles following the Tweed upstream through Cardrona to Peebles, proved an easy stroll along the metalled path of a former rail track, with glimpses of the river across lush pastures.

A view of the Tweed . . .
. . . and at the Freewheelin’ Brewery in Peebles, where we found no one at home . . .
. . . so, instead, we settled for a coffee in the town. Would I be a trifle naive to believe that the red and white bunting is in support of England’s Euro 2020 hopes, now that those of Scotland have expired?

Leaving Peebles we walked for a few minutes with Fergus’ old schoolfriend Zoe, resident of the town, who gave us some useful guidance on our planned afternoon walk along the Cross Borders Drove Road. Climbing out from the town and into the hills, the next ten delightful miles took us on an undulating grassy track over rolling moorland, through dark pine forests, and along verdant valleys, with just an occasional farmhouse or small-holding to punctuate the greenery. Eventually we came upon the main Edinburgh road, crossing onto a side-road for the final two miles into West Linton.

A lone farmstead near Stewarton . . .
. . . and a carpet of moss in the woods
Any takers for this desirable property?
Descending towards West Linton . . .
. . . and a ‘swift half’ at my overnight destination, The Gordon Arms Hotel, before saying our goodbyes

Thank-you Fergus for supporting LETJOG and for your wonderful company today – it was great to share a fine walking day together and to catch up! Tomorrow I leave the Borders and the Southern Uplands with fond memories and a very favourable first impression. I shall return!

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