Where Global Corporate Challenge takes me

Global Corporate Challenge started again this year and competition is fierce. In teams of 7 we compete at work in how many steps we can take together. So I decided that some days I can walk half way to work. And as I am of the belief that if you have to walk then it’s good to have some nice views on the way I’m taking this walk at the Union Canal. 7 km each way gives me quite a few steps. 

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Peebles – Tweed Walk

Peebles is probably one of the most picturesque towns in Scotland. It is also a very popular destination for tourists of all sorts, walkers, mountain bikers… Very beautiful location, a range of little shops and chain eateries make it a great destination for a day out.

With Gentle Jaunts we ventured on a walk which was probably one of the best walks I have ever been.

Starting at the King’s Meadows car park, it follows the Tweed towards Neidpath Castle. Then between the hills, crossing the river and heading back you pass the Barns House with an old tower. A detour will take you through the disused railway tunnel which was much longer than I expected. Generally, it offers spectacular views of the river Tweed, the castle, a couple of old bridges and the hills.

My tree alley in Balerno

I follow a couple (well… dozens of) photographers in various social networking sites and they will always give you ideas of places to see or share some inspiration. Or more often, make you jealous that they got somewhere before I did.

This is how I found out about this beautiful alley of old trees. All I knew was that it was somewhere in Balerno (which is quite close to where I live). So when an opportunity presented itself to join a group for a walk there, I did not hesitate. I kept asking everybody if they knew where ‘my alley’ was and we got there! To my group’s amusement, I was most excited that I found this beautiful spot.

Today I persuaded a friend to go there to capture ‘my alley’ with lush green fresh leaves.

Beautiful as ever…

Spring 

I love the spring colours. The unique shade of fresh green leaves. The May blossom. Larch’s new needles. 

Although lilac is not very popular in Scotland I’ve seen some trees scattered around Edinburgh….

I miss lilies of the valley with their intoxicating sweet smell… But Scotland boasts tremendous bluebell forests. I guess you can’t have it all. 

And of course horse chestnut blossom which announces the school exams in Poland. 

Shame it just lasts a moment…

Craiglockhart Hills

A walk hosted by Diane took us to two of seven hills of Edinburgh – Wester and Easter Craiglockhart hills. The weather was mercifuland it just rained a little and we had a chance to see the Pentland hills, and a vast part of Edinburgh.

The top of the hill also features the original Napier University building, which was used as a mental hospital, a wedding venue and is soon going to be converted into flats. We reckon, you will need a couple of million to get one of them.

Definitely worth a visit, my favourite picnic spot so far.

Traprain Law from East Linton

This little hill stands out when you drive down to England on the A1. My goal was to find a way to climb it. As I was made an organiser of walks, I decided to tackle this one and include it on one of my walks. We started off in East Linton which is a beautiful village itself, then followed the Tyne river to Hailes Castle. After that, a short field walk and we could climb the hill. It’s sharp but short and offers extensive views of East Lothian towards the Firth of Forth and Fife.

Although it’s just over 220 m above sea level, the views of the countryside are just amazing. And because the weather was good, we could actually see something!

There was seven of us, we all enjoyed our little outing.

Inchcolm

Mentioned by Shakespeare in Macbeth:

“That now Sweno, the Norwayes King,Craves composition:Nor would we deigne him buriall of his men,Till he disbursed, at Saint Colmes ynch,Ten thousand Dollars, to our generall use”

the island lies just off the coast of Fife. It is a popular tourist destination  with its Augustine Abbey (dating back to as far as 9th century), the military building remains and offers fantastic views of Edinburgh.

The cruise to the island itself is also full of attractions, as you can admire the Forth bridges, and wildlife (puffins, shags, gulls, porpoises and seals).

It was on my bucket list for a long time because I am a Historic Scotland member and would like to visit as many sites as I could. But my dream was also to see the puffins and seals. And so we did along with 46 members of Gentle Jaunts group.

The island is also inhabited by lots and lots of seagulls and because it was their nesting season, they were getting quite anxious and we experienced a couple of Hitchcock moments. It was still fun!