Almondell

Although Livingston is not the most beautiful place in the world, it has some hidden gems and beauty spots. One of those is Almondell Country park, offering a variety of activities, walking, barbecuing, picnicking, horse riding etc. Good for a short outing and a good couple of hours walk. Beautiful wooded area with Almond river through. I took my walking pals here a couple of times. It was beautiful in spring, great in late summer. Hope I will catch it with the foliage changing colours.

The walk was almost 6 miles long, took us just under 3 hours.

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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.

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!