I don’t know what you’ve been doing this weekend, but I’ve spent a good deal of it out and about. Given that the last few weekends have been somewhat miserable, the last few days of brilliant sun shine have been pounced upon by the people of this fair city.
With winter fast approaching everyone appeared to be taking advantage, and we were no different. After spending Saturday morning doing a range of things (look out for a post about the Fredrick St Coffee House later this week) we decided to take the dog out for a long walk and make the most of the sun, as I mentioned in a quick post on Saturday.
Our adventure took us out to the north west of Edinburgh, to walk up the bank of one of the City’s two rivers, the Almond. We started at the Cramond Brig, where the trees line the wide expanse of water, and walked the two or so miles up towards the airport, past the army base and the farms. The path here starts off rather wide and solid (bulked up by a substantial number of fallen leaves), but as you get further up into the farmland the path narrows into a single file, slightly mucky track. Here too the river narrows, and the banks get steeper as it becomes hemmed in between the fields. The tranquility is also somewhat disrupted here as it is nearing the East Coast main rail lines and the end of the runway of Edinburgh Airport. However, none of that really takes away from the feeling of remoteness (until a train and a plane pass by virtually simultaneously) or the peace brought to the river and fields by the golden sunlight.
Aside from its geographical location the Dalmeny Estate shares very few features with the Almond (the exception being the planes going overhead to land at the airport) and so gave us a totally different walk for Sunday. The sun was still shining, but this time over the fields, hedgerows, copses and estate roads that sprawl over the undulating countryside that makes up the estate. In fact it’s quite hard to remember that you are still technically within city limits.
We decided to take the road that almost borders the lower extremities of the River Almond, passing the main farmhouse and eventually winding our way down to the beach. From here you look across the mouth of the Almond to Cramond, out to Cramond Island and across the Forth to Fife (ignoring the slightly less picturesque Hound Point in the middle).
Back in the fields our dog rekindled her obsession with the pheasants (she tried to chase a squirrel here a month or so ago but it magically changed into a pheasant whilst running under a bush, much to the her bafflement) at one point even leaping up onto a hay bail at the side the road to get a better view of them. Pheasant and squirrel spotting then proceeded to make up a large part of the remainder of the walk.
Weekends like this remind me of one of the many reasons I like Edinburgh (aside from its entertaining notion of climate). It never fails to amaze me that despite having spent a fairly large part of the weekend feeling as though we were in fairly isolated countryside at no time in our weekend walkies have I left city limits. Long live the weekend and long may this sun continue.