Scottish Borders

It seemed very odd today to cross the Scottish Border and to turn right. Usually, I head straight on and towards one of the Hebridean islands but today I was travelling from Carlisle to Seahouses on the Northumberland Coast. I decided to take a circuitous route via the borderlands as I’ve always wanted to see this bit of the English/Scottish overlap.

I travelled through Hawick, Jedburgh, Kelso, Coldstream and Berwick-upon-Tweed before heading south through Bamburgh and stopping at Seahouses. In some ways these seem like names of the far north but compared to my usual Scottish haunts, they’re very much south.

It was a beautifully bright and clear morning and it stayed like that all day and into the dark evening. This was quite a memorable, but short, road trip along the rolling and twist country roads of the border country.

IMG_5780

A touch of spring?

I’ve been out on my bike again this weekend and the weather has been stunningly nice. Yesterday morning, with a frost on the ground and a bit of a breeze, was quite chilling to be out and about in, pedalling around the Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire borderlands. I went in search of hills and found plenty – a bit different from the usual flat(ish) Cheshire Plain.  The last few miles were a bit of a struggle to be fair but well worth it as I found some new routes and some more to be explored over the next few months.

This afternoon, I was out again, despite my legs still feeling tight from yesterday.  It was an even nicer day with a bright sun and almost no wind at all. Spring didn’t seem far away as I headed out, with great tits and song thrushes singing as I peddled off.  Heading down one country lane, there was a mass of circling gulls, being lifted on what must have been one of the first thermals of the year – the dark, bare earth being heated by the weak sun and giving a lightly rising airflow.

On I peddled, and unlike yesterday my feet and hands were keeping warm, the sun warming my black shoes and gloves.  However, as soon as clouds appeared my feelings of spring soon disappeared as the chill started to claw back into my clothes – the brightness no longer taking the edge off the 5 degrees C air temperature.

img_1237-1