Friday 23 March 2012: Auchendinny Station
After the wonderful Spring weather of the past few days we woke to a haar this morning so decided to go further inland for the day's walk. Actually we only got as far as Penicuik to walk along the disused railway line, beginning at the bottom of Harpers Brae and heading east. This section of the path has been recently tarmaced and was easy walking.
The path follows the river North Esk for much of the way and must have been a delightful train ride. My blip is from Auchendinny station, closed in 1951, with the 'bowstring' bridge designed by Thomas Bouch over the river and the railway tunnel below the road bridge carrying traffic along The Brae. For some reason the river appears to be a good place to dump bricks and we spotted a few unusual manufacture's names amongst them (Thistle, Newbattle and Nettle), and also came across a peculiar purple flower I'd never seen before. Thanks to the web, I have identified it as Lathraea clandestina or Purple Toothwort, a parasite on willow and alder trees, which has probably escaped from a landscaped garden.
From here we passed the building site where the Dalmore paper mill once stood; this is where we tried to walk last Saturday but couldn't find a way in! The footpath crosses the access road to the site and a workman was on hand to control the pedestrians and cyclists so they were not run over by a road roller or digger as they crossed. From there the path is fenced off and we continued in safety, stopping at the viaduct near Firth House.
Returning the same way we realised that the line has a long incline to the west, so the walk provided rather more exercise than expected.
PS. I have to say thanks for the appreciation of Wednesday's Magnolia blip, I'm really chuffed.
I have backblipped for Thursday.