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[Me]

Touring Britain bit by bit with a pair of boots, a few bicycles, a lot of trains and a bag of lenses. I take pictures and then I write about them.

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Sun, 9 Jun 2013

Crossing the Moorfoot Hills

Innerleithen

From where it flows into the Tweed at Innerleithin, a solitary road runs up alongside the Leithen Water Abhainn Leitheinn, the grey river and is soon enclosed in perfect round and green hills.

DSC_0342

Moorfoot Hills

It twists and turns and climbs northwards through these, the Moorfoot Hills, treading a path between Whitehope Law and Windlestraw Law.

Moorfoot Hills

Part of the Southern Uplands: a fine set of landscapes, but generally neglected by most outside of southern and central Scotland overshadowed by the more extreme geology of the Highlands, or by similar hill ranges in places more accessible from Britain's other centres of population.

Moorfoot Hills

Moorfoot Hills

Moorfoot Hills

The road summits one valley and drops into the next.

enclosure

Passing the now neglected circular drystone sheep stells that for several centuries provided the livestock in the hills with winter shelter from wind and drifting snow.

livestock pen

Moorfoot Hills

Then repeats the process, climbing again from this central valley of the Blackhope Water, a tributary of the Heriot, which cuts east through the hills.

DSC_0379

Past the windfarm on Peat Hill.

DSC_0389

turbines

Moorfoot Hills

Climbing high into the windswept moorland landscape.

Moorfoot hills

Before abruptly hitting the Esk Valley and the lowlands of Midlothian in a long straight steep scarp.

Moorfoot Hills

Moorfoot Hills

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[Tag] Tags: hills, moorfoot hills, roads, rural, scotland, scottish borders, southern uplands, uk


Sun, 7 Oct 2012

Hill climb

Weardale

Newlands

Lane to Bellingham

on Bulbarrow

bicyclist

Calbuco

Above Settle

Casablanca

bicyclist

above Weymouth

Leaving Rannoch Moor


[Tag] Tags: chile, cycling, downland, moors, mountains, patagonia, roads, rural, scotland, the north, uk, westcountry


Sun, 17 Jun 2012

A82

River Etive

The A82 between Tyndrum and North Ballachulish in the West Highlands is a remarkable road.

Rannoch Moor

A82

Astonishing not just for the breathtaking moorland and mountain landscape that it floats across and weaves through.

River Etive

And the extraordinarily difficult remote and hostile conditions in which it was constructed, across deep peat bogs, around peaks and lochans and over fast flowing and frequently frozen mountain rivers.

Leaving Rannoch Moor

A82

Rannoch Moor

But because it was built in 1931 to a very distinctive engineering style which is rarely seen in our mediaeval lanes or our modern roads made up of computer generated continuous gentle curves.

A82

It is more like a Roman Road or the military roads built to suppress the Jacobite risings, in following perfect straight lines for many miles at a time across the flatter parts of the moor, joined in short curves.

Rannoch Moor

Rannoch Moor

But maintaining a relatively flat and practical course, across the rocky mountain streams on reinforced concrete bridges and viaducts, built in situ to graceful but experimental designs that haven't been seen since the discovery of the boring but cheap square beams on straight stilts method of road bridge construction.

Buachaille Etive Mòr

Its one of those few places that actually bears some resemblance to the great open road of car adverts and Top Gear features the thing, the freedom, the lifestyle that people are told that they are buying when they get conned into a daily grind of traffic jams on cluttered streets and webs of dull computer-designed roundabout-linked suburban distributor roads, and all the ill-health and unhappiness that comes with it.

digging a road

Rannoch Moor

Except that this is still a real road, with real traffic and real drivers. So the moor is littered with broken plastic and glass; bumpers and hub caps and metal slowly sinking into the peat. Better the quick death by car here than the slow one on the ring road, perhaps?

Buachaille

More pictures in the Highlands gallery.

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[Tag] Tags: bridges, highlands, history, mountains, photo essays, rannoch moor, roads, rural, scotland, uk


Page: 1

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