back to my home page

Bike ride, Lockerbie, Eskdalemuir, Kirhope, Innerleithen, Heriot, Gifford, Haddington, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(5 day bike-pack)
Thu 13 Aug - Mon 17 Aug 2020

Thu 13 Aug 2020
Thu 13 Aug 2020 Sun 16 Aug 2020
Fri 14 Aug 2020 Mon 17 Aug 2020
Sat 15 Aug 2020  
After far too long I'm heading back to Scotland with my bike. It's also the first time I've been on a train in over 6 months. I finalised packing of my bike panniers then set off at 07:20am for Preston Railway Station. I arrived around 08:05 and followed rules about going onto the station platforms with my facemask. I was surprised how deserted it was at a time when it used to be packed with people. I'd pre-bought a single ticket to Lockerbie which cost 13.55. I checken on-line this morning and it is listed as 11.40.
Preston Railway Station

We have a train but no driver.
The train was due out at 09:00 from platform 5 but when got there a rail attendant said the train wasn't coming from Liverpool Lime Street as scheduled but was actually in the staton waiting for a driver. The notice screen said delayed and leaving at 09:10. I could have booked on the 09:04 to Edinburgh which also stops at Lockerbie and that left on time. My train eventually left at 09:17am but was traveling slow all the way to Penrith as we were stuck behind a freight train. It was 10:53 when we arrived at Lockerbie.
Lockerbie Rail Station.
I don't have too long a stage ahead so it wasn't a problem. The temperature was pleasant but the wind was rather strong. I put my helmet on a platform bench and it blew from one end to the other. As I cycled out to the east I stopped by a Spar shop to see if they had snacks. With my mask on I went inside but was told it was closed for a while as they were taking a delivery. I continued on the B7068 Tundergarth Road. There was a steep climb at the start and the following miles were a succession of long climbs & descents.
My first objective was after 5km when just below the top of a climb I came to Tundergarth Church on the right. Directly across the road is an open field with a fence line and gate on the horizon. This is where the cockpit section of the PanAm Jumbo Jet crashed 21 Dec 1988 after a bomb blew up the plane. Pan Am Flight 103 'Clipper Maid of the Seas'. It is generally known as the Lockerbie Air crash as that is where most of the wreckage landed including an engine that created a crater by the A74, now the M74. I continued east into what seemed like a strengthening wind.

The same view today from Tudergarth Church.

Clipper Maid of the Seas
Pan Am Flight 103
crashed 21 December 1988

Remembrance Room in foreground
is now locked.

Remembrance Room.

Water of Milk.

By the road was a dead fox which didn't seem to be unduly damaged by being hit and still retained its beautiful brown/red fur colour. I continued to Paddockholes and turned left onto the minor road over a stone bridge. Very soon I turned right to head northeast along the interestingly named Water of Milk. There soon came a flat section of road but I couldn't enjoy it due to the strong headwind. There were many new vehicle passing places along the single track road and some signs relating to wind farms. Away in the distance I could see a large cluster of portacabins and new access roads. Presumably this is the area where the wind farms are to be constructed. I was thankful to reach the road junction at Bailiehill where there is an information board for a nearby Hillfort followed by a descent to the bridge where Black Esk and White Esk join to make the River Esk.

Water cistern by the road.

Water cistern by the road.
The road then went into the forest but there wasn't as much shelter from the wind as I'd hoped.cross from the area called Castle O'er was a stone cistern by the road. I peered inside to see a vaulted chamber with clear water in the bottom. Presumably it was the local water supply. I emerged from the forest into the open valley and soon reached Eskdalemuir where I stopped at the Community Hub Cafe & Village Hall building. I knew it would be closed but by the toilet block at the rear is a water tap labeled Drinking Water.

I filled my water containers and continued cycling north to a group of trees in a field to the left. I've camped here in the past and this was to be my camp tonight. I went through the gate and pushed my bike through then up behind a wall where I couldn't be seen from the road. Later in the afternoon and evening it became very windy.

Camp 1 Eskdalemuir.

back to  my
home page