Looking at some of my turf stats last night, I noticed that I’d visited 225 unique zones, only 25 zones short of the 250 Unique medal. The question was where to go to take 25 zones I’ve not taken before. The nearest place was the Mayfield area of Newtongrange, just a few miles from the house. An alternative was to head for Edinburgh but it seemed sensible to mop up all the unique local zones first.
I picked off three zones on the way, ones I’d taken before, BryansStop, LadyMansfield and Suttieslea, all with 155 points each. No point in passing them by if there’s points on offer. Then the first unique zone of the morning, Woodyladiho (185 points), located in a patch of woodland you could mistake for a rubbish tip with the amount of litter and other discarded objects lying around. A lot of broken glass in the footpath as well. Very glad my tyres have both puncture protection strips and tyre sealant.
Next to fall was NewbattleHigh, followed with BowlingField and then Easthouses, all high flyers with 185 points each. A short uphill cycle – something that would feature a lot this morning – took me past another zone, BelowB6482, a memorial to local miners who gave their lives in the production of coal at Easthouses Drift Mine. Only 170 points. Kind of feel a zone like this should always have 185 points.
More climbing brought me to OldSchoolZone and TheLawSchool, both with 185 points. Some good views over Midlothian to the Pentland Hills from OldSchoolZone making it worth the climb. Next a zone located at Lawfield Primary School, one that would remain elusive. I tried from the main entrance but all gates where closed during school hours and there did not seem any way to reach GroovyAshes. I then tried to access the zone from Conifer Road to the south and must have only been a few meters away but still out of reach. One for another day.
Next a grand tour of the fabulous Mayfield housing estate, starting with the somewhat run down MayfieldPlaza (185 points) with all the shops closed with steel shutters, perhaps due to Covid-19 restrictions. Only the chemist was open for business. Next was the strangely named Crawlbucket and OakCres, both for 185 points. Then an off-road gravel path woodland slog up to EastOfEast for another 185 points and another scenic view of the Pentland Hills.
Having reached the highest point in Mayfield, it was all downhill from here, first TheHumbleZone, then WestIsEast, BevanZone and Blackcot, all for 185 points each. The next one, SouthOfEast, was more popular with turfers at 170 points. A final couple of zones to round off the area were SqueezedIn and the aptly named SkywalkersWay, both for 185 points – a nearby street is called Saint Luke’s Way, though probably with a more ecclesiastical theme rather than Star Wars Jedi knight.
Having run out of zones in Mayfield, I started for home but not before scooting along to Newtongrange to pick up Colliery (170 points), a unique I’ve been meaning to get for a while. Three other zones were taken in the passing as well. My unique count was now 243, just 7 short of the 250 I need for the 250 Unique medal. I hope to take more tomorrow in Edinburgh. My round points are now looking better, up to 64,200, with the grand life total at 231,200. Happy days!
Finally, a few words about the Mayfield area. Some of the roads are very rough, pot holed and broken, so take care on those fast descents. Many of the footpaths have copious amounts of broken glass so be prepared to deal with potential punctures. It’s not the glass you see that’s the problem, it those tiny little shards that cause the punctures. And finally, if you stop to take photographs, as I do many a time, watch out for dog poo, particularly at grassy areas. There’s a lot of it about.
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