Sunday morning dawned dry, bright and crisp, the perfect day for a Sunday walk, so we decided to head along the Dalkeith to Penicuik cycleway as far as Rosewell, do a loop around a new housing estate on the site of the demolished Whitehill Colliery and Brickworks, then head back home following a cross-country route. And, of course, picking off a few zones on the way.
The cycleway was busy with folk with the same idea and while most would adhere to Covid-19 social distancing rules, a few did not, much to our annoyance. However, once past the town boundary, the crowd thinned out and both myself and Cathryn started to better enjoy the walk. Our first zone take of the day was HopeBridge (185 points), just as the cycleway crosses the B6392. Points for zones are high here as the zones are not taken very often.
We ticked off another couple of zones, ExitRosewell and EnterRosewell, both for 185 points each and both zones I’ve taken in the past. Our next zone, AbdenCircus, also 185 points, was unique to me. We then followed the snow-covered footpath, veering left and heading towards the centre of Rosewell, ticking off another zone, RosewellPath for 185 points.
As we were carrying a picnic lunch with us, we wanted somewhere to site and enjoy our meal. I knew there was a small quiet, public park nearby, towards the south-east and hoped there would still be some picnic benches we could use. Covid-19 restrictions had seen the removal of many of these benches in other parks. However, we were in luck today and found a suitable bench in a sheltered spot out of the cold westerly wind, in fact, it was even warm in the bright sunshine. Our spot was also a zone, RosePark, so another 185 points added to the ever increasing total.
After lunch, we walked along the main street to take HolyStMatthew (185 points) then across towards Whitehill House to take a zone suggestion I’d made a few weeks ago at the entrance to the estate. EnterWhitehill offered up another 185 points. There are a further five zones I’d liked to have taken nearby but we were on foot and they will always be there for another day. Actually, just perfect for a quick cycle one evening or early morning.
With our Turf game finished for the day, we walked back home to Bonnyrigg, following a route I knew very well, this being my local patch for cycling and birdwatching. We did have some difficulty crossing a boggy patch of woodland – I’d assumed the past week or so of sub-zero weather would have frozen the ground, though this was not to be, but we managed to find a detour, jumped a small stream and joined the access road for Dalhousie sand quarry. Unfortunately, the access road was totally covered in thick sheet ice, more suitable for ice skates than walking boots. We had to make do with walking the field margins back to town. Still, a grand day out.
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