Start: GLEN ROAD, PEEBLES (8.47am) End: GLEN ROAD, PEEBLES (4.03pm)
Drove the two hours from Alnwick directly to Peebles without any sort of hitch. Met up with Karen at the end of Glen Road shortly after 8.30am and after getting booted we were off heading South-Easterly on a decent track. The aim of today is to enjoy the area around Peebles and pick up the 4 Donalds South of the town.
The path was excellent and the ground was hard due to the overnight frost. We quickly made our way onto the old Cross drovers drove road leading up and onto Kirkhope Law at 537m but didn’t hang around as the wind was making a cold day into a very cold day. We just continued South along the drovers road and soon arrived at the first Donald BIRKSCAIRN HILL at 661mts. We grabbed a quick drink and looked out towards the next objective of Stake Law, not a significant top but a necessary point on the way to the next Donald. The ascent and the descent was insignificant and we reached the trig point at DUN RIG (744mts) without any incident and not much to report. We sat at the trig point as it was close to lunch time and I ate my cold sausage roll that I had purchased from the BP garage in Peebles. Each mouthful taken with a sip of my peach flavoured carbonated water gave the sausage roll a peachy taste, not particularly pleasant but I needed the calories.
From Dun Rig we followed the fence which took a semi circular route in order to avoid the gully on our way to GLENRATH HEIGHTS (732mts). This was the most difficult part of the walk as the ground was softer and rather boggier then anything else we had encountered so far.
From GH we could see Broom Hill which we needed to reach before turning West towards our final Donald, Stob Law. From Middle Hill the path improved once again. We dropped off our backpacks on the descent from Broom Hill and would collect them again on our return. On arrival at STOB LAW (676mts) I had a little chuckle at myself and commented to Karen about the condition and size of the cairn making the top (See the pic left). Made a point of sarcastically standing on the top of the pile of 6 stones. We then returned to Broom Hill and then made our way North towards Hundleshope Heights. On the way we spotted our only other walker and made the error of following him/her, more on this a little later.
From HH we should have been heading along a well defined footpath towards Dead Side but instead we focused on the other walker and headed towards Preston Law for approximately 20 minutes and 1km before realising our mistake. I then had a quick chat with Karen and we headed down the steep slope from the Western flank of Preston Law towards the Waddenshope Burn which we would then follow for approximately 2kms before reaching Upper Newby farmhouse and the barn with the red roof. The area alongside the river which is a floodplain in wet weather was
fortunately dry and easy underfoot, despite this I still managed to slip down the bank at one point and ended up with a wet backside. We reached the farmhouse about 3.30pm and from there we just followed the initially rough track to Haystoun and then the cement road all the way back to Glen Road and back to our vehicles.
In summary, a dry day with blue sky most of the time. Just shy of 24kms and a little over 7 hours of walking.