Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Valleyfield Woods - snowdrop trail

something missing.

Eleven walkers took part in what has to be the coldest, wettest walk we have ever done.
The weathermen got it all wrong.  We parked up in the Main Street in Torryburn and started off at the archway which leads to Torrie House occupied by the Earl of  Wemyss, but he was in London apparently so wasn't around to invite us for tea.
We crossed the very busy A925 and into woods on the other side. It was pretty glaury and actually had to walk through a field, just to avoid the main road. Then on to a country road,  so out came the high viz jackets and single file walking for a good mile. The sleet started about then and the snell wind was biting every bit of skin that wasn't covered up. A balaclava would have been the very thing.

something else missing.

We made good progress and before long came across Shirefield where there is a riding school for disabled horseriders. We picked up leaflets about the snowdrop trail here and planned our route.

There is an area which is called the walled garden, designed by Humphrey Repton. We did see a very high wall but no garden. An old worthy, John Lamb whom we met on the recce explained the changes to the gardens as environmental vandalism. I had to agree there was nothing worth visiting here. So we took a short cut at the weir avoiding the kitchen garden and reaching the
woodland walk sooner than expected. At least here we were protected from the wind. Someone mentioned coffee and scones and our pace quickened. By the time we reached Torryburn again, the sleet and wind was really whipping up and we were glad to take shelter back in the cars.

The short journey from Torryburn to Limekilns was horrendous. The sleet was battering down on the cars and looking out on the Forth, we could see nothing but a wall of sleet crashing vertically into the river. What a bizarre sight.
Limekilns is a lovely wee coastal town with some delightful private shops, a great pub and a freshly renovated old stone building called the Sundial cafĂ© which was our coffee stop today. Eleven treacle, fruit and cherry scones were scoffed and washed down with delicious coffee  - good for the soul.
All too quickly, we donned our soaking wet jackets again and set out for the car journey home, but not before we visited a crafty wee gift shop where some of us made purchases.

There were some things missing today. Snowdrops for a start. There seems to be far fewer snowdrops than in previous visits - certainly not enough to call a trail. And photographs. This must be the first time ever the walkers have not been snapped on a walk. And lastly we forgot our prayer before departing. Och.  Not the usual warm feeling after walking with friends, but character - building.