Monday, 13th July 2015
Anyway the sun is shining now so we’re drying out nicely thank you.
We went to Peebles to have a look around and then on to Traquair House, the oldest inhabited house in Scotland with a very interesting history. You should go and have a look (there’s a nice cafe there too!).
Enjoy this little ramble…
Peebles and Traquair House (3 miles)
We had a walk around Peebles admiring the River Tweed which runs through it and having elevenses in a very nice deli (we won’t mention the small, but very expensive, chocolate tart). Peebles has a lovely main street with lots of independent shops including an art and crafts shop for Mr RR to browse in and a lovely friendly wool and quilting shop for me.
Then we moved on to Traquair House which is 5 miles down the road. As soon as you see the house itself you can tell its age – it looks, and is, medieval.
As we enter the courtyard we can hear a bird chirruping and looking up to the roof we catch sight of him:
I’m delighted to capture his picture – I’ve never seen a nuthatch before. And depending on which book you read I was very lucky to see one at all in Scotland. The Reader’s Digest Garden Birds book tells me that it usually inhabits deciduous woods and mature gardens in England and Wales – and has only recently started breeding in Scotland. Other books say that it doesn’t exist in Scotland at all.
We continue into the house and are able to hear all about its history and that of the families who have lived there. It dates to 1107 and was originally a hunting lodge for the kings and queens of England. In 1491 James Stuart became the 1st Laird of Traquair. Extensions were added in the 16th and 17th centuries and at this time the Lairds became associated with Mary Queen of Scots who stayed in the house. It has a fascinating history, including being ransacked during the Jacobite rebellion, and when the family converted to Catholicism in the mid 1600’s priests were sheltered here.
The Stuarts survived at Traquair until 1875 when the family line died out. A cousin, Henry Maxwell inherited and took the name Maxwell Stuart and it is this family that remains in residence today and has the daunting responsibility for preserving this piece of history. They do a very good job providing spoken and written information as well as craft workshops and a microbrewery on site.
And then there are the woodland walks. Having partaken of refreshment in the cafe, whilst looking out of the window at the beautiful roses in the garden, I decided that no visit to Traquair would be complete without following one of the woodland walks. Rain? said I. Pft….tis only drizzle and a little drizzle never hurt anybody.
Mr RR, as you can tell, is easily led. So we ventured forth searching for the path down to the River Tweed. And we found it. The River was in full flow and we sauntered (well…trudged really) alongside it trying to ignore the ‘drizzle’. It is very beautiful, even in the rain:
However, it has to be said that the grass was long and dripping wet, the ground was slippery and the rain was making our shoes all squelchy. It wasn’t much fun really, so we headed back towards the house and made a quick visit to the walled garden:
to see a very clever sculpture of a horse made from recycled metal:
before heading back to Tyninghame to dry off.
Total miles walked this year: 466