Sunday, May 06, 2012

Hoddom Farm Walk

Rob and I went on a four mile walk at Hoddom Estate, along the bank of the River Annan and on quiet roads back to the castle. The walk is described on the Visit Scotland site here. It is a flat walk, but over uneven ground, with steps in places.

This is Hoddom Bridge with a carpet of ransoms in the foreground, just in flower, along with the bluebells seen elsewhere in the woodland.

This is the Hound's Monument, erected beside the river in memory of an otter hound called 'Royal', he died in the winter of 1898 having spent too long in the water in pursuit of an otter.

Some primroses at the base of one of the many huge, old trees seen on the walk.

A new feature since our last visit: a carved tree trunk showing rocks on one side, spawning salmon on the other.

It was lovely to see the clouds of swallows feeding on insects above the river. Here are a few taking a well-earned rest after their recent journey from Africa.

 Another wood carving showing an otter, salmon and bird of prey (the bird is around the other side!).

An information board tells you about the life cycle of the salmon. The wall with the orange balls represents the fish eggs in the gravel of the stream. The Water of Milk joins the Annan just above this point.

The walk passes along small back roads after that, past an abandoned mill and a farm. You loop back round to approach the castle from a different perspective. We treated ourselves to a bag of hot, salty chips (£2.25 per portion for the hand cut chips) from the Hoddom Castle takeaway. You can also have a sit down meal in the bar.

There is a caravan/camping site with 'pods' if you want to stay at the Castle. There are several other walks to be done locally, including woodland walks at Woodcockair, a visit to Repentance Tower, or a stroll round the golf course next to the river.
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