Day 11 – Inns and Poets

Scabcleuch to Innerleithen, 31Km

That’s a photo of a sheep fold

I slept at The Gordon Arms last night, a famous Scottish inn where James Hogg (a renowned local poet) and Sir Walter Scott often met for a pint of Fosters. It’s a great pub, I had a marvellous view from my bedroom (see below) and most of it burnt down 10 years ago so now it’s completely up to date and available for £350k.

There’s another pub, the Tibbie Shiels Inn down at St Mary’s Loch which was one of Scotland’s most famous inns until it was bought by some Londoners ten years ago. They’re still there but the inn closed in 2013 and it now looks wrecked. The Southern Upland Way runs through the grounds and you can just see an information board among the debris but the owners divert you around the outside instead. On reflection, forget what I said about the Gordon Arms being for sale. House prices are rising, pubs are falling in value; you know what’s going to happen.

I climbed more hills this morning and arrived at St Mary’s Loch at 10am ready to sample the cake of the day at Jane’s cafe, closed Tuesdays. That’s today. Instead, I crept into the deserted yacht club and poured a cup of Nescafé from my flask and ate a cereal bar. Nescafé tastes best on the high moors in the driving rain, not by a closed cafe.

The highlight of my day was finally meeting another couple walking the whole of the SUW. David & Sonya from Haslemere, just down the road from me, appeared on the horizon and I soon caught up with them because they were weighed down with camping gear. They said about 10 people walk the SUW every week in summer. I’m surprised it’s that many. We had a good chat about some of the places we’d both walked and then they had to stop to boil some water for tea.

The view from my room at the Gordon Arms Inn, last night. It was even more spectacular this morning with the morning sun
David & Sonya from Hazlemere appear on the horizon
I walk the shores of St Mary’s Loch this morning
The Scottish Borders Council has chosen to replace this bridge today. Temporary diversion through the water, over some rocks.
An interesting feature of glaciation and erosion
The weather has been good, so far

8 comments on “Day 11 – Inns and Poets

  1. Hi Tim, Am loving following your wonderful journey. I left a message a while back but not sure if it got through so just thought I would say Hi again and am enjoying walking with you in spirit. Take care. Inspiring stuff as always. Cheers. T

    • Hi Torin, yes it did but always a pleasure to hear from you. Tim

  2. Enjoying it all

  3. Wow! The view from your room looks like a painting. Beautiful.

    • It was a great view. I was tempted to make them an offer..,

  4. Vicky Williamson

    Kia Ora Tim. The landscape is delightful. As for Sir Walter Scott his tipple was likely porter or stout but not it was not a Fosters brew as that business didn’t exist in his lifetime. Still don’t understand the Englishers love of Fosters though! I’m looking forward to your first photo of a hairy coo! Kia kaha, Vicky

    • Hi Vicky, my apologies because you are right. Sir Walter Scott died in 1832 and Fosters was first brewed in 1888. They sell 1.9m pints per day.

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