Crossing the Moorfoot Hills


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From where it flows into the Tweed at Innerleithin, a solitary road runs up alongside the Leithen Water — Abhainn Leitheinn, the grey river — and is soon enclosed in perfect round and green hills.

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It twists and turns and climbs northwards through these, the Moorfoot Hills, treading a path between Whitehope Law and Windlestraw Law.

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Part of the Southern Uplands: a fine set of landscapes, but generally neglected by most outside of southern and central Scotland — overshadowed by the more extreme geology of the Highlands, or by similar hill ranges in places more accessible from Britain’s other centres of population.

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The road summits one valley and drops into the next.

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Passing the now neglected circular drystone sheep stells that for several centuries provided the livestock in the hills with winter shelter from wind and drifting snow.

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Then repeats the process, climbing again from this central valley of the Blackhope Water, a tributary of the Heriot, which cuts east through the hills.

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Past the windfarm on Peat Hill.

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Climbing high into the windswept moorland landscape.

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Before abruptly hitting the Esk Valley and the lowlands of Midlothian in a long straight steep scarp.

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