Crossing the Moorfoot Hills


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.

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

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.

The road summits one valley and drops into the next.

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.

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.

Past the windfarm on Peat Hill.

Climbing high into the windswept moorland landscape.

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

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