Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Golden Beeches Not Beaches

I'm becoming ever more lazy when posting my blog adventures, this was a post that I'd done over a week ago now so apologies before I begin :-/
...Anyway the day started when I needed to drop my wee van off at the garage for new brake pads & discs, so unloading my bike from the van I set off on my merry way not quite sure where I fancied going.

The weather forecast for the day was to start off with glorious sunshine then fog in the early afternoon, but even just after 8 o'clock in the morning, looking out to sea the fog was already creeping in & was starting to shroud the Bass Rock & North Berwick Law.

A Grey Heron foraging for a meal on Belhaven bay.

The low autumn sunshine was brilliantly colouring the rusty brown bracken a nice contrast with the green pine trees & long autumn shadows here at John Muir Country Park & as I passed East Links family park the resident red deer stag was herding up his females & bellowing his eerie & magestic call. 

Leaving John Muir Park & up by the stables of Hedderwick Hill the trees looked unbelievably stunning draped in gold, we've not really had the strong winds as of yet so the trees are hanging onto their leaves for the time being.

From there I decided to cross over the old A1 & go up into Biel estate following the avenue of yew trees along Biel drive before turning off along a field track. Still unsure of where I fancied going I finally made a decision of where to go & decided to cross back over the old A1 & head for Binning Wood.

Passing through the Knowes farm where there is a really well stocked farm shop with all sorts of fresh field produce & other fancy edible products.

No sooner had I crossed over the Tyne river & cycled up the Knowes Mill road the fog was quickly enveloping me & the bright sunny scenery around me.

Now in Binning Wood which is always beautiful no matter what season it is, it's ages since Iv'e been down here. A fairly recent addition to the woods is a site for green burials a concept which appeals to myself when my sell by date expires !

A work of art this log cabin is, which I assume has something to do with the burial ceremony's.
 I wouldn't mind a cabin like this in the middle of nowhere in the woods away from everyone, I could live here no problem ! I think us as a species are moving forward too quickly & it's when your alone in places like this that money or materialistic things don't really matter apart from a bike of coarse !!!

The colours all around me were like an artist's palette, all sorts of earthy brown, red, yellow, gold, copper, bronze & amber colours it doesn't matter where you look it's like an oil painting.

The 301 acre Binning Wood was originally planted in 1707 by the 6th Earl of Haddington. The majority of the wood was felled to help the war effort between 1942-45, with much of the timber being used to make airframes for Mosquito fighter-bombers. The former wooded area was replanted after the war & at just 70 years old it is still a relatively young wood.

With the fog filtering through the woods it gave the place a real mystical feeling.

From Binning Wood I head back the way I'd come & then decided to take a detour through Smeaton passing some Highland coo's safely behind a fence where I like to see them ! 

I took a wee ride around Smeaton lake, the tree collection around Smeaton lake was originally laid out in the 1830's by Sir Thomas Hepburn, and many of his original plantings survive, including trees from the Balkans, the Himalayas & the Americas.

From Smeaton I cycled down to the river Tyne to follow the riverside footpath back towards Dunbar where I found that some construction work is under way to restore the weir on the river.
What a horrible sign :-/ could the council be any more graphic !

Just across from the weir is Preston Mill dating back to the 18th century & there is recordings of a mill on this site as far back as the 16th century. 

Preston Mill is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. It was used commercially until 1959 & produced oatmeal. The river Tyne still drives the water wheel & the machinery can still be seen at work by visitors taking part of a tour.

Recently some filming was being carried out at the mill for a period drama called "Outlander" a television series brought to life from the book franchise by author Diana Gabaldon. The basis of the story is about an English women from the 1940's who travels accidentally back in time through a stone circle & ends up back in the 1700's during the Jacobite uprising falls in love with a Scottish Jacobite...blah blah blah !
My wife & mother in law are obsessed by these books & tv series & missed out on watching part of the filming just a few miles along the road hahaha !

The mill has been the victim of many a flood from the river Tyne, above you can see where I'm pointing how high the flood water was on August 1945.

August 1966.

October 1990 & April 1992.

May 1985.

From here you can clearly see how high the river had to be to flood the mill ! And a couple of signs mentioning about poaching salmon & trout, the Tyne river has a problem with poachers stealing fish.
This will be a familiar sight around these parts for the next month or so, gathering in the brussels sprouts for the Christmas table mmm.

It's not every day that you see a skittle floating down the river Tyne !

Another genius geocache container, I signed this one a while ago, but to the untrained eye it just looks like a regular bolt.

And a bit further along the path another more comical geocahe  container with the log book safely hidden inside. Geocaching is a great hobby I enjoy it as it can take you to new places & is also a great way to keep the kids keen & interested on long country walks.

Leaving the Tyne footpath behind & onto the ware road back towards John Muir Park.

Some interesting foggy views of uniform trees & bushes as well as another Grey Heron feeding along the high tide mark. 

Back through John Muir Country Park again, always a nice place to spend an hour or so cycling through the woods.

Along the edge of the salt marsh towards Belhaven.

The creel boat 'Charlie Boy' coming back into harbour.

Always love a daunder down the harbour, very quiet today though with most of the boats out to sea & all but a couple of yachts still in the harbour, most of them have already been lifted out of the water onto the pier for the winter months.

Hoisting the days catch of lobsters up out of 'Charlie Boy' onto the pier. 

From the harbour I rode along the towns east beach, again it was very quiet, not even any dog walkers out today, then from there it was back up hill to the High Street to the garage to collect my van & my day out on the bike was done. 

Thanks for reading "Golden Beeches Not Beaches" I hope you enjoyed the trip on what started off as a nice sunny day & ending up a dull grey foggy one, but the star of the show has to be those colours on the trees !

You can now follow me on Twitter -
 MTB Stravaiger@MoontanBiker

Cheers for now.