This page gives details about upcoming walks in the Guided Walks Programme. See the About the Walks page for general information. Please do let me know if you are coming on a walk, so that I can keep you informed about any changes to these arrangements.
Saturday 1 September 2018 10am Kirkcaldy to the Wemyss Caves
This gentle walk along a quiet section of the Fife Coastal Path takes us through varied coastal scenery, with lots of sedimentary rock on view, including loose material that is great for fossil hunting. Day walk, 5 hours, £14.
THE ROCKS: Along this section of the Fife coast various layers of sedimentary rock are visible beside the path and on the foreshore. These date from the later part of the Carboniferous Period, and include some of the youngest rocks in this part of Scotland, formed around 310 million years ago. Especially prominent are several layers of thick sandstone, which form part of the harbour at Dysart and the caves close to East Wemyss. Other layers are rich in fossils including plant remains.
THE WALK: This is a picturesque section of the Fife Coastal Path, from Ravenscraig Castle in Kirkcaldy, through the woods to Dysart and then along a more open coast line through West Wemyss to finish at East Wemyss. The path sticks to the coast most of the way, and so there is not much up and down, with only one detour inland at the Frances Colliery that involves some ascent. Total distance 9km. I have classified this as a Moderate walk: not always on paths, it may be rough or slippery underfoot at times. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
MEET: At the main car park for Ravenscraig Castle / Ravenscraig Park, on the A955 east of Kirkcaldy town centre. Grid reference NT 292 925. From the end of the walk there is a regular bus service back to Kirkcaldy. Route map: www.plotaroute.com/route/660357
Saturday 22 September 2018 10am Linlithgow to Muiravonside Country Park
Stroll along the Union Canal and follow the River Avon upstream for a circuit through Muiravonside Country Park, finding a mix of sedimentary and igneous rocks and enjoying the wider scenery of West Lothian. Day walk, 5 hours, £14.
THE ROCKS: although the geology isn't always visible along this walk, we will discover a selection of sedimentary rocks from the later part of the Carboniferous period, the Scottish Coal Measures that have been heavily exploited in the past for coal. And long after the sedimentary rocks were formed, magma seeped into this area, part of the massive Midland Valley Sill, forming tough dolerite that helps shape the landscape and the character of the River Avon.
THE WALK: A gentle, fairly level walk on good paths, following parts of the Union Canal, the Avon Heritage Trail, and the John Muir Way in a 12-km circular route. I have classified this as an Easy Walk: on good paths, there may be steps and some climbing. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
MEET: Linlithgow Train Station (car park on the south side). Route map: www.plotaroute.com/route/537143
Sunday 30 September 2018, 10am Vogrie, Midlothian
A varied walk from Vogrie Country Park to Gorebridge, exploring river valleys, abandoned limestone quarries, castles and glacial drainage channels. Day walk, 5 hours, £14.
THE ROCKS: we will be skirting the edge of the Midlothian coal basin, seeing some of the typical sedimentary rocks formed during the middle part of the Carboniferous Period, including thick limestone and sandstone layers that have been quarried for lime and building stone. Part of the route will follow an impressive glacial drainage channel.
THE WALK: from Vogrie Country Park we will follow the Tyne Water upstream to Crichton Castle, on paths that skirt the edge of extensive limestone quarries and are rough in places. From Crichton Castle the route takes us over the Edinburgh-Tweedbank railway line to Borthwick Castle and north to Gorebridge, mostly on good paths that can be wet in places. Total distance 10km. I have classified this as a Moderate walk: not always on paths, it may be rough or slippery underfoot at times. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
MEET: Outside Gorebridge Train Station (9:11 train from Edinburgh Waverley arrives 09:37). From here we will share cars for the short distance to Vogrie Country Park. Route map: www.plotaroute.com/route/537123