I surprised myself today by deciding to go for a walk in the Pentlands. I’ve been a little hesitant about this walk, as the Pentlands are one of those places that are full of memories for myself and Tom. I didn’t want to go before I was ready, and have to turn back half way up a hill or anything. But I woke up to a lovely day and decided to give it a go. I like the Pentlands. As you’d imagine for a dramatic rollercoaster of a landscape within striking distance of Edinburgh, they can feel a little busy on a nice day, but if you can rise above the crowds around Glencorse Reservoir, the hills are always great for a walk. Before February I’d think nothing of ascending two or three of the Pentlands, but we decided to just try going up and down Turnhouse Hill today. This is not an inconsiderable climb – quite steep in places – and at more than 1600 feet, it is over twice as high as North Berwick Law.

The walk starts among rolling pasture. . .

. . .and then begins a steady ascent. . .

. . .until you reach a pleasing knot of trees. . .

. . . and can pause to take in the spectacle of the valley below.

I had found the walking pretty difficult thus far, and things were about to get even more tricky, because the further up we went, the more frozen and slippery things became. This was someone’s first experience of the cold, white stuff – I think he liked it. . .


and really, I didn’t mind it too much myself – I just had to take care, and take my time.

Bloody hell! how did I get up here?

Having followed me on many a recent walk, you’ll know that the going down is much harder for my wonky and unbalanced left side, and today was no exception. I’m just glad you can’t hear the noises I was making. By the time this next photo was taken, I had developed robot leg, and was at the stage where I was almost starting to hallucinate with exhaustion.

But I was very happy.

The Tortoise and Hare will be released tomorrow! I will be back with another post about it then (clearly you can’t get rid of me at the moment!)

44 thoughts on “Turnhouse Hill

  1. HI KATE—- love the pictures , the hill , SCOTLAND at its best and you with all your tweed , knitted designs and not to forget the faithful pup, out enjoying himself too

    wish I was there —-pat j

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  2. I am so happy to see you getting out on the hills again. I know that if I couldn’t go walking then a huge part of my life would disappear. I wish you all the best to go from strength to strength and go further and higher.
    As usual the sweater is brilliant too!

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  3. What a gorgeous place! Congratulations on the achievement! I’ve also been admiring the beautiful tweed jacket you’ve been wearing in your walking photos.

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  4. Wasnt it a lovely day yesterday? Pity about the gloom and murk we’ve had in Edinburgh today… anyway, we went up Blackford hill yesterday with our little people and enjoyed fine views (but no snow!) Cant believe you found white stuff on the Pentlands… I wonder how much more there is today. It was a measly 4 degrees this morning. Brrrrr. Just wish I was at home knitting in front of the fire, drinking tea and eating something cake-like.

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  5. Another glorious day spent outdoors! I really appreciate your comments about your before stroke and after stroke experiences. You know, how you mention that before February you would have walked in a more carefree manner. I don’t identify with these experiences, having enjoyed a rather uneventful medical history thus far, but I like these glimpses into your life and seeing how you exist in the environment. You seem to have a talent for happiness.

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  6. Good for you Kate, that hill looks like quite an accomplishment! You are so fortunate to live near such beautiful scenery and have access to trails. It’s beautiful where I live too but the idea of crossing through someone’s farm land is a BIG NO, NO…. It’s very unfortunate.

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  7. Well done!It’s lovely to see you returning to old favourites. I love the way your pictures are taken (by Tom?) as you go up the hill, rather than just the view from the top. I’ve unfortunately got no chance of a proper hillwalking trip at the moment,but as I enjoy my local 300 foot hill (highest point in Norfolk!) I can remember your pictures, ….and dream of higher things.
    There seem to be two of us called Mary – I’ll try to think of a pen name.

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  8. I love every photo you post of your dog – they are always so full of life! And of course, I love reading about your walks and your progress – you are such an inspiration. I am very much looking forward too seeing lots of tortoises and hares plodding and scampering about ravelry.

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  9. Well done! Another great achievement. I still think you should publish something in the wider world about your experiences….so many other folk could gain so much from your determination and courage.

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  10. I’m living though a dark time between my ears. DepressionSUCKS! But reading your blog is one of the best things about my day. I love your pictures, your courage and your energy. Your knitting rocks, too. =-) There! You made me smile. THANK YOU!!!

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  11. Oh congratulations…I’ve been lurking through the whole of your stroke recovery and feel ridiculously proud of you. (Modern life is very strange; nice to meet you my name is Caroline.) The depth and extent of your growth, and ability to allow perfect strangers to watch it happen, is sort of appalling and amazing. I did like your blog before, for knitting and Edinburgh, but now, while the pictures and information still draw me, I find your story even more compelling.

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  12. It’s so great to see you smiling away with your dog and your man, in a place you love and have memories with. Huzzah!

    I love the snow and the light and the blue skies in your pictures, and the way that Tom has very clearly bagged your Tantallon!

    Bruce’s ears are a jolly sight too; the happiest of dogs rarely have their ears flat on their heads… inside-out or flapping in the wind are the preferred position and your wee pup is growing big and happy in your company.

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  13. I used to live very close to the Pentlands – in fact, f you had raised the camera lens a wee bit more my old house would have been in the picture. I used to go up to Flotterstone and walk up to the reservoir regularly and then up into the hills – loved it, loved it, loved it.

    I am glad you feel ready to go back to your old stamping ground – and I see Bruce is delighted!

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  14. I love this walk! I almost feel that I’ve been along with you after your walk entries. Bruce’s snow joy makes me laugh and reminds me of my dogs’ great fun in the snow. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful day.

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  15. dear kate, you are so inspiring to me. i sincerely hope that one day i can visit scotland and go on many of these walks that you have so lovingly and bravely and strongly, written about.

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  16. Yesterday Ysolda’s post card from Edinburgh, and today your walk! You should both be paid from Scottish tourist department :-) or whatever you call that. I’ve never been to Scotland, but it’s high on my “want to go”-list.

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  17. “(clearly you can’t get rid of me at the moment!)”

    Honestly, I feel a little excited every time I see the little (1) beside your blog name in my RSS feed. I enjoy your reflections, your knitting, and not least, your dog. Keep on!

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  18. We are so lucky to live in such a beatiful country!! We went for a walk along the river in Jedburgh this morning, and saw 3 herons … they all posed nicely for photos! I would rather go uphill than down …. I have a fear of falling forwards down a hill or stairs (I had a recurring nightmare which lasted into adulthood of falling down the stairs at primary school)

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  19. I climbed Blackford Hill today and had a lovely view as well, though I didn’t notice that the Pentlands have snow(ish stuff) on them! Looks amazing from where you were, and congratulations on another successful climb.

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  20. What a gorgeous walk! I wish I had someplace so lovely to go walking around here.

    Going down IS so much harder than going up! You’re fighting gravity the whole time, or at least that’s what I always say to my friends who laugh when I tell them I’d rather go UP stairs than DOWN them. Much better to fall up than down, if one must fall at all.

    So excited about the release of Tortoise and Hare!

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  21. Dear Kate, your strength is just amazing. Congratulations on everything you have achieved. You are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing. All the best from Portugal!

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  22. You and the pup are the best photo subjects.
    Today is the Marathon here in NYC. I bet you’d be there cheering them on. One day, perhaps you will be here at that time of year. If so, you must promise us New Yorkers that you’ll stay for a little while and try out some of our knitting stores. We really do have some terrific ones.
    In the meantime, I envy you exactly where you are – in one of the loveliest cities and places in the world. Great post, as usual. Hugs to the pup & the two of you!

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  23. So glad you made your goal! I admire your strength of character.
    The countryside is beautiful and I love your outfit. I’m looking forward to the release of Tortoise and Hare and think it’s one of your best designs.

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  24. That fifth photograph, of the wonderful view along the valley, made me think of one of your recent knits. Actually, not so recent now I come to think of it, but one you only blogged about recently – the stripy tank, in muted shades of green and heather. I may be just imagining…. must click back to see if I am! Anyway, well done, I am full of admiration, as always, for your determination.

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  25. Can’t wait for my first trip abroad to your fair land! You make us all want to experience this gorgeous landscape first hand. Am looking forward to the sweater!

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