Following on from Butterfly World (last post) I planned to run along to Dalkeith Country Park and run a few Autumny miles around the trails there. I hoped the trees would be looking spectacular and the light would make for decent photos.
It was a bit of a shock leaving the tropical temperatures of the greenhouses. I put on gloves and a hat and it took a couple of miles to warm up. I went into DCP via the gate below. I'm not sure if certain entrances have a charge, an entry fee, but there is nobody here and the gate was wide open. I was last here a couple of years ago on a brilliant July day with AGF. She showed me a number of the different walks around the place I was unaware of. There is so much more than just the route Bert does around the perimeter. I double checked the route from my blog back then and also the online map which told much the same story. I also recognised much of the course of the notorious night-time headtorch trail race 10k - the one which went slightly awry.
ah yes I recognise that
I missed the shot of the run here (above) - 3 deer walked through that patch of sunlight across the path ahead and I totally failed to get a photo. Oh man what a div. I was still carrying the big camera I used in the greenhouses and it is tricky to use in one hand with a map in the other. But no excuses. FAIL!
I got lucky here. I was beginning to stray from the route I was following, but something drew me down the hill to this bridge across the river. The low sun in the trees was fab and I recognised I was at the point the North and South Esk join forces into one river.
North on left South on right, as they become one.
There are many gnarly old oak trees some of which have information panels screwed on to the trunks. Can that be right? Elsewhere, folk had put large collection nets underneath, presumably for gathering acorns. It was very jolly although I stopped for so many photos I was barely keeping ahead of a pensioner chap I overtook, who was walking, slowly!
These, I was informed last time by Amanda, are the distinctive leaves of the Ginkgo Biloba tree near the Orangery. At this point I went the wrong way for 100 yards ('oops' on the Garmin map) before finding the other trail and returning back to the bridge.
Even though it was before 4pm the sun, being low, (and the clocks, being back,) began to leave all but the highest ground
If you are convalescing I would highly recommend Butterfly World, OR a run in Dalkeith Country Park, but probably not both together. I looked at the Garmin expecting around 8 miles and it said about 4.5. I was going much slower than I thought. Although I was stopping every hundred yards to take photos of the brilliant colours. The first couple of hours at the butterflies was probably more tiring than I expected. And the day was coolish outdoors. I had various snacks but nothing substantial. After the circuit of the park I followed the path out and along to Whitecraigs and then down the riverside trails following the Esk to Musselburgh. I considered running home but I'd done about 10 miles by then and felt it would be better to catch a bus. It was a magical day although the 2 halves were so different they didn't really match up and so I've blogged them separately. Both venues were excellent and are great advertisements for Dalkeith!
Some of the route but not showing the last few miles to Musselburgh.
From the butterflies, DCP begins after the road crossing of the A6106 along from Sheriffhall.