THE GREAT OUTDOORS FEATURE
oldest and ﬁnest castles in Scotland is set I in magnificent Border hills at Lauder. I Built originally as a defensive 13th century fort. it has been embellished over the centuries. Restoration period state rooms. a Duke‘s ghost and a collection of historical toys are among the treasures. 28 miles from the city centre.
I Tantallon Castle North Berwick. 031 244 3101. Mon—Sat 9.30am—6pm; Sun 2—6pm. £1 .50 (80p). Lying only three miles east of North Berwick. this massive fortification i has a very stormy history. Clinging to its ’ cliff-top perch. it overlooks the North Sea with fine views of the Bass Rock. Twenty miles front the city centre.
I Craigmillar Castle Edinburgh.031244 3101. Mon—Sat 9.30am—6pm; Sun 2-6pm. £1 .20 (80p). Situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Craigmillar has the dubious honour of being the place where the plot to kill the dastardly Darnley was hatched. It i was also to here that Mary Queen ofScols retreated in 1566. Four miles front the city centre I Dirleton Castle North Berwick.031 244 l 3101. Mon-Sat9.30am—6pm; Sun 2~6pm. £1 .50 (80p). One of the most picturesque settings for any castle must be here in the cutesie-pie village of Dirleton. which looks like a backdrop from a Merchant-Ivory production. Blessed with gardens renowned for their beauty. the green fingers brigade regularly make pilgrimages here. Sixteen miles from the city centre.
I Crichton Castle A brisk two-and-a-half mile stroll from the village of Pathhead lies this impressive roofless ruin. overlooking the RiverTyne. Prospective architectural students may be enamoured ofthe ltalian-style stone facade. while Mary Queen of Scots buffs know that this was the home of her third husband. the Earl of Bothwell.
Fresh air. forests and fitness are what orientecring is all about. Whether you are six or sixty. an overweight plodderor superfit athlete. it really doesn't matter as each competitor navigates their way round the course at their own pace. Previously the exclusive realm of kagoul-clad boy scouts brandishing compasses and maps. orienteering is really all about discovering the hidden countryside. Courses vary in length from two to twelve kilometres and with information packs costing a mere 50p. it must be one of the cheapest sports around. There are two permanent orienteering courses in the Edinburgh
I Beecraigs Park Linlithgow. 0506 844516.
Opening hours are 8.30am—5.30pm. Free entry. Fourteen miles front the city centre. I Dalkeith Park Dalkeith. 031 663 5684. Opening hours are from 10am—5pm. Entry costs £1. Prospective orientecrs should ring beforehand. If the outdoor bug bites hard then contact the Scottish Orienteering Association on ()506 845084 to find out where your local club is based. Six miles from the city centre.
A stout pair of shoes. a knapsack on your back and its time to go ‘a roamin‘ in the gloamin‘ among the heather and the bracken. City-slickers in search oftheir green nirvana need look no furtherthan the tranquil inner-city spots ofthe Blackfords. the Hermitage of Braid and Holyrood Park. Further afield there's Hillend with a 400-metre Chairlift to help lazybones reach the panoramic views to be had at the summit. or more committed hillwalkers may choose to pound the Pentlands. To the south. the Lammermuir Hills have their fair share ofspectacular views plus some of Scotland's loveliest villages. But to reap the full benefit ofthe environment it‘s best to join a local group ofthe Ramblers Association. Evening walks. away-days and weekend rambles
Robert Charters is Scotland’s youngest competitive parachute jumper. Just three months past his sixteenth birthday—the age at which it becomes legal to parachute — he is currently preparing for the world’s biggest parachuting competition, the Rhappameet, in Germany on 8 July. ‘Because I’ve only been parachuting lor such a short time,’ he says, ’I’m going in lorthe Novice Accuracy competition.’
What on earth, or for that matter, in the heavens, makes an Edinburgh schoolboy want to celebrate his sixteenth birthday by leaping out of an aeroplane? ‘My mum and dad are both international parachuting judges, so i’ve been surrounded by people talking about parachuting lor as long as i can
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remember,’ he explains. ‘It always sounded and looked like great lun and I couldn’t wait to have a go.’
So, what was it like the first time he decided to follow in his parents’ slipstream? ‘It was the lunniest oi feelings. The ’chute was on a static line, so it opened just alter I jumped. There I was, 2,000 feet above the Strathallan airfield, in a bit of a daze, taking in the view of the countryside and thinking, "What am I doing here?” My training had been so good that I didn’t have to worry about the landing.’
And how did he leel once he was back on terra firm? ’I couldn’t wait to go up again,’ he laughs, ’so I jumped four times the next weekend.’ (Michael Paterson)
are all graded from the slothful stroll to slow danders up the Munros to demanding mountain ascents for Tom Weir types.
For more information call M. Brown, Secretary ofthe Edinburgh Rambling Club on 031 453 5773.
I Wind Things 11 Cowgatehead. Grassmarket. Edinburgh 220 6336. The experts in the Grassmarket recommend the following wind-swept spaces for those happy souls who partake of the art of kite-ﬂying: North Berwick and Gullane offer miles of exposed and beautiful beach to run along tugging at a piece ofstring. while nearer to home. Holyrood Park and the Meadows are prime blustery spots to battle with the elements.
I Goll Edinburgh District Council. 17 Waterloo Place, 557 1265. it costs £6 per person, except Portobello where it‘s £3. Club hire costs £5.50 with a £10deposit. Opening hours are from dawn to dusk. Jimmy Tarbuck plays it. John Knox declared it taboo and Scotland it. Golfis
ambitious golfer. one of the pitch and putt courses at Bruntsfield Links?
All of the following municipal courses are eighteen-hole. apart from Portobello which is a nine-hole course. There are two courses at the Braid Hills (447 6666) and one at Craigentinny (554 7502), Portobello (669 4361), Carrick Knowe (337 1096) and Silverknowes (336 3843).
I Bus All buses are from St Andrews Square Bus Station. 225 3858. unless otherwise indicated. Prices are for day returns.
Edinburgh to North Berwick. Lowland 124. £3.80. every 30 minutes. Edinburgh to Gullane.Lowland 124/125. £3.40. every half hour.
Edinburgh to Linlithgow. Midland 38. £3.50. every 30 minutes.
Edinburgh to Aberdour. Fife Scottish X57. £3.90. hourly on the halfhour. Edinburgh to Leven. Fife Scottish X57.
£3.60, see Aberdour.
Edinburgh to South Oueensferry. LRT
‘ 40. 90p. every 40 minutes. i I Train All trains are from Waverley
one of the most popular sports in Scotland. . returns.
which may explain why we have more golf courses per head of population than any other country in the world. Unlike other nations where the game of ‘mashies‘ and ‘niblicks‘ is perceived as a pastime ofthe rich and idle classes. in Scotland everyone is free to don their plus fours and stride out onto the greens and fairways. What better way to spend a pleasant sunny day than toddling round one of Edinburgh's six municipal golfcourses. or for the less
Station. 556 245 l . unless otherwise indicated. Prices are for cheap day
Edinburgh to North Berwick. £4.20
(£2. 10). 40 minutes past the hour. = Edinburgh to Linlithgow. £3.70 (£1 .90).
eighteen and 48 minutes past the hour. Edinburgh to Aberdour. £3.50 (£1 .80), 45 minutes past the hour. Edinburgh to Drem (for Yellowcraig). £3.70 (£1 .80). 40 minutes past the hour. Edinburgh to Dalmeny. £2.60 (£1 .30). fifteen and 45 minutes past the hour.
Michael Paterson and Ann Donald root out those all-important awayday secrets of Scotland’s celebs.
( \ ‘ .9? Jakki Brambles, Radio 1 Disc Jockey: ‘1 don‘t havedays off! When I do. I love getting back to Arran. Nothing beats walking along the beach at Blackwaterfoot with my husband.‘
Allan Douglas, Presenter ol Reporting Scotland. Married to Viv Lumsden, presenter of Scotland Today: ’In our line ofwork you grow to love getting away frompeople. The Perthshire countryside is a favourite area to go to and just escape from it all.”
Carol Smillie, member of 8002’s The Travel Show team and chief wheel-wheecher on STV’s Wheel of Fortune: ‘l'm not the energetic type, but I am a great fan of tearooms. Piersland House in Troon serves an excellent afternoon tea. Nardini‘s in Largs is always a treat and. if I‘m properly dressed and I‘ve put my make-up on, then Gleneagles is a lovely venue.‘
Frances Elder, Secretary, Action on Phobias Association: ’For some of the agoraphobics we see. going to the front door would be a big adventure. However. we do make picnics and bus runs to the west coast available. For the less courageous there is the option of a one-stop train journey.‘
Janice Forsyth, N8 Presenter: ‘I’d go doon the water to Rothesay. a wee train. a wee drive and a wee sail across. As a child it seemed very exotic. like being at the Med.’
Roger Carter, Chief Executive of Edinburgh Marketing: ‘Well. any day out with my children is a great adventure. otherwise l‘d choose the Royal Botanical Gardens with their magnificent panoramic views of Edinburgh.‘
Clare Grogan, actor/singer: ’At a push I‘d have to say a trip to Nardini's ice cream parlour in Largs fora banana split.’
Jimmy McGregor, hill walker and radio presenter: ’Well. an easy day would be away from people and a walk from Milngavie through Allander Park and finishing up at Balmaha.‘ Tom Weir, Presenter ol Weir’s Way, 1975-1990: ’The Central Belt has got more places to go than anywhere else in Scotland. Walking up by Bridge of Orchy at Loch Tulloch is my j favourite place. But. the Campsie Fells and the base of Rannoch Moor
are an absolute joy to behold.’
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