A walk around Darnick
Over an old stone bridge brings you to the back of 'St Helen's', a fine mansionette in whose grounds was the well which was the the source of the water for the 'hydro'. It has two superb rows of six octagonal chimneys, erected when the house was built for a rich merchant in 1806. Today, it is a private house.
On the other side of the river, in Gattonside, is St Aidan's, formerly Gattonside House, built by the Smiths in 1826. Today, it is the home of The Brothers of Charity.
Retrace your steps, back past the gate through which you came onto the riverbank, and continue upstream until Lowood Bridge comes into view. At a Southern Upland Sign, there is a gate to the left, leading to a path along the wall which takes you, past outhouses and a house, back to the west entrance to Waverley Castle Hotel.
Just inside the gates, on the front lawn, is a statue depicting Sir Walter Scott 'in pensive mood'.
From the west entrance, you will see opposite, across the road the start of Abbotsford Road, the point from which we started this walk.
Virtual walking is often a great deal easier than the real thing, but in this case, the walk is very easy, takes only about an hour and a half, at inquisitive speed, and is a pleasant mixture of interesting buildings and relaxing scenery. Well worth taking the time to have this gentle stroll on a quiet afternoon.
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