Loch of the Lowes and Riskinhope

“Oft had he viewed, as morning rose, the bosom of the lonely Lowes”.  So began the Borders poet James Hogg when writing of the Loch of the Lowes in his poem The Queen’s Wake.  The busy road passing by may have rendered it significantly less lonely than in Hogg’s day, but a short walk into the Ettrick hills provides an opportunity to capture the sense of solitude of a bygone age.

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Loch Skeen and White Coomb

Eagles scream from isle to shore;
Down all the rocks the torrents roar;
O’er the black waves incessant driven,
Dark mists infect the summer heaven.
Through the rude barriers of the lake,
Away it’s hurrying waters break,
Faster and whiter dash and curl,
Till down yon dark abyss they hurl.

The eagles may be gone now, but Sir Walter Scott’s poem still captures the dramatic beauty of his “Loch-skene”.  This weekend I decided to pay it a visit.

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