A lovely spring morning saw 19 ERNs out for a run in an unfamiliar part of the city. Eight (Ely, Ellie, Jim, Wendy, Teresa, Susie, Heather and Antonette) followed a seven mile route travelling East to Corstorphine Hill before dropping down on to the cycle paths and quiet streets of North Edinburgh before returning up the stiff climb at Drumbrae. The remaining eleven (Tracy, Gillian, Heather, Jo, Giuliano, Phil, Val, Eirwen, Krista, Laurie and Murdo) took in a fifteen mile run that went west to Cammo Estate (new ground for most) and took in visits to the old Tower, house, stables and gardens. Never seen so many snowdrops in one place! The route then followed the River Almond to the foreshore and promenade before coming back via Craigleith on cycle tracks and up Corstorphine Hill and Drumbrae. The sting was in the tail for both runs but good training for these upcoming races. Many thanks to Val for her raisin and oat bakes, and to Tracy for the Swiss chocolates. Both delicious and much appreciated, particularly by Murdo who had more than a fair share of both!
Cammo Estate is a lovely leafy haven to walkers and wildlife alike. Formerly a much larger estate, Cammo became an aristocratic pleasure ground in the eighteenth century, with avenues, plantings and parks laid out to reveal features such as the large rectangular waterbody known as “the canal” and the water tower, visible from the A902.
After suffering from terrible neglect in the twentieth century, the much smaller remaining estate was bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1975, who feued it to the Council in 1979. Recently farmed by a tenant farmer, Cammo still retains a genuinely rural feel, with meadows bounded by hedges and dykes. Its aristocratic heritage is shown in the ruins of the big house, stables and walled gardens, and the magnificent exotic trees from the original planting scheme.
The story of Cammo House and its gardens is deeply woven into Edinburgh’s history. At the height of its fame it was the epitome of elegance, yet the glory faded first into disrepair as its last private owner allowed the estate to wither, then even the great house fell from its previous riches into ruin. Some believe Cammo was the infamous House of Shaws in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, others say it is haunted, but it is in a ruined state today. Under the direction of the City of Edinburgh Council the estate has been turned into a fascinating and unusual city part; a haven for wildlife in its setting of woodland, meadow and marsh.