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Travel Report: The Waterloo Monument, Scotland.

The Waterloo Monument Peniel Heugh The Scottish Borders

The Waterloo Monument, Scotland.

January 2016. There are some hidden gems scattered around The Scottish Borders for anyone willing to do a bit of research. I’d lost count of the number of times my dad and I had spied The Waterloo Monument from the car window. At 150 feet high and perched atop Peniel Heugh Hill, this stone tower is visible for miles.

The Waterloo Monument Scottish Borders.

The Waterloo Monument, The Scottish Borders.

However, it wasn’t until we finally decided on paying it a visit that we realised what a tricky spot it is to track down. Firstly, you’ve got to work out which crisscrossing country lanes you need to reach Harestanes Visitor Centre. From there we parked the car and followed the woodland trail and its signs leading to the hill.

The Waterloo Monument Scotland.

The weather was fearsome that afternoon! The sky was a cracked grey and it came with a biting wind that certainly did its best to derail our progress up the hill.

The Waterloo Monument, Scotland.

Waterloo Monument The Scottish Borders.

The Waterloo Monument, The Scottish Borders.

Luckily we were armed with rain jackets, hiking boots and Solo, the family dog. Dating back to 1817, it was the 6th Marquess of Lothian, William Kerr, who commissioned the monument. It stands in tribute to the Duke of Wellington’s famous victory over Napoleon at The Battle of Waterloo.

Peniel Heugh Hill The Scottish Borders.

Peniel Heugh Hill, The Scottish Borders.

The walk itself is reason enough to come here. It really is a beautiful area of lush green hills, light woodland and pockets of streams and brooks. Moreover, this is a dog’s paradise and it makes me smile to think of Solo bounding around like a lunatic with his tongue hanging out.

The Waterloo Monument Scotland.

The Waterloo Monument, The Scottish Borders.

Upon reaching the monument, look out for the inlaid inscription at the base that reads:

To The Duke of Wellington and The British Army. William Kerr VI Marquess of Lothian and His tenantry dedicate this monument XXX June MDCCCXV.

Visit The Waterloo Monument Scotland.

The Waterloo Monument, The Scottish Borders.

If you want to actually enter the monument and go up the spiral staircase to the viewing platform, you’ll need to be organised. First you have to contact the Lothian Estate office at Bonjedward and ask to sign out the key.

While free to borrow, it’s best to call in advance (01835 862201) as a) someone might already have it and b) the office keeps funny hours. They’ll also help you with directions on how to get there

Visit The Scottish Borders.

The Waterloo Monument, The Scottish Borders.

The hassle of getting the key results in a great payoff when you get to the top of the monument. The weather conditions were worsening by the second that day and yet there was no denying the beauty of The Scottish Borders.

I dedicate this travel report to the memory of Solo Thomas. He was so scared going up and down the monument staircase that day. And then the poor guy found himself blown about all over the place on top of the viewing platform. Thank god for the mesh netting!

Solo Thomas wooden viewing platform The Waterloo Monument Peniel Heugh The Scottish Borders

R.I.P. Solo Thomas.

Like this? Check out more reports from around The Scottish Borders.

Like this? Have a look at my other articles from all around Scotland.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world for nearly twenty years. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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  • Virginia

    Lovely scenery there …

    November 16, 2018 - 9:05 pm Reply
    • leightonliterature

      Yeah, Scotland’s landscapes are right up there with anything I’ve seen worldwide.

      November 16, 2018 - 9:20 pm Reply
  • Team Leisure

    Waterloo I was defeated, you won the war
    Waterloo promise to love you for ever more
    Waterloo couldn’t escape if I wanted to
    Waterloo knowing my fate is to be with you
    Waterloo finally facing my Waterloo

    December 11, 2019 - 11:19 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for your musical contribution! 🙂

      December 11, 2019 - 12:45 pm Reply

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