WHAT TO SEE IN THE BORDERS #ONE: HUTTON: The Tourist Destination
Hutton Think Tank has been working for some time on how to turn the area into a major tourist destination. They have given up Paxton village as a lost cause since the emergence of the quite awful Orchard development which is a pity given the fact that the Cross is by far the best pub in the area. However there is still Paxton House, the nearby (seasonal) Amazing Maize Maze,the potential of Fishwick as a spectator building site (much more impressive buildings than the Orchard can provide as long as you can avoid the traffic snarl ups) the across the border, just, Honey Farm which now requires a six mile detour with the Chain Bridge closed for repairs. So a visit to the Paxton conurbation is something of a starter.
But Hutton? Unlike Paxton it can claim to be unspoilt. No inappropriate development there and little scope for it although it is a pity that Mr JR's yard lies right in the middle of what under a previous local plan, in the Hutton Landscape Assessment, was categorised as 'Important local views over this area' The rest of the village landscape is either 'gently undulating' or in the case of Hutton Hill : 'Ridge of High Land' How poetical: some rural bard musing how best to find rhymes for 'gently undulating'-the charms of a nubile rustic Mayde perhaps; best glimpsed from an arbour on that ridge of high land as the charms of Hutton lie revealed beneath. And all around imposing important views. Then a leisurely stroll through deserted streets, past the old pub (closed) the Old Smiddy (a private house) the spanking new Village Hall, and down to the Whitadder to admire Hutton Mill (self catering) and being careful not to disturb the 20,000 Pheasant chicks- a good example of appropriate light industry mingling with a nature trail along the bonny bonny* banks of the river.
Then there is the old graveyard behind the imposing Kirk. Closed for new stiffs apart from the Laird's unfilled plot. Some interesting ancient 'monuments' (as a grandson, then all of three years, put it) including the one pictured above of a chap to whom the Great Reaper may have come as something of a relief. Hutton is best in the Spring and early summer if only someone could down size the extent of the bloody daffodils.
So there we have it: Old Mills, New Hall, the gardens of Royal Terrace,the organic fruit bushes at the Old Manse,the playground of Knowe's Close, the Kirk, the ancient graveyard (and a new one down the road)the bonny bonny* banks of the Whiteadder, the May blossom, the Old Smiddy,the Old Pub, a rare surviving rural post office,virtually pedestrianised streets, highland ridges, gently undulating pastures, important views and one of the Borders' last unspoilt hamlets. That should bring them flocking in.
Hutton Think Tank's ante penultimate paragraph in its as yet unpublished report wonders if huddled masses hurrying in in their charabancs might not spoil our unspoilt rural paradise.
Conundrum.* One 'bonny' is sufficient. Blog-ed
Labels: gravestones, Hutton, Merse, Tourism