Saturday, 8 February 2020

Five Sisters Bing (West Calder)

6 February 2020

Participants: Just me
Where: Five Sisters Bing, 231m/758', P 73m, Tump, OS 65, NT 00750 64052

I've climbed the Five Sisters ridge in Kintail a couple of times; you couldn't get much different with the Five Sisters bing in West Lothian. Here it is.....


I parked on the road to the north beside the entrance to what seemed to be a woodland walk; the entrance to the bing was a couple of hundred yards to the north. There was evidence of cows in the field although no sign of them today. The sides of the bing(s) were very steep but fortunately there were more gentle slopes to the east side. The highest, and the Tump top, was no. 2, counting from the north. There were signs of a path lower down but it was make your own way through broom and hawthorn higher up. The high point was particularly difficult to reach.....


From slightly lower down, I got a view of the three southern bings.....


and a view of bing number one.....


Although there wasn't a path up the highest bing, there was up the northern one. It was also clear of vegetation so of course I went up. Not a bad view looking to the Pentland hills.....


Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Mons Hill (Dalmeny)

4 February 2019

Participants: Just me
Where: Mons Hill, 119m/390', P64m, Tump, OS 65, NT 154 785

It was a late start to my hill walking in 2020 courtesy of a fall at the end of December resulting in a cracked rib. Although I had been walking on the flat, and this was an easy Tump, I was horribly unfit! Still, it was a beautiful day and a pleasant hill. 

I parked in the car park beside the Forth rail bridge in South Queensferry. Despite the hundreds of times that I have seen it, the bridge never fails to amaze. It is becoming much more touristy here and there is talk of a visitor centre. Some photos of the bridge from the car park and from the early stages of the walk.....





It has been another snow less winter, at least so far, and spring was definitely in the air. The snowdrops were out......


For the first mile, my route followed the shore track which is also part of the John Muir Way. Mons Hill came into view.....


I then headed up another track between fields to arrive at a tarmac road which I crossed. The way to the high point then followed a rough track; there was a notice at it's start suggesting that folk stay on the tarmac track due to wildlife management issues. However, this seems to refer to pheasants for shooting rather than any "wildlife" as there were a few feeding stations (but only one pheasant observed today). It was not a GOML type notice and I was perfectly within my rights to go on so of course I did. There were views to the bridges from the path.....


but the high point was in a clump of rhododendron bushes.....


I returned by the same route.



  

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Taymount, a Perth Tump

1 December 2019

Participants: Just me
Where: Taymount, 154m/505', P 34m, Tump, OS 53, NO 167 229

It was another crisp, clear day for returning home from Dundee. I only had a small amount of time as I had to get home for Ben but that was sufficient for a diversion into the Sidlaws to "climb" Taymount. It was in fact only a short walk from the minor road that skirts the north side of Kinnoul Hill up a banking and across some rough ground to a flat top. Views were OK though.....




Monday, 2 December 2019

Some north-east Fife hills: Down Law, Darklaw Hill, Lucklaw Hill

29 November 2019

Participants: Just me
Where: Down Law, 241m/791', P 34m, Tump, OS 59, NO 343 072; Darklaw Hill, 150m/492', P 47m, Tump, OS 59, NO 369 207; and Lucklaw Hill, 190m/623', P 117m, Hump, OS 59, NO 419 216

It was Dundee Mountain Film Festival weekend again and as has so often happened on that particular weekend, the weather had changed from poor to excellent! On this occasion, I decided to make the journey through Fife and therefore headed over the Kincardine Bridge to my first stop just past the village of Kennoway and the Tump, Down Law. All three targets today were crowned by masts of one sort or another! I parked at the foot of the track to the mast and wandered up it, there was a fence to cross near the top to get to the actual hill high point.....


It turned out to be a tremendous viewpoint for such a small hill with an unusual view of the two Lomond Hills to the west.....


The Marilyn, Largo Law was the distant hill to the east....


Although the visibility was superb, it was very cold so I didn't linger too long before heading back to the car. I next headed for Cupar and then took another side road to reach the A92 and the village of Rathillet. Darklaw Hill rose above the village and there was a good parking space next to the war memorial. A short walk down a country road took me to the somewhat overgrown track to the mast on this hill. The high point was in an adjacent field guarded by a barbed wire fence; fortunately there was a removable top strand. Dundee was getting closer, with Craigowl beyond the city and the snow covered Grampians beyond that.....


This time it was the Marilyn Norman's Law that was in the view to the west.....


The day was still relatively young and as I was in the vicinity anyway, I decided to head to the village of Balmullo and do the Hump, Lucklaw Hill..... I managed to find a small parking area just off Quarry Road next to yet another mast, a good find as heavy lorries were trundling up and down the narrow road from the quarry which has taken out part of the hill. A short walk up the road, through an old gate and steeply up a field to another gate which joined a track along the top of the quarry and I was at the top. There were fine views back from the ascent over the village to St Andrew's Bay with the town visible in the distance.....




Approaching the summit mast.....


There was a trig and a cairn so I guess that this is a popular local viewpoint. St Andrew's Bay.....


Dundee and the Sidlaws and down the estuary to Buddon Ness.....



The Lomond Hills again, this time in the far distance.....


And that was the hill walking part of my journey. I stopped off at the Tay Bridge car park for a coffee; it is also a great viewpoint for the city.....


Sunday, 24 November 2019

Airngath Hill (Linlithgow)

18 November 2019

Participants: Just me
Where: Airngath Hill (Linlithgow), 171m/561', P 112m, Hump, OS 65, NT 003 791

This hill has been on my to do list for ages but as its slopes contain the West Lothian Golf Club I kept on putting it off until a hard winters day came along. I also wanted good visibility because it is a fine viewpoint overlooking the Forth estuary. Today was the day- a hard overnight frost followed by sparklingly clear atmosphere. There were a few golfers about but they were well away from the bit of the course I was interested in. As well as the views, the hill is notable for the Hope Monument, erected in memory of Brigadier Adrian Hope who was killed in 1858 during the Indian Mutiny.....




The high point of the hill seems to be on the first fairway although a bit further east looks as though it might also have a claim. I visited them both.....


After visiting the Monument and the high point, I walked round the edge of that part of the course to get the views over the Forth. Bo'ness and the Ochils.....


Grangemouth, Kincardine and the Stirling shire Hills.....



Grangemouth and the Campsie Fells.....


An excellent hill!




Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Blair Hill (Milnathort)

14 November 2019

Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Blair Hill, 275m/902', P 41m, Tump, OS 58, NO 107 103

It was a bright early winters day after an overnight frost so I decided to go back to the hills above Milnathort to climb this Tump. The hill has been taken over by an off-road driving school so there are lots of tracks but being a Monday morning it was not in use. I parked in the school's car park. Blair Hill from the car park.....


It was a very simple route, follow a track to the school buildings and another track up the hill. A view to West Lomond.....


The hill overlooks Glenfarg reservoir and it was good today with the snow covered highland hills on the horizon.....




I met the owner on the way down and we had a chat; he said that the hill was the third best viewpoint in Fife and while that might be debatable, it was certainly good. I stopped off at Loch Leven on the way home and had a walk along another part of the loch trail, this time in an anti-clockwise direction from the car park. This bit is away from the water for the most part and the views are not particularly special.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Lewis Hill and Middlethird Hill

31 October 2019

Participants: Just me.
Where: Lewis Hill, 266m/873', P 74m, Tump, OS 57, NS 760 888 and Middlethird Hill, 230m/755', P 41m, Tump, OS 57, NS 763 896
 
The good weather continued, we had had a walk alongside Loch Katrine the previous day....
 
 
but another day on the hills was necessary, especially as the forecast was saying that this was to be the last day of the good weather . My choice was these two Tumps south of Stirling, along the top of some pretty vertical looking cliffs. For that reason, it was not for excitable spaniels so I went on my own. There was parking for a number of cars on the unclassified road south of the North Third reservoir, right opposite the start of the path. Here is a view of Lewis Hill with the cliffs from the road..... 
 
 
The colours of the trees were of course brilliant and it was a very pleasant walk up through them.....
 
 
 Looking down on the reservoir, approaching the highest point of Lewis Hill, and the trig.....
 
 


Another view down to the reservoir, looking due west to Earl's Hill in the Campsie Fells, and over the reservoir dam to the familiar peaks of Ben Ledi, Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich.....
 
 


The path now hugged the edge of the cliffs before heading steeply down to a col before Middlethird Hill which was much more heavily wooded.....
 
 
Towards the high point it again passed very close to the cliff edge. There was no trig on this hill to mark the high point; it was probably a knoll close to the cliff edge or it could have been somewhere in a cleared area to the east of the path.....
 
 
Whichever, I was bound to have visited it. I then went back to the col between the two hills from where I could have followed a path across the dam wall and back along the shore of the reservoir but instead I opted to see the views from Lewis Hill again.