Tuesday, 4 August 2020

The Girron

3 August 2020

Participants: Just me

Where: The Girron, 528m/1,732', P. 36m, Tump, OS 51, NN 695 258

While I have enjoyed visiting the lower hills close to home so far this year and added to my Tump total, I wanted to at least visit some of the hills above the Highland line before the stalking season put them out of bounds. The forecast for today was excellent, although when I arrived at St Fillans it didn't look that way, bands of drizzle were coming down Loch Earn and the hills were almost out of view.....

Things were improving however and looking west shortly after leaving the forest area blue sky was starting to appear around the Graham, Creag Each..........


Things improved rapidly and soon it was a glorious day. The colours are always at their best after rain and so it was today. It was a great view along and across Loch Earn to Ben Vorlich.....



After leaving the track, progress was aided by a 4WD path up and across the heather. It went most of the way to the summit. The view south to the Glen Artney hills.....


I wasn't absolutely certain where the highest point was, the hill to the north named Creag Odhar looked as though it might be part of The Girron so I climbed it as well. On the way, there was a good view down to Loch Boltachan.....


This top was not in fact part of the Tump but it provided another aspect of the Glen Artney hills this time behind The Girron.....


I returned the same way. This was my first "proper" hill climb of the year and I found that my hill fitness was almost non-existent. I actually had to have a rest going downhill!  


Dundas Hill (Kirkliston)

1 August 2020

Participants: Just me

Where: Dundas Hill, 118m/387', P. 44m, Tump, OS 65, NT 115 765

This Tump is the highest point in Dundas estate south of Kirkliston, near Edinburgh. There was a convenient lay-by close to the south entrance to the estate, which seems to welcome visitors as there are walking routes signposted.  The route passed a picturesque lake and some glamping huts.....




Once passed the lake, I headed up a grass path towards a wall, followed it uphill, through a gate, and joined another track running along the summit ridge. There was a choice of points that might be the summit; I reckoned that it was just south of an old stone wall but it could have been in the trees to the north on a wee ridge. Where I thought it was.....


There was view to the north from the edge of the wooded area.....


and a glimpse of the Pentland Hills to the south from close to what I thought was the summit.....


I wandered back down to the lake on another track and all in all, it was a really pleasant short outing.






Wanlock Dod and Sowen Dod


29 July 2020

Participants: Just me

Where:    Wanlock Dod, 552m/1811', P. 94m, Tump, OS 71, NS 875 140 and Sowen Dod, 546m/1791', P.69m, Tump, OS 71, NS 866 144

I parked at the county boundary for those two gently rolling hills in the northern Lowther Hills. A high starting point plus a rough path up the side of a fence added to their ease of access. There was a small cairn at the top of Wanlock Dod and a gate and a junction of fences marked the high point of Sowen Dod. 

Setting off......



The view to Lowther Hill from the summit of Wanlock Dod.....



The view west to the Marilyn, Green Hill from Wanlock Dod.....



Sowen Dod from Wanlock Dod.....


Green Hill from the col between the two Dod's.....



Approaching the summit of Sowen Dod.....



Summit of Sowen Dod with Tinto on the horizon.....


I returned the same way, a pleasant gentle walk where as I expected, I saw no one else.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Lauder Common, Woodheads Hill and Gala Hill

20 July 2020

Participants: Neil and Ben

Where: Lauder Common, 378m/1,240', P.35m, Tump, OS 73, NT 489 461; Woodsheads Hill, 303m/994', P.64m, Tump; and Gala Hill, 275m/902', P.129m, Hump, OS 73, NT 492 349

The most insignificant hill can provide some of the best views. That was certainly the case with Lauder Common, a Tump between the Border villages of Lauder and Stow. It didn't even manage to get named on the map and unless you were bagging Tumps, you would drive past without giving it a second thought. 

I had been on this road before, a number of years ago when I climbed the Marilyn, Sell Moor Hill, to the south of Lauder Common. There was plenty parking and a number of tracks headed up. It was obviously well known to local dog walkers, I saw more folk (and dogs) here than on any other Tump that I'd bagged. The path up.....


 and looking back to Sell Moor Hill.....


Approaching the high point looking east to Lauderdale.....


The Eildon Hills were prominent to the south with The Cheviot on the horizon.....


Ben surveying the view west.....


Having a rest in the heather.....


I drove on through Lauder and took another minor road to Galashiels. This passed another Tump, Woodheads Hill so naturally I stopped to pay it a visit. It was literally a three minute walk from the car to the high point which had been quarried. The "summit" was somewhere along the rim of the quarry.....


and the view south was again to the Eildons.....


The target hill in Gala was Gala Hill, tree covered with good tracks up. There was little of interest here apart from the trig at the top.....


Another pleasant day out in the Scottish Borders.

Friday, 17 July 2020

Keir Brae and a walk round Loch Ore

16 July 2020

Participants: Neil and Ben

Where: Keir Brae, 139.4m/457', P. 30.7m, Tump, OS 58, NT 237 945

Another trip to Fife this time to bag another of the new Tumps- Keir Brae at Cardenden. The use of Lidar technology is making measurement more accurate but is a bit of a two edged sword for hill baggers; hills are being added to the lists but at least an equal number are being deleted. I feel as if I'm bagging to stand still!

There was plenty parking available and a good track into the wood and then a network of paths through it. There was a trig which wasn't the high point but which I visited anyway. The views to the north from the edge of the wood took in the Lomond Hills. The high point was in the higher trees at the edge of a steep drop down towards the busy A92. 






It was still early in the day so I drove to Lochore Meadows Country Park for a walk around the loch. The car park area was busy but we only had to walk a few hundred yards to get away from the crowds. The park is well kept and impressive- a redeveloped coal mining area, much improved since the only other time I had been there. The loch walk is 3.5 miles long on a good track with great views of the Marilyn, Benarty Hill. Really nice and must be even more interesting in winter when all the over wintering birds are present.


 

Monday, 13 July 2020

Winton Hill, Carfrae Hill, Redstone Rig and Arniston Colliery Bing

11 July 2020
Participants: Neil and Ben

Where: Winton Hill, 132m/433', P.36m, Tump, OS 66, NT 438709; Carfrae Hill, 226m/741', P.47m, Tump, OS 67, NT 572684; Redstone Rig, 441m/1,447', P.54m, Tump, OS 67, NT 608644; Arniston Colliery Bing, 182m/598', P.33m, Tump, OS 66, NT 339620


I always enjoy a trip to East Lothian, it is very pleasant countryside in a genteel sort of way. For this visit, I had planned a circular route taking in 4 Tumps roughly centered around Gifford. First up was Winton Hill, a wooded top just south of Tranent. It made a very pleasant start to the day with good paths apart from around the summit area which was a mix of scrub and brambles......



The strip of trees was narrow so only slight diversions were needed to get to the edge to take in the views. South to the Lammermuir Hills.....


North-west to the Pentland Hills.....


Over a field of corn to Fife.....


I then drove south through Gifford and turned off at Danskine on to a minor road which took me almost to the top of Carfrae Hill. There was a convenient field entrance in which to park, then a short walk up the road and through a gate at the edge of some trees and a few yards into a field saw me at the high point. Couldn't be easier! Another view towards the Lammermuir Hills and another field of wheat this time looking towards North Berwick Law and Traprain Law.....



Continuing south, I was soon in moorland. I find the Lammermuir Hills bleak and unwelcoming not helped by "Keep Out" notices and vast grouse shooting areas. And yet there is a sense of openness and beauty. Redstone Rig was the target, fortunately only a short walk from the road as the conditions underfoot were a mix of tussocks and heather, not nice. For some reason, there was a cairn on this insignificant bump......




The view north to the Pentland Hills.....


and south to the Cheviot......
 

Back to the car, I reversed the route as far as Pencaitland and then cut across country to Arniston to add another of the new Tumps, Arniston Colliery Bing. This one looks much more like a natural hill than some of the other bings on the Tump list. There was easy parking, a good path up, and a glimpse of the Pentland Hills from near the top.....