Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Moffat- Gallow Hill, Oakrigg and Beattock Hill

11 February 2019
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Gallow Hill (Moffat), 252m/827', P 39m, Tump, OS 78, NT 087 067, Oakrigg, 144m/472', P 32m, Tump, OS 78, NT 095 031 and Beattock Hill, 263m/863', P 45m, Tump, OS 78, NT 065 020
 
Spring was definitely in the air, it was a beautiful day, the snowdrops were out and the colours were at their best. I hadn't been in Moffat for ages, a study of the hill bagging site showed that there were 3 Tumps to be had close to the town so off we went. I parked in Dundanion Road at the foot of Gallow Hill. I wonder how many Gallow Hills there are in Scotland? Anyway, this one has a track going up it which today was quite muddy. Apparently the whole hill used to be tree covered but those at the top have been cut down although it has all been replanted- but with broadleaf rather than conifers. So the views might not be quite so good in years to come. Hart Fell is well seen from here.....
 
 
as are the hills on the north side of the Ettrick valley.....
 
 
I then made my way back to the car and found the side road going south from the town which is the starting point for Oakrigg. The Southern Upland Way crosses the hill and there was ample parking beside the Barnhill bridge. This hill was very easy, over a stile, follow the SUW, over another stile and across a field to the high point.....
 
 
the view to Moffat.....
 
 
to the north Ettrick hills.....
 
 
and to Scaw'd Fell, a Marilyn right at the head of the Ettrick valley.....
 
 
As Ben had had to miss out on Oakrigg as the stiles were too steep for him, we went back into Moffat and had a wander round the park and then I went for a coffee. Hard work this hill walking! Then it was off on the short car journey past Beattock and up a road that goes into the forest area east of Queensberry, Beattock Hill was another easy one as the road passes high up. The problem for Ben on this one was a barbed wire fence but at least he saw the high point.....
 
 
Looking to Queensberry....
 
 
to Hart Fell.....
 
 
and to Hart Fell and the Ettrick hills.....
 
 

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Greendykes Bing and Greendykes Bing South

7 February 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Greendykes Bing, 185m/607', P 88m, TuMP, OS 65, NT 087 738 and Greendykes Bing South Top, 128m/419', P 43m, TuMP, OS 65, NT 091 733
 
 
A grass covered plateau that could be anywhere but is in fact the summit area of the old Greendykea Bing near Broxburn, West Lothian.
 
Greendykes Bing is a vast waste heap composed of residue from the destructive distillation of shale to extract oil. It has been designated as a Scheduled Historic Monument as one of the very few intact spent shale bings left in central Scotland and to prevent it being quarried as hard-core for road construction. The shale oil industry was locally important for about a century and its pioneer, James "Paraffin" Young (1811-83) developed refining techniques still used in the oil industry today. The operating company was the Broxburn Oil Company which was active from the 1860's to around 1940.
 
It is also a TuMP and because of its history, one of the more interesting.
 
I parked on the B8020 beside the Corecut factory. The main track up the bing started opposite, steep in places and deeply rutted due to the many trail bikers that obviously use the bing for entertainment. Some of the drops are amazing, not for me! I wasn't really prepared for the scenery on top but it shows the scale of the bing. I wandered about for a while, no trail riders today, I had it to myself. Some photographs.....
 
 



The bing has a south top, also a TuMP. There looked to be some steep drops between the two so I went back the way I came and drove round to East Mains Industrial Estate in Broxburn and tackled bing mark 2 from there. This was much muddier lower down but again I found a reasonable way up to a much smaller plateau. The main bing could be seen well from here....

 
Some photos from the south top.....
 



Not the usual hills but definitely a hill. I must also research more into the shale oil industry.
 
 
 

Friday, 1 February 2019

Mount Zion (Milngavie)

1 February 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Mount Zion, 171m/561', P 40m, Tump, OS 64, NS 532 774
 
It was a very foggy morning but turned into a gloriously sunny afternoon. Mount Zion is the highest point of the Hilton Park golf course and I had been waiting for a day when the course was ice bound and there would be no golfers around. Today was that day. As well as the ground being rock hard, it had been snowing in that area so the course was definitely unplayable. So I had it to myself.
 
I left my car in the main car park at Mugdock as the road beyond that point was fairly iced up. This meant that some of the early part of the walk was downhill but it made for a longer and better day. About 200 yards after the bridge over the Allander Water, I left the road and went through a gate into the golf course. The view up the fairways towards the highest point.....
 
 
Approaching the summit area, the golf course extends beyond it.....
 
 
The trig with Dumgoyne in the background.....
 
 
Craigallion Loch and Dumgoyne. The West Highland Way runs through the valley and along beside the loch.....
 
 
More Campsie hills.....
 
 
The view west.....
 
 
and looking back down the fairways.....
 
 

Monday, 28 January 2019

Craigbeath Hill and Culliloe Hills (Fife)

28 January 2019

Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Craigbeath Hill, 181m/594', P 30m, Tump, OS 58, NT 154 926 and Cullaloe Hills, 219m/718', P 82m, Tump, OS 65/66, NT 183 886
 
Snow was forecast for later in the week so I decided to head to Fife today to climb these two Tumps, one in Cowdenbeath and the other not far to the south. Craigbeath Hill was at the back of a new housing estate so there was no problem finding a place to park. The hill has been laid out as a small country park with good tracks, the high point was beside a covered reservoir, surrounded by an impenetrable fence. I thought that the highest ground was actually inside the fence although that might all have been man made. However, there was no way that I was getting in so I searched for the high point outside the fence which was in the middle if gorse. Aaah the Tumps!
 
The summit area from the east.....
 
 
and from the west.....
 
 
looking north to Kelty from the middle of the gorse.....
 
 
and to Benarty Hill, a Marilyn that I have climbed on a number of occasions.....
 
 
Then it was back to the car and a short drive south on the A909 to park at the entrance to Cullaloe Woods. I followed the track for a couple of  hundred yards before striking off uphill on an MTB path. This joined another, now unused, track which I followed further west, passing a folly, before striking uphill again over some very slippery ground- dead leaves on top of unconsolidated earth. Not pleasant when Ben was dragging me, especially going down! The initial walk along the track.....
 
 
I couldn't take Ben to the highest point of this one; it was right on the lip of a massive quarry. He got tied to a tree a few yards down while I visited the top, but he gets to claim it anyway. Looking along the quarry rim to the top.....
 
 
Across the quarry to Benarty Hill and Bishop Hill.....
 
 
And to the distant Ochil Hills.....
 
 
I don't know if they're still quarrying into the hill but there could be changes to the highest point in the future!

Friday, 18 January 2019

Barscube Hill and Barnbrock Hill

17 January 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Barscube Hill, 195m/640', P90m, TuMP, OS 63, NS 389 715 and Barnbrock Hill, 188m/617', P34m, TuMP, OS 63, NS 357 645
 
Another fine January day so it would have been a shame not to have ventured out again. It was back to Renfrewshire/Inverclyde this time to do these two TuMPs, the first of which promised to be a fine viewpoint above the Clyde. And indeed it was. I parked beside the Dargavel Burn to the south of the hill and walked up the road to a gate in the fence that gave easy access. This is a view of the hill from the starting point.....
 
 
It was easy walking and I soon spotted the trig, in a great position overlooking the river. The view down the Clyde with the Cowal hills in the background.....
 


 
Across the river to Dumbarton with a snow capped Ben Lomond in the distance.....
 
 
The view towards Glasgow.....
 
 
Back at the car, I decided to cut across by Bridge of Weir to do Barnbrock Hill. This hill is in the Muirshiel Country Park and there is one of their Visitor Centre's at the foot of the hill. Although it wasn't open, the car park was so I parked there. The hill was just across the road and up through a couple of fields.....
 
 
It was another fine viewpoint. Towards Glasgow.....
 
 
Over Inverclyde with the Cowal hills now more distant.....
 
 
The Muirshiel hills which I climbed last year.....
 

Monday, 14 January 2019

Corston Hill and Auchinoon Hill (Balerno)

14 January 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Corston Hill, 348m/1142', P 46m, OS 65, NT 095 634 and Auchinoon Hill, 351m/1152', P 75m, OS 65, NT 087 608
 
When I stayed in Balerno and wanted to walk locally, I headed to the main Pentland hills. Until I started climbing TuMPs, I had never given a thought to the two small hills on the other side of the A70, in fact it hadn't registered at all that there were any hills there! I rectified that omission today and of course they turned out to be fine viewpoints.
 
I parked in the small car park just off the A70 that I had used many times heading for the Bore Stane route, but this time I crossed the road to it's north side, found that there was a stile over the fence and then a signed footpath. In fact, bridges had been built over some drainage ditches (marked by yellow topped poles) so it was a really easy walk.  Corston Hill.....
 
 
Looking from Corston Hill to the Pentlands with Arthur's Seat sneaking into the left hand side of the photo.....
 
 
 
and the view north to Livingston.....
 
 
I could have carried on to Auchinoon Hill but decided to go back the same way and move the car to a small parking area at an old quarry close to the start of a track to the radio mast on Auchinoon Hill. The summit was marked by an upright stone, I wondered if it might be an old boundary stone but can find no reference to it if it is. Again, some great views.....
 
 


with the addition of a view over Harperrig reservoir to East Cairn Hill and West Cairn Hill.....