Thursday, 11 January 2018

Braes of Fowlis

11 January 2018
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Braes of Fowlis, 247m/811', Tump P30, OS 52, NN 923249
 
It was thick fog in the central belt this morning but the forecast for elsewhere was good so I headed to Crieff for this Tump. The interest was not only in the hill itself but also in the Bronze Age monuments near to the summit- one standing stone, one similar sized fallen stone and the remains of a couple of stone circles. There were also the remains of two wartime buildings! This part of Strathearn is particularly good for burial mounds and standing stones; there are more at a farm slightly lower down the hill.
 
It turned out to be one of these hills where there is very little climbing involved as a road runs across the moor joining the Crieff/Perth road to the Crieff/Aberfeldy road. There was a small car park at the start of the walk, just inside a gate, and a track takes you to the top and beyond. This is grouse shooting country although a local I met said that the birds were in very short supply nowadays.
 
This is the approach to the monument.....
 
 
The standing stone (about 1.8m high) and a circle looking east.....
 
 
and looking north with some of the Ben Chonzie hills in the background.....
 
 
Despite its lack of height, this is a fine viewpoint. Ben Vorlich was prominent among the higher snow covered hills in the west......
 
 
If I'd had more time I would have carried on and climbed another couple of Tumps that are to the north. However, it had been a late start so I just went back stopping on the way to the main road at St Beans church in Fowlis Wester to have a look at a couple of 8th or 9th century Pictish slab-crosses.....
 
 
A trip just right for a short January day.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A new year- Neilston Pad

7 January 2018
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Neilston Pad, 261m/856', Tump p49, OS 64, NS 477 551
 
A new year and after a long spell of grey and very wet weather, it was a cracking winter's day for my first walk. It was -6C when I started out and I even had to remove some ice from the inside windows of the car. I decided on something close to home, there were lots of Tumps to choose from Renfrewshire way so I ended up driving to Neilston to tackle one of the most prominent, Neilston Pad. I parked partly on a wide pavement close to the entrance to the track to Craig of Neilston farm, which was the route to the hill.
 
I followed the track past the farm which seemed to be deserted, took a left turn then a right to get on  to a broad path which slanted up the east side of the Pad. There were good views of Snypes Dam from here (why are all the wee lochs called "Dams" around here?).....



The path reached a fence from where it was only a short walk over tussocky ground to the top. Everything was frozen today but it looked as though this would be usually quite a muddy walk. The highest point was marked by a small pile of stones not far from a larger cairn which was the better viewpoint.....


Although it was clear blue sky and sunny, there was a bit of a haze which diminished the distant views. Nevertheless, I could see the snow covered Arran peaks to the south west over Commore Dam.....


but the view to Harelaw Dam was affected by the strong low sun......


There is a good network of tracks and paths on this hill so after returning to the fence, I headed on south west. This is looking back to the summit area.....


A combination of paths led me down to Craighall Dam. Neilston Pad rose steeply above it.....

 


A walk through a bit of Sitka forest took me along the loch shore and eventually back on to the track that I had started out on. There were a few more folk about now; the paths around the lochs seem to be a popular local walk. The weather helped but even without that I would have been impressed with this hill, which I would never have thought about had I not discovered Tumps. And there a lot more Tumps in this area; just right for short winter days!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Miscellaneous Tumps 3: Carbeth Hill; Binn Hill; Murie Hill; Tower Hill (Gourock)

14 November 2017. Neil and Ben. Carbeth Hill, 187m/614', OS 64, NS 530 789.
 
I had no great expectations of this hill but it got us out of the house for a couple of hours. Dull weather with a flat light didn't help either. We approached from the north, track to first hut, turn right on to another track, then through a gate on to a rough path that took us to the ridge. Highest point was a choice; I reckoned that in amongst the birch trees got it. Good view of Dumgoyne from lower down but otherwise not a lot to excite.
 





23 November 2017. Binn Hill, 172m/564', OS 53, NO 158 227
 
I was on my way to Dundee. I had climbed Kinnoul Hill just outside Perth last autumn and this was its neighbour, also with a tower on top. This is it from Kinfauns to the east.....
 
 
There is a handy road and a parking area to the north from where it is only a short walk up through some pleasant woodland.....
 
 
though the summit area was a bit of a mess.....
 
 
The tower, a folly, is not as spectacular as the one on Kinnoul Hill and is bolted and barred......
 
 
It had been frosty the previous night and the weather was great as were the colours, which will probably not last much longer; this is looking over the Tay to Fife.....
 
 
and a view to Kinnoul Hill.....
 
 
23 November 2017. Just me. Murie Hill, 52m/171', OS 53, NO 236 223

After Binn Hill, I diverted via Errol to do this one. It is difficult to believe that there is a hill in the low lying Carse of Gowrie but some masochist bagger had found this one. It just looked like a field to me. I parked up a track at the cemetery which gave me a walk of a few hundred yards. The highest point seems to be somewhere along the line of these fine old beech trees.....


29 November 2017. Neil and Ben. Tower Hill (Gourock) 97m/318', OS 63, NS 240 773

A glorious winter day- frosty overnight, snow on the higher hills, deep colours, drove me out. I needed a good viewpoint and Tower Hill in Gourock fitted the bill nicely. This it from Battery Park in Gourock.....
 
 
Of course it had a tower on top.....
 
 
Fantastic views over the Clyde estuary; to Dunoon, the Holy Loch and Strone point.....
 
 
to the mouth of Loch Long and Kilcreggan.....
 
 
to Helensburgh and the upper estuary.....
 
 
After walking on the hill, we went for another walk in Battery Park. The views were equally good. Strone Point (centre) and some of the Cowal hills.....
 
 
The Luss hills with a snow covered Ben Lomond in the background left.....


And that's it for 2017. I climbed 1 new Graham, 3 new sub-2k Marilyns, 14 new Humps and 55 new Tumps, as well as 12 hills that I had climbed previously. Now looking forward to 2018! Thanks to everyone who has looked at this blog; hope that you have enjoyed it and have had a great year yourselves.


 
 

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Lundie Craigs

24 November 2017.

Participants: Just me
Where: Lundie Craigs (Sidlaws), 353m/1158', Hump, OS 53, NO 281 378
 
I was in Dundee for a couple of days at the Mountain Film Festival. I parked at the Lairds Loch car park at Tullybaccart, the highest point of the Dundee to Coupar Angus road. A track went most of the way. After about a mile it reached the grassy dam of the Ledcrieff Loch and from where the crags came into view.....
 
 
It was a pleasant walk through the forest.....
 
 
and there was a signpost to make sure that  didn't get lost..... 
 
 
Now I was up on the moorland and the clouds were closing in, it looked like I was in for a snow shower.....
 
 
I was now on a path which went to a transmitter mast with the trig only a short distance away. The shower was coming in fast so I hurriedly took a few pictures from the highest point. This is looking east over the Long Loch with Craigowl on the right and Kinpurney Hill above Meigle on the left with it's summit tower showing clearly.....
 
 
looking along the crags back to Ledcrieff Loch. It's an impressive escarpment especially in a range of low lying, grassy hills......
 
 
Over the Tay to Fife as he snow started to fall.....
 
 
Not only was it now snowing but there was a strong wind blowing and it was bitterly cold so I didn't linger. Of course, it was clearing up as I went down; Ledcrieff Loch was looking more wintry as I passed by.....
 
 
and there was a reasonable view over Strathmore to the Grampians from lower down.....
 
 
Then the cloud cleared completely and the sun came out- pity that I was back at the car when this happened. I still had an hour or so to spare so I went to see Lairds Loch, what a great spot.....
 
 
And this is the view of Lundie Craigs that I got from the road on the way back to Dundee....
 
 
This is a fine area that I must explore further. There are lots of Tumps hereabouts and not too much forestry.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Miscellaneous Tumps 2: Dunblane Roman Camps; Dunmallard Hill; Windrigg Hill; Quhytewoolen Hill; Stone Hill; Quinloch Muir Hill; Dechmont Law; Seafield Law; Gormyre Hill

19 September 2017. Neil and Ben. Dunblane Roman Camps, 114m/374', OS 57, NN 775 006.
 
No sign of any Romans but I could see why they would want to camp here. There was a commanding view from this, a park at the highest point in Dunblane. Pity the slopes are all covered in houses. The highest point seems to be the covered top of a water container. North to Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin and east to the Ochil Hills.....
 


 
6 October 2017. Just me. Dunmallard Hill, 240m/787', OS 90, NY 468 246
 
I had climbed the Marilyn, Grayrigg Forest in the morning and decided to drive to Pooley Bridge on the outskirts of the Lake District in the afternoon. Dunmallard Hill sits above the village.....
 
 
There was a view of Ullswater from the start and glimpses of the Mell Fells on the way up but otherwise the view was zilch. Nice woodland walk though.
 


7 October 2017. Just me. Windrigg Hill, 313m/1027', OS 91, NY 583 177

I was passing time before going to the MBA AGM at Langwathby in Cumbria. There was minimal ascent across a field from the road. The trig was hiding behind a wall; the highest point seemed to be on the other side at a covered water tank.


 

8 October 2017. Just me. Quhytewoolen Hill, 223m/732', OS 78, NY 148 831
 
On the way home from Langwathby. It was the name that attracted me to this hill above Lockerbie. I parked at the end of a track to the east and walked up past an old hill fort. There was a fine view from the top.
 
 
 
 
 
26 October 2017. Neil and Ben. Stone Hill, 274m/899', OS 57, NS 814 997
 
Stone Hill is a western outlier of the Ochil Hills, reached easily from the Sheriffmuir road. A mixture of heather and grass, there is a large stone at the high point- guess that this is how the hill got its name?
 



There was a fine view of  Dumyat from the lower slopes- the foliage is falling fast now.....



29 October 2017. Just me. Quinloch Muir Hill, 221m/725', OS 64, NS 516 810

This is a Tump east of the A809 opposite Auchineden Hill. The quick ascent is from the car park for the latter- cross the road, climb over the wall, walk through some boggy ground and you're there. There are 3 tops, the southern one is the highest (on the right in this photo).....


There was a good view of the west Campsie Fells.....


The lower northern top is the best for the view to the highland hills, Ben Lomond is prominent in this shot.....



12 November 2017. Neil and Ben. Three in West Lothian, Dechmont Law, 217m/712', OS 65, NT 034 698; Seafield Law, 198m/651', NT 004 667; and Gormyre Hill, 236/774', NS 976 727.

I hadn't realised that there was hill in Livingstone, especially one that was a viewpoint comparable with many a higher hill. There was a car park at the east side of Deans Community High School and good paths round and up to the trig. It was a popular dog walking area. Some views, of the Pentland Hills.....


to Bathgate and Cairnpapple Hill.....


to the Forth bridges......


It was a bit of 'from the sublime to the ridiculous' next- Seafield Law, which many years ago was a bing although it looks like a "normal" hill now. The local authority are doing their best to improve this area with loads of cycle paths and a nature reserve beside the hill. Not a bad view either, Ben at the top with the Pentland hills beyond.....


For the final hill of this short day's outing, I headed for Torphichan and Gormyre Hill. I'm not sure what the local farmer is trying to keep out, or in, but he has a liking for barbed wire fences. Not the most impressive hill in the area. Looking to Cockleroy.....


and to the sweep of the Ochil hills and the hills of the southern Highlands, the latter with a dusting of snow.