Friday, 16 August 2019

Back to the Bings- Glaikhead Bing

15 August 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Glaikhead Bing, 276m/906', P 52m, Tump, OS 71/72, NS 816 363
 
August is probably my least favourite month- humidity, rain, flies, midges,clegs, excessive shrubbery, I could go on. This August has been worse than most with very high temperatures and humidity at the start of the month and then thunderstorms and much wetness. And I have had a sore back and hip. So I have been taking a rest from hillwalking. But today was nice, very clear with a cool breeze. I decided to make acquaintance with another Bing/Tump. Glaikhead is just north of Coalburn in Lanarkshire; the Bing looked steep on approach but turned out not to be and there was a good path up. The surrounding area was clearly used as an unofficial dump which sort of spoiled the experience but the view from the top was exceptional. Some photos..... 
 
 
Looking west, I think that could be Dungavel Hill left which I did a few weeks ago.....
 
 
but not sure what all of these are....
 
 
but this one is easy, Tinto.....
 
 
over Coalburn to Common Hill and wind farm.....
 
 
It was a short trip so to make the most of the fine weather in the afternoon I took Ben for a walk at the Carron Valley reservoir.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Knock Jargon (Ardrossan Hills) and Portencross Castle

2 August 2019
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Knock Jargon, 231m/758', P 37m, Tump, OS 63, NS 236 473
 
The real purpose of this trip was to have a look at the Tumps around West Kilbride for possible bagging targets later- it was too warm and humid to tackle them today especially as most of them appear to be covered in gorse. I also wanted to revisit Portencross Castle, which had had a lot of restoration work done to it since I had last visited. The Friends of the Castle have transformed the place, it is now a really good and interesting visitor attraction well worth spending some time visiting and of course its situation is impressive with the hills of Arran in the background. The castle dates from the mid-1,300s and is associated with the Stewart Kings.
 
 



After viewing the castle and taking a walk along the shore path, we headed for home. I took the B780 which runs along the foot of the Ardrossan Hills. They are now covered in turbines so there were also tracks which made walking easier. Hmmm, maybe just a short hill walk.....
 
I parked at the entrance to the wind farm at the west end of a small reservoir. The track wound gently up the hillside, lots of sheep so Ben stayed on the lead. The target of Knock Jargon came into view- another hill that had had a fort on it in days long ago.....
 
 
 
The final few hundred metres were across rough pasture with a final steep climb to reach the small cairn. Unfortunately, there was a herd of cows just the other side of the hill so we didn't linger in case they took an interest. I was a bit disappointed in the views, the best were towards Arran and up the estuary to Cumbrae but maybe if we had been able to spend more time on the summit having a good look around it would have been better. However, dogs and cows don't mix well.....
 


 
 
 

Friday, 2 August 2019

Knockmountain

20 July 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Knockmountain, 185m/607', P 32m, Tump, OS 63, NS 363 720
 
A wet morning turned in to a bright afternoon just in time to bag another Renfrewshire Tump- Knockmountain. This one is situated above Langbank. There was space to park the car at the entrance to Langside Farm and a gate a few yards up the road and almost hidden by dense vegetation led on to the hill. The going after the first few yards was easy, following sheep grazed pasture with a view of the hill ahead.....
 
 
There were fine views over the Clyde with Auchendores reservoir close by.....
 
 
and to the Muirshiel hills to the south.....
 
 
A style took me over a fence into the wood and by following a rough path to the left I was able to avoid all dense trees etc. and make my way easily to the top......
 
 
No view from the actual high point but the walk to it made up for that.

Friday, 19 July 2019

A couple of "drive-by" Tumps- Hillhead Hill and Cross Ridge

16 July 2019

Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Hillhead Hill, 253m/830', P 32m, Tump, OS 72, NS 977 406 and Cross Ridge, 310m/1,017', P 58m, Tump, OS 72, NS 933 378
 
The heading says it all! I had walked round Lanark Loch and these two Tumps were only a short distance away. I followed side roads towards Thankerton and drove up towards Hillhead Farm- the highest point was at the end of the public road just before reaching the buildings. The hill is the one with the trees on it in the first photo.....
 
 
 
 Cross Ridge is south of the village of Carmichael. At least I needed a short walk to get to the high point of this one- circa 25 yards from a gate where I parked! There were good views of both Carmichael Hill and Tinto.....
 


 

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Byreside Hill

13 July 2019

Participants: Just me
Where: Byreside Hill, 246m/807', P 32m, TuMP, OS 64, NS 509 524

I had passed this one a few times- it is just off the M77 south of Newton Mearns. When they built the new road, they seemed to have dumped a lot of the excavated material close to it and were now in the final stages of flattening the material out. Or something like that....I don't really know. Anyway, you have to skirt the work area to get to the hill so I left it to a Sunday when all would be quiet. I started from the path to the Little Loch trout fishery but after a few yards moved on to the flattened area, much easier walking! This meant that I could follow a fence all the way up the hill and avoid the worst of the grasses, which were waist high in places. I was pleasantly surprised by the view from the top. Byreside Hill from Little Loch.....


Looking south to a couple of other nearby TuMPs, Cairn Hill and Floak Hill.....


The hill overlooks Brother Loch with yet another TuMP, James's Hill and its wind turbines beyond.....


and the view towards Paisley/Glasgow and the Clyde with Ben Lomond distant left.....


Not bad at all.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Baton Bing- a newly "discovered" TuMP

8 July 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Baton Bing, 277m/909', P 39m, TuMP, OS 65, NS 876615
 
It was a bright morning but with rain forecast for later and a wet forecast for the rest of the week. So I decided to get a TuMP in and the nearest interesting one not yet climbed was this newly discovered one, an old bing north of Shotts. It was only a short walk from the road and there was a convenient lay by at the start.


Because it is situated in a very flat area, the views from the top are excellent. Looking north-west with Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich visible on the horizon......
 
 
The view north-east with the Campsie Fells on the left and the Bathgate Hills on the right.....
 
 
The view south-east to the Pentland Hills......
 
 
The view south-west over Shotts.....
 
 
I feel that I am warming to these Bing TuMPs!
 
 

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Saline Hill

6 July 2019
 
Participants: Just me
Where: Saline Hill, 359m/1,178', P 104, HuMP, OS 58, NT 039 932
 
Saline Hill is one of two prominent HuMPs in west Fife the other being Knock Hill which I climbed last year. I approached from Steelend where there is a car park at the east end of the village, beside the Community Hall. A path of sorts goes behind the Hall, crosses the burn and follows fences along fields passing the remains of Killernie Castle. It then becomes a track passing Killernie Farm before reverting to a very rough path along field edges and through numerous gates. Eventually I reached an old quarry and I left the path here and headed up a track beside the quarry. This soon petered out on the north west slopes of the hill. This is not the shortest route but it is the least steep. The Ochil Hills came into view as I passed Killernie.....
 
 
and were in view as I climbed the slopes.....
 
 
The grass was a bit lush in places but otherwise it was a straightforward ascent and it didn't take too long till I was at the summit. Only problem there was the number of barbed wire fences. I couldn't see any need for them but as they were new somebody must think that they're worthwhile. The atmosphere was really clear so I could see a long way. To the east I could even make out North Berwick Law and the Bass Rock....
 
 
and in the other direction Ben Lomond beyond the Forth Valley.....
 
 
the Ochil Hills were of course prominent.....
 
 
Knock Hill was to the east.....
 
 
and to the north a number of TuMPs that I had still to visit.....
 
 
I returned by the same route.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Three Iron Age Forts and an impressive War Memorial....and a drive-by TuMP

2 July 2019

Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: White Caterthun, 300m/984', P 103m, Hump, OS 44, NO 547 661; Brown Caterthun, 286m/938', P 44m, Tump, NO 555 669; Drumcuthlaw, 188m/617', P 32m, Tump, OS 44, NO 474 615; Balmashanner Hill, 174m/571', P 51m, Tump, OS 54, NO 478 493; Denoon Law, 210m/689', P 36m, Tump, OS 54, NO 354 444.
 
I climbed the White Caterthun north of Brechin a few years ago before I started bagging TuMPs so didn't bother to climb its neighbour. As I wanted to climb Balmashanner Hill at Forfar, I decided to add on a few miles and rectify that omission and as I was there anyway, I just did White Caterthun again as well.
 
The two hills are topped by Iron Age hill forts sitting about 1km apart in a fine position overlooking Strathmore to the south and north to the Grampians. A narrow road runs between them and there is a small car park, as they are in the care of Historic Environment Scotland.. Both forts are enclosed by a series of earthworks, and HES say that it is likely they had multiple functions, serving both as military and ceremonial centres; indeed, they could be regarded as one site with two summits. They were built over 2,000 years ago and radiocarbon dating suggests a construction date of between 750 BC and 200 BC. They are certainly perfectly positioned if you wanted to see anybody approaching. I climbed Brown Caterthun first, it is the poorer of the two with a large covering of heather.
 
Brown Caterthun from car park.....
 

Hill of Wirren dominates the view to the north.....
 

Ben at summit.....
 

White Caterthun from Brown Caterthun.....
 

White Caterthun from car park.....
 

Hill of Wirren from ascent......
 

The outline of the fort is much more pronounced on White Caterthun, with impressive boulder ramparts. Ben at the summit.....
 

 I was heading for Forfar next but the Hillbagging website said that if I took a back road via Noranside, I would pass within a few metres of the summit of another TuMP, Drumcuthlaw. So I did. The trees that had previously covered the top of the hill had recently been felled so it was simply a case of looking for the highest tree stump.....
 

There was a reasonable view north to the Glenogil area.....

 
After that strenuous effort (!) it was on to Forfar and the hill that overlooks the town, Balmashanner Hill. I somehow found my way to a small car park at the foot of Reid park and followed paths uphill through the park to join the local path network which led to the impressive stone tower that marks the summit of the hill. It was built in 1921 in memory of local people who died in WW1.....
 
 
 
There was a great view from here north over the town to the Angus glens. Here is a composite photo.....
 
The final stop of the day was west of Glamis for another Iron Age hill fort, Denoon Law. This one was less impressive than the Caterthuns and the former fort area was entirely grassed over and providing good eating for a herd of sheep.......
 
 
 
So a good day's outing and another 4 TuMPs bagged to add to my total.