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.
 
 

Friday, 1 November 2019

Kilpatrick Hills- The Slacks and Cochno Hill

28 October 2019
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: The Kilpatrick Hills: The Slacks, 365m1,197', P 44m, Tump, OS 64, NS 467 752 and Cochno Hill, 348m/ 1,142', P 65m, Tump, OS 64, NS 483 756
 
I don't know why I've neglected to visit these hills before. They provide great walking conditions, great views, they are perfect for dog walking as there are no livestock and the are only 30-40 minutes drive from home. Today I also had the benefit of perfect walking weather, high pressure in October is a recipe for walking heaven!
 
I parked at the top of Cochno road at the start of the private road to the waterworks. The official car park further on along Cochno road didn't look very inviting and I wouldn't like to leave my car there unless I had to. The track in to the hills had a good surface and the incline up to Greenside reservoir was gradual....
 
 


I decided to climb the higher of the two hills- The Slacks- first so crossed the dam and followed the continuing path up the hill. Cochno Hill from the dam.....
 
 
There were great views back down to the reservoir and across it to Cochno Hill as I got higher.....
 
 
 
To the north I could see the only one of the Kilpatrick Hills that I had climbed previously- the Marilyn, Duncolm.....
 
 
The well engineered path meant that it didn't take long to reach the trig. Loch Humphrey, a popular walk in itself, was visible from here as well as the towns on the other side of the Firth of Clyde.....
 
 


It was great to have a seat and just admire the views. However, another hill called so we had to head back to the dam and pick up another path up Cochno Hill. This is a different sort of hill, much more grass and lots of humps and bumps. There was nothing to mark the highest point so I had to rely on Viewranger to show me that we had reached it. Duncolm was in view again and from this angle I could see Ben Lomond and other highland hills beyond..........
 
 
Yet another reservoir view from here, Jaw reservoir to the east with the Campsie Fells beyond.....
 
 
and a reasonable view of Greater Glasgow with Tinto on the horizon.....
 
 
We picked up another path on the way down which cut off a corner. Good hills, good weather, what more could I have asked for. Ben enjoyed it also.....