Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Pondery Hill and Castle Semple Collegiate Church

20 August 2019
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Pondery Hill, 119m/390', P 33m, Tump, OS 63, NS 328 488
 
The weather was better but the back/hip wasn't so just to keep the bagging ticking over, it was another of the low Tumps for me. Pondery Hill is east of Darvel in Ayrshire, a low wooded hill but clear of trees on top. A narrow road runs past the hill and there was a very convenient space to park at a gate opposite the entrance the start point. Through a kissing gate, I found an overgrown track that wound round and upwards and the trig soon came into view.....
 
 
 
The Arran hills were visible to the west.....
 
 
and the Ayrshire coast to the south west.....
 
 
After the short hill walk, I drove on to the Castle Semple visitor centre at Lochwinnoch where there is an excellent paved walkway along an old railway line. We went as far as the ruined Collegiate Church and had a look at that. It was founded in 1504 by John, Lord Sempill, in the grounds of his castle. An information board told me that the church was served by a senior priest, six chaplains, two alter boys and a church officer. Their main function was to pray for the souls of their founder and his family. Lord Sempill was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 but the church continued in use by his family. It fell out of use after the Reformation although it continued as a burial enclosure. It has been looked after by Historic Scotland since 1949.....
 


 

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.