Monday, 16 October 2017

Grayrigg Forest

6 October 2017.

Participants: Just me
Where: Grayrigg Forest, 494m/1,621', Sub-2k Marilyn, OS 97, SD 599 998

This is a fine looking hill when seen from the M6 travelling south from Penrith.....


I approached it from the junction of the A685 and the B6257 parking in a lay-by at the side of a rifle range.....

It was a completely grassy ascent, steeply at first to Grayrigg Pike but once on the ridge the views opened out. I was accompanied on the walk by the sound of motorway traffic.....


After the Pike, the hill got broader and I could see the summit trig in the distance.....


It was a fine summit to sit down for a while and admire the views, the southern Lake District hills to the north.....


the Howgills to the south (must go there one day).....


and a view over Kendal out to sea as well.....


A fine Marilyn and a pleasant walk, easily accomplished in under 3 hours car to car.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Blaze Fell and Beacon Hill

5 October 2017.

Participants: Just me.
Where: Blaze Fell, 242m/794', Hump, OS 86, NY 496 433 and Beacon Hill, 286m/938', Hump, OS 90, NY 521 314

I was in Penrith for the MBA AGM at nearby Langwathby and decided to climb these two Humps on the way down. Blaze Fell turned out to be a nice hill reached by a permissive path from it's east side.....


The summit area was access land and was the site of an old quarry.....


Being situated between the Lake District and the Pennines it was an ideal view point for both. This is looking to Blencathra and other northern Lakeland hills.....




and on the way back down I was looking towards the northern Pennines.....


Beacon Hill stands above Penrith, here seen from the ruins of the castle.....


I parked in Beacon Edge which accounted for a lot of the ascent. The hill is heavily wooded so there wasn't a view; it was again the case of the wrong time of year to visit.....


The monument on top was built in 1719 on the spot where beacons have been lit since the time of Henry VIII......


There was also a topograph which seemed to me to be a bit optimistic, given that the foliage obscured all the views!


 
 
 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Edinburgh City Hills (Part 1)

Edinburgh is said to be built on seven hills but as the city has expanded, this is becoming rather an out of date statement. For hill bagging purposes, there are 10 major hills listed as either Humps or Tumps plus a few other smaller hills around the City boundaries. I stayed in Edinburgh for 30-odd years and in all that time only climbed two- Arthur's Seat and Calton Hill. It was long past time to visit them all.
 
30 September 2017. Participants- just me. Corstorphine Hill, 162m/531', Hump, OS 66, NT 206 741
 
I got the train through to Edinburgh- delayed due to work on the line, got as far as Linlithgow and had to get a bus from there. Great advert for public transport! Still, I wasn't in any hurry. Corstorphine Hill promised to be the hill with the poorest view so I decided to start my Edinburgh quest with it. I walked from Corstorphine Road so it felt like I was climbing a real hill in height terms. The most interesting feature was Clermiston tower, situated near to a transmitter mast. It is a 20m tall tower built in 1871 by local landowner William McFie to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Sir Walter Scott. Unfortunately, it is only open to the public occasionally and this was not one of these days so I was unable to get above the thick foliage that covers this hill in order to get a view. There are a couple of points close to the tower which could be the highest point of the hill. My photos:
 






I then got the bus to the east end of Queen Street for another visit to Calton Hill, one of the City landmarks.
 
30 September 2017. Participants- just me. Calton Hill, 101m/331', Tump, OS 66, NT 263 741
 
I got a pleasant surprise- I didn't know that the Nelson Monument was open to the public. I reckoned that a £5 admission fee would be worth it for the panoramic view from the top- it most certainly was- and there was also an interesting exhibition.
 
 
The monument was built in order to express gratitude to Admiral Lord Nelson for his victory in the Battle of Trafalgar and in which many Scots took part. The design is said to represent an upturned telescope. Building work began in 1806 and was completed in in 1816.
 
As well as commemorating Nelson, the monument became a naval signalling station soon after it was completed. In 1852, a time ball was installed at the top of the monument, designed to drop at precisely one o'clock every day thereby sending a signal to ships in the Firth of Forth. In those days it was critical to know the correct time to enable ships to calculate their position. The signal couldn't be seen in bad weather so in 1861 a sound signal was added- the firing of the one o'clock gun from the ramparts of Edinburgh castle. Both these events continue to this day.
 
Here are some of my photos taken from the viewing platform.
 
Looking along Princes Street with the headquarters of the Scottish Government, St Andrews House, the building closest (left) and the Castle beyond....
 
 
Edinburgh Castle with the Pentland hills distant.....
 
 
The south side with the Pentlands distant.....
 
 
Three more of the hills, Dunsapie, Arthur's Seat, and Salisbury Crags.....
 
 
Palace of Holyrood House, Scottish Parliament and the East Lothian coast.....
 
 
The "Greek" folly built to resemble the Parthenon in Athens but never finished, Leith with Hibs football ground prominent and the east Lothian coast with North Berwick Law visible.....
 
 
The Firth of Forth and the bridges.....
 
 
The redevelopment of St James square (a former office of mine is just a pile of rubble) with Corstorphine Hill distant.....
 
 
Back at ground level, the folly.....
 
 
Oh, and the highest point of the hill is a rock beside the foot of the monument.
 
So a good start to the Edinburgh hills. I aim to do the rest of them over the coming months.
 
 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Miscellaneous Tumps (1)

Tumps- hills with at least 30m of relative height, some are also classified as Munros, Corbetts, Grahams, sub-2k Marilyns, or Humps. The ones below Marilyn prominence are in a class of their own though as regards bagging!! Some are excellent viewpoints, or make a nice short outing, especially if on the way to or from somewhere else, or if time is short or weather less than ideal. Some have never been climbed because they are sea stacks. Some are just mad, or rather, those who bag them are! Here are some mainly local ones that I have bagged in the last few months, I'll let you decide whether I'm mad or not!.
 
28 June 2017. Just me. Cumbernauld Hill, 149m/489', OS 64, NS 757 745
 
This might have been a nice hill if they hadn't built Cumbernauld! The highest point is the east side of the church behind the shopping centre, apparently at this piece of stone artwork....

 
 12 July 2017. Neil and Ben. Cairn Hill (Bearsden), 73m/239', OS 64, NS 543 708
 
Cairn Hill is a wooded green space in the middle of a housing area, close to Canniesburn Toll. There are a good number of paths so it was ideal for dog walking. The highest point seemed to be somewhere in an area of felled rhododendrons; there was of course no view.....


18 July 2017. Neil and Ben. Kippen Muir, 193m/633', Tump, OS 57, NS 625 919
 
Kippen Muir is situated to the north of the Marilyn's Caerleatheran and Stronend and provides a good view of them. The B822 from Fintry to Kippen runs along the top of the Muir so there was virtually no ascent required. I parked in a layby about 100m east of a track to some holiday cottages. A couple of hundred yards walking along the track and another hundred yards or so west across rough ground brought us to the highest point. Choose your own tuft of grass for where exactly it is.....
 
 
The view north to the highland hills including Stuc a'Chroin and Ben Vorlich was nice.....
 
 
4 August 2017. Just me. Carleton Hill, 101m/331', OS  85, NY 450 500
 
The A6 south of Carlisle passes over this one (centre, distant).....
 
 
The highest point is apparently the other side of the hedge on the west side of the road. I could have leapt (!?) out of the car, gone through a gate and stood at the highest point in the field; roughly two minutes. However, I parked in a lay-by a few hundred yards away and undertook the strenuous walk along the pavement.
 
24 August 2017. Just me. Cant Hills, 306m/1,004', OS 65, NS 850 621
 
Beside the Kirk of Shotts to Shotts road, the highest point is a mound in a small pinewood copse above a lay- by at a bend in the road. Over the fence, climb about 15m and I was there.....
 
 
30 August 2017. Just me. King's Park, Stirling, 69m/226', OS 57, NS 781 931
 
In Stirling, the path runs along the top of a golf course. I should have left this one until winter, the highest point is in here somewhere......
 
 
There was a reasonable view to Ben Ledi and neighbours..... 
 
 
2 September 2017. Just me. Callum's Hill, 159m/690', OS 52, NN 875 222
 
I stopped to do this one and also Knock Mary on my way back from climbing Kenmore Hill. The highest point is at a radio mast at the back of some houses on the eastern outskirts of Crieff- a 15 minute trek there and back.....
 
 
2 September 2017. Just me. Knock Mary, 180m/592', OS 56, NN 843 200
 
A wooded top west of Crieff, there was no view once in the trees but it was a pleasant stroll of a couple of miles none the less.....
 


 14 September 2017. Neil and Ben. Raven Craig, 290m/951', OS 65, NS 991 705

This wooded, craggy area is near Bathgate, across the road from the Marilyn, Cairnpapple Hill. I parked in a car park to the south and followed a myriad of paths which eventually took me to what I thought was the highest point. The atmosphere was very clear so, outwith the trees, the views were excellent, especially towards the south-east. I could make out features from North Berwick Law to Lanarkshire. On a fine day, the Bathgate Hills are well worth visiting for their panoramic views of central Scotland....



 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Mailer Hill (Perth)

19 September 2017
 
Participants: Neil and Ben
Where: Mailer Hill, 182m/597', Hump, OS 53, NO 101 210
 
Mailer Hill can be seen from most directions as you approach or are in Perth; it is the hill with telecommunications masts on the west side of the motorway.....
 
 
There is a high car park on its east side so the amount of climbing required is minimal. The views from the car park were pretty good.....



The motorway has been driven through the hill so after a short walk through the wood, the path drops down to a pedestrian bridge over the road before rising again through more woodland and joining a track which comes up from the west......


There were cows in the field that contains the summit so I tied Ben to the fence before making my way into the field and up to the trig, which was being used as a scratching pole.....
 
 

 

It was a great viewpoint. Perth with the Grampians distant.....


west towards Stirling with the Ochils on the left and the familiar shapes of Ben Vorlich and Stuc a'Chroin distant right.....


and across Fife to the Ochils.....
 
 
If you have an hour or so to spare in Perth on a clear day then this is a really worthwhile walk.