3 Trips Thursday #47

Prehistoric Cairn  3 Trips Thursday

3 Trips Thursday

It’s the first week in September and the start of meteorological autumn, I think? I’m sure that’s right. Well the leaves are starting to turn their colours at any rate and the berries are starting to ripen so I’ll take it that the season is on the turn. Now pull up a chair, get comfortable and start clicking through to read about some excellent trips outdoors.

The Links.

  1. Sgurr a’ Ghreadaidh & Banachdich Tops – Gripping Stuff!
  2. Cycling the Great Glen Way
  3. The Hills East of Loch Treig

Thanks again for reading and if you want to get involved, share a trip or a link to a good outdoor site then please feel free to leave a comment in the box below. Alternatively you can hit me on Twitter or send me a good old email through the contact page.

If you enjoyed the links there will be more of the same next week.

3 Trips Thursday #46

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3 Trips Thursday.

The count down to the weekend has begun and I’ve curated another 3 trips for you. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them and it’ll will get you planning your own trips outside. This week we’ve got a short overnighter that starts and finishes with a run. A walk in the Galloway hills and the other link is a visit to the Black Mount between Loch Etive and Loch Tulla in the Highlands.

The Links.

  1. Travelling Light.
  2. Black Magic.
  3. A Short Walk in the Galloway Hills.

Thanks for reading. As always feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or a link in the box below. Send me an email through the contact form. Alternatively you can join me for a conversation over on Twitter.

3 Trips Thursday #45

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3 Trips Thursday

As the unparalleled LL Cool J once said, “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.” Yes, there’s been a hiatus here for 3 Trips Thursday. Those that know me will know I’ve had a bit of a crazy summer which has impacted on my posting and then I got a bit lazy and out of the habit of writing. However I’m back on it so hopefully the following links will inspire you to get outside and have some fun.

The Links.

  1. The Dark Heart of the Cullin
  2. Puffin Away at the Farnes
  3. Walking the Saas Fee in Switzerland

As always feel free to leave a comment below, send me an email through the contact page or catch me over on twitter. I’ll be back with more trips next. Thanks for reading.

High UV Buff with Insect Shield

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High UV Buff with Insect Shield

I’ll start like I start all of my reviews; with a disclaimer. That way you can decide if you want to read on or not. This High UV Buff with Insect Shield was sent to me by Anth at Kitshack to review. Anth contacted me. I was given the choice of Buffs that I could have to review. Kitshack were kind enough to send me the High UV Buff with Insect Shield and I get to keep it. I have no vested interest in Kitshack who make this Buff other than to share my views and opinions; good, bad or otherwise.     The High UV Buff with Insect Shield is new for this year. What’s new? Compared to your normal everyday Buff, it’s got insect shield. This invisible and odourless protection helps against mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers and the dreaded midge. I like the sound of that, protection against the midge. Always a winner in Scotland. This should last for up to 70 washes. It doesn’t stop there either. The fabric also offers high UV protection against the sun’s harmful rays blocking 95% of them. Another winner, especially for me and my pastey white Scottish skin.  The fabric is a one piece tubular construction and no seems as standard on all Buffs. It’s made with 100% Coolmax Extreme which is a special 4 channel fibre that wicks sweat away from your body fast and help it to thermo regulate better. It is also treated with Polygiene which helps to keep the bacteria away and the Buff smelling fresher longer. The fabric is also colour fast so won’t fade and it shouldn’t loose it’s elasticity.

Tookie Indoor Gear Test™

I put it through the Tookie Indoor Gear Test™. Not that I really need to seeing as I already own two Buffs and know what they’re like. This basically consisted of sticking it on my digital scales which weighed it at 38g which is right on the money compared to the website figure. It also got a good old poking, stretching and look over. I’m happy to say that it’s all good. Well made as is to be expected. Not a loose fibre or any fraying in sight. The fabric is soft and comfortable to wear next to the skin which is really helped because it doesn’t have any hems or seems. It gets to the stage where you don’t know it’s on when wearing the Buff around the house. Lounging on the couch watching the television. Lying on the floor. Doing the dishes. You know the type of thing. It’s also probably the only time I’ve tried to make any of the other head coverings that you can. Other than the neckerchief or hat. You have to make sure that the gear is comfortable. If doesn’t work around the house it won’t work outside. Passed with flying colours. BUFF_DSC4386

Out and About

I never go for walk without wearing or carrying a Buff at the very least. I think they are excellent bits of kit. I’ve even been known to go out on the town with a Buff on. There’s colour and patterns galore and one to suit every out fit. Helps keeps the neck nice and snug on the walk to the pub and no where near as bulky as a scarf but has all the benefits and more.

This one has worked well on many occasions and there’s not too much I can say about it. The Buff did it’s job unnoticed. Just got on with it. It was never a distraction. Personally that gets top marks. Something that I keep noticing or fidgeting with is no good. I’m in the outdoors to enjoy myself, hopefully with no hassles.

I admit that I did go out my road in trying to test the insect repelling properties. I was a bit sceptical so I would go stand in the middle of the wood on warm and muggy days. Searching out the midge in it’s usual haunts which isn’t too hard in the west of Scotland. I could sometimes just go and stand outside my back door. Just to see if it would live up to the claim. I was impressed and it worked really well and work even better when the Buff was worn like a face mask.

One thing they don’t advertise about the Buff is hope much it stops your stubble catching on a zip. Yep, you know what I’m talking about, you and your hispter beard or designer stubble know well. It’s doesn’t get along with a high collars and zips. The Buff helps that.

Me, I love a Buff. They may not be for you but everyone is different. I never go out with out one. Like I’ve said previously I’ve only ever worn them as a scarf or a hat. Versatile and multifunctional which is always good. Can’t fault them. Well made and comfortable. If you don’t have one get one and remember a Buff is not just for the hills.

You can see the full gallery of photographs here on flickr at Buff headwear. More will be added as and when I find them.

3 Trips Thursday #44

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3 Trips Thursday

Another week, another 3 great trips to look over and get inspired from especially as we haven’t really had any sort of summer weather. Well not in Scotland at any rate. Fingers crossed it picks up. In the mean time, tuck in.

The Links

  1. Dooch Wood Dalliance
  2. The Yellow Hill.

  3. Meditations on a summer evening.

The same old; if you have a question, want more information or just want to start a conversation with me. You can find me on Twitter. Leave a comment below. Alternatively you can use the contact form and drop me and email.

Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #43

GallowayWildCamp000045280512 3 Trips Thursday
3 Trips Thursday

Sorry this is late. A bit of a technical hitch, in that I forgot to schedule it and press publish. However, better late than never as they say. Hopefully still plenty of good links to get you motivated to go out and enjoy the outdoors and have some fun in this fine weather.

The Links

  1. High Cup Nick Guided Walk.
  2. Slaggan Bay.

  3. Arran Ridge Weekend. Caisteal Abhail, Ceum na Caillich (Witches Step) Revisited.

Thanks for reading. As always you can can catch me on Twitter. Send me an email from the contacts page or you can leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

3 Trips Thursday #42

GallowayWildCamp000025280512 3 Trips Thursday
3 Trips Thursday.

This week we’ve got bothies and bikes, a short and sweet post with some stunning views and a cracking walk in the highlands. All well worth your effort of clicking through and giving them a good read. Have fun.

The Links.

  1. A Tale of Two Lodges.
  2. Ben Tianavaig.

  3. Stob Coire a’ Mhail – with no Devils.

You can always leave a link or a comment in the box below. Email me through the contact page or even start a conversation with me over on Twitter.

Thanks for reading and if you really liked this why not share it with your family, friends or followers using the link buttons below?

Dalzell Park

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Dalzell Park, the good, the bad and the beautiful.

I recently had the chance to go on a guided walk around Dalzell Park in Motherwell. The walk was run by The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) as part of their spring walks festival. It was an excellent morning out with two very knowledgable guides from North Lanarkshire’s Countryside Rangers. I really do wish I had taken better notes or recorded the information and stories told. I also wish I had taken more photographs but found it hard as I was too intent on listening and following someone else lead. However it did not take away from such a great time. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Below are some of my highlights from around the park and hopefully I’ve got most of right.
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Dalzell House.

Now a private residence after being sold on by the council a few years ago so we didn’t access to get a closer look at the court yard and the splendid terraced gardens. It’s an A listed building and has had most if not all it’s important heritage preserved. A castle or defensive structure has apparently been on the site since the 9th Century. What you see today is mix of construction phases. The oldest being the tower in the centre, this dates from the 14th/15th century. The next phase is to the right and was added in the late 17th century and the the final phase on left was added in the 18th century. It’s been around and has seen many a distinguished guest, most notably Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as well as William Gladstone.

No proper castle is complete without a ghost story well Dalzell House is a bit spoiled for choice as it can boast no fewer than 3 ghosts. A green lady, a white lady and a grey lady. Hopefully I remember the right details for each ghost. The grey lady is supposed a nurse from when the house was a hospital during to after the First World War. The green lady is  of oriental origins or descent as there whiff of oriental perfume when she’s about. Finally the white ghost was a maid servant who got herself into trouble and rather than face the consequences threw herself off the tower. All that might make you think twice about living in one of the luxury apartments.
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The Covenanter’s Oak.

Possibly the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire. Supposedly planted by David I around 1450 and around the same time as the Cadzow oaks across the Clyde. It has seen better days and despite appearances is still going strong. It’s been braced and supported to keep it going hopefully for another 500 years. There’s a couple of different stories about the Covenanters, they either carried out sermons under great tree or sheltered below it. Either way the Hamilton’s of Dalzell at that time were supporters of the cause and ended up losing a lot of their lands because of it. Probably one of my favourite things in Dalzell Park just for it’s sheer majesty.

The Arboretum.

I’ll admit to being a big ignorant here. I thought and arboretum was a fancy greenhouse of sorts, oh how wrong was I. However as they say, you learn something new everyday. Well this was my new thing. An arboretum is basically a collection of trees. Yep, you’re not going to fit them in a greenhouse. This on in Dalzell Park has North American Sequoias, including one that they have managed to germinate from a cone using an oven. As Sequoias need raging forest fire to let their seeds drop. It also has many Yew trees more than I’ve seen in one garden. Maybe they were planting with zombie apocalypse in mind. Not just Scottish Yews either, they have specimens from all over the world. This is where it gets fuzzy with the tree stuff as the only other one I can remember is the Weeping Willow but there is lots of other trees. I promise. If trees are your thing go have a look.

The Phoenix Project.

Again I hope I get this correct on part of Dalzell Park, the Countryside Rangers and Phoenix Futures have been working on a project called Recovery through Nature. It’s all about helping people get rehabilitated and back on a even keel by helping out on nature projects. At Dalzell Park they’ve been working on clearing away rhododendron bushes and restoring some of the vistas the park had originally when the gardens were laid out. They also been involved in planting through out the park. Replacing trees and the like. Really worthwhile and great to hear about.
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The Listening Cave.

At the back of the house opposite the terraced gardens and across the Dalzell burn, I think it’s called that. There are a few that run through the park. You find just through the old bowling green, yes they had their own bowling green as well as a curling pond down by the Clyde and I’m sure one of the Rangers said a cricket pitch however I could be making that up. Anyway if you follow the path you’ll find the Listening Cave. Built to amplify the sound of the nearby waterfall and burn. I loved this. It was pretty cool. If you stood in a certain spot it felt like you were actually standing right next to the water. Step a little forward, backwards or either side and it was gone. Brilliant
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St Patrick’s Kirk.

The first christian site in Motherwell and home to the Hamiltons’ of Dalzell pet cemetery and mausoleum. The church no longer stands having fell into disrepair and ruin after being abandoned in the late 1700s. The graveyard however was used for many years after the church was left. The Hamiltons’ used the stone work from the ruined church for the mausoleum. Compared to the one down at the old palace grounds and Lord Belhaven’s just south along the Clyde this one is really understated. Bordering on the modest.

There’s been a lot of work carried out here by North Lanarkshire Council, CAVLP and the Phoenix Futures group to stabilise and rebuild the cemetery walls as well as protecting the mausoleum from vandalism. Next on the list is the graves and the yard themselves. Cleaning it up and fixing any headstones that can be. Also recording the names of those interred there for a local history project.
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Lord Gavin’s Temple.

Built for Lord Gavin Hamilton as a summer house it used to have a brilliant bright copper dome to crown it off. It allowed him to spend his time reading and smoking his cigars while watch over his wife’s grave down at the family mausoleum. He was either being very romantic or very scared that she would come back from the dead. Personally I hope he was being romantic.

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The Japanese Garden.

This has been moved two or three times. One of the original places was down between St Patrick’s well and Lord Gavin’s Temple. You can still see some of the traces there. The current Japanese garden has new pagodas. Not sure that’s the proper term. It’s been laid out to match the Buddha temple at Nagasaki. Well one of them was, not sure if it’s the current one or the original one. It’s full of oriental planting, Japanese Maples and rock gardens. It’s a really tranquil and beautiful place to wander round. In full bloom I think it will be stunning.

All in all it was a great morning’s walk. Full of information and wonder. If I get the chance and have the time I would definitely go on another guided walk and take better notes and more photographs!

You can look at the full set of photographs here on Flickr, Dalzell Park Photo Album.

If you have any questions, as always leave a comment below. Get me over on Twitter or you can send me an email through the contact me page.

3 Trips Thursday #41

Dalzell_Park_DSC4374 3 Trips Thursday
3 Trips Thursday

Three absolutely cracking trips this week, in my opinion. A trip from the very south of Scotland to the very north of Scotland. Then a packraft walk from the west coast of Scotland to the east coast. Then finally something a little less ambitious but no less great, a brilliant even stroll up Mount Keen. All good stuff so get comfortable and get clicking.

The Links.

  1. Scottish Trail Report.
  2. Tops & Tailwinds – Coast to Coast via Scotland’s Highest Peaks.

  3. Keen for an evening stroll.

Feel free to leave a comment in the box below. Hit me up on Twitter to start a conversation or use the contact page to send me an email.

Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #40

Arran beyond Bute from Cumbrae 3 Trips Thursday

3 Trips Thursday.

The big four oh. 40 weeks going strong. Hopefully you’ll find something that you like in this weeks links. Plenty there for everyone.

The Links.

  1. In search of Scotland’s oldest pines.
  2. Ben Nevis… Still Winter!

  3. Ben A’an (Trossachs).

See something you like? Have a link to share? As always you can find me on Twitter, send me an email through the contact page or leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully see you back here next week and just a wee reminder that the Clyde and Avon Valleys Spring Walks Festival is happening this weekend, Friday through to Monday so there’s still plenty of time to get yourself booked on one of the guided walks.