3 Trips Thursday #29

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3 Trips Thursday

Time is marching on. It’s March all ready. Twenty percent of the year done already. Hopefully you’ve been outside enjoying it. Spring will be here soon. Not that you would know that with the way March started and all that snow. One last hurrah by the snow gods? Who knows? I don’t think the daffodils would have been too please waking up from their winter slumber to be snowed on. Settle down, get comfortable and enjoy this week’s trips.

The Links

  1. Everyone loves a howff? I know I do and this looks like it’s going to be a cracking series from Michael. Nothing quite beats a night in a bothy with the fire on and good friends. The Dossers guide: Slugain Howff.
  2. True words from David but in this post the photographs tell the story. Some fantastic winter scenery to get in the mood for the outdoors. Blessed by Friends and Mountains.

  3. Some Lake District loveliness from Stewart. He really does take a great photography and these are from a recent trip. Deepdale.

Any questions, suggestions then drop me a message from the contact page, look me up on Twitter or leave a comment below

Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #28

BlackwoodEstate000017011114 3 Trips Thursday

3 Trips Thursday.

Hopefully you know the score by now. Three trips to get you inspired to go out and have fun in the great outdoors. What’s in the pot this week? A really cold but excellent bivvy. A walk through Barrach Wood and finally a night filming with Terry Abraham. Get comfortable and get clicking through to enjoy some great posts.

The Links.

  1. Terry is not just a great outdoor film maker, he also has a cracking blog. This recent post is a cracker in my opinion. Stunning photographs. A night on Souther Fell.
  2. Another recent one that would freeze the bits off a brass monkey. A braver man than me. A wintry bivvy in Gleann Mhairc. At least there’s still some snow further up north.

  3. I love walking through woods but I must admit I never really take notice of the flora and fauna. Yes I notice a flower or piece of fungus that stands out. I’m mostly just enjoying the feeling of the place and on the look out for the birds and animals. These trees up at Cougie next to Glen Affric look super. Return to the Barrach Wood.

Hit me up on twitter and say hello. Leave a comment below or get in touch through the contact page. More trips next week. Thanks for reading.

Blackhill

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Blackhill

I’ve moved to pastures new a while ago, further into South Lanarkshire. Deepest darkest Lanarkshire, back to the countryside. Or almost so, if it wasn’t for the rather large M74 next to the village. However saying that it’s all green fields, hills, woods and little glens nestled down next to the Nethan and a stones throw from the Clyde valley and all that it offers. A happier pig in mud could not be found and to my great delight was some pretty good hills not so far away. Tinto and Culter Fell being a couple of big ones within easy driving distance but also some hills virtually on my doorstep. One of those hills being Blackhill. It dominates the sky line because it’s so close. I see it everyday. Not the biggest by any stretch of your imagination. It stands at 951 of your good Scottish feet or 290 metres in the new money. A Scheduled Ancient Monument as well as being owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It’s not big and it’s not pretty but Blackhill is my local hill and at times I have it to myself. What’s not to like?
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Why’s it so special?

That’s easy. It’s has over 4000 years of history seeping up through the very grass and rocks of it’s sides. On the top under the OS trip pillar lies a Bronze age burial cairn. I’m not sure of it’s size but it’s pretty big. 20 metres across. Next it’s has an Iron Age fort and settlement attached with a number of platforms that could have been wooden round house. The fort and adjoining settlement take up the entire hill top. There’s ditches and protective walls running round the whole summit. There’s possibly a Roman road that runs across the foot of the hill that may have been part of a road that ran from Peebles to Castledykes on the other side of Lanark over to the Irvine valley down to Loudoun Hill. There’s archaeological records of standing stones. Apparently at one point it had a couple of standing stones, possibly three. One stone to the south at Clarkston Farm and definitely one but maybe two on the north side at Blackhill Farm. As well as evidence of Medieval occupation and field systems. It’s all going on. The National Trust have had it in their possession since 1936 when Messrs Robert Howie and Sons donated it to them and because of all the history it was designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1969.
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The View

For this particular visit I had a bit of spare time and it was a crackingly clear afternoon and I fancied catching a sunset. I grabbed my camera and jumped in my walking gear. It’s only roughly a couple of miles from my house but to maximise my hill time I got in the car and set off for the little layby at the bottom of the hill. Once parked up I promptly marched to the top off the hill which started with a hop over a fence and stile. Then it was just a case of heading upwards following a farm track. There’s a big gate to pass through then your in the enclosure from this side you enter the settlement first and it’s pretty obvious from the trig pillar where you’re heading. Like it’s not the biggest or most challenging but once up it pays you back in spadefuls for the little effort you put in.
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The sunset was still probably a good hour off so I dumped by bag at the pillar and take out my down jacket and hat as it’s a bit baltic on top. There’s a good breeze going and it is December. What is lovely winter sunshine down by the road isn’t warm enough to heat up even at the top of this modest hill. Wrapped up I set of an wonder over the lumps and bumps wondering what it looked like before loads of the stone were robbed and the walls collapsed. Where the standings were. Were they lined up with something. Did they have anything to do with the fort or settlement. Trying to guess the path of the Roman through the much plowed fields. I’ve got my camera and I’m snapping away. The view’s are 360.

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I still don’t really have my bearings when it come to the hills I can see from here. Tinto is the obvious one, due south or there abouts. Apparently the massive cairn there and here are in alignment. It could be something or nothing or just a giant coincidence. With the trig pillar to my back, Lanark in a south easterly direction, I can only think it’s the big peaks of Mount Law, Bleak Law, Byrehope Mount and the rest I can see but I’m not sure. Over towards the west and to the south I can see Nutberry Hill, again I think it is. It’s all a bit alien to me. Supposedly further over to the west you can see Goatfell on a really clear day. That is one view I would love to catch.

By far the best view is to the north and west. It’s an amazing view and one my camera skills can’t quite do it justice, yet, I hope I will learn to. The Clyde valley opens up before you. All the big towns are there. Hamilton, Motherwell and Wishaw. As well as the famous big city of Glasgow. It’s beyond them that really takes your breath away. I have in one big swathe, the Arrochar Alps, The Cobbler and Beinn Ime and Narnian. Ben Lomond and it’s distinctive table like top, at ease standing proud. Then the full length of the Campsies. However it doesn’t stop there, the hills of the Trossachs and all the way to Ben Lawers. I’m pretty sure it’s Lawers. There is nothing taller then me in that direction. I have that feeling of being on the top of the world. I’m the only person here and the only one seeing this. I’m in deepest Lanarkshire and I can see all the way to the Southern Highlands. An absolutely stunning view for such a small bump. It’s special. I don’t think I will tire of this outlook. Yes, there’s turbines, towns and city in the road but brain filters those out. Maybe they actually help the view be better, making the hills and the natural stand out against the concrete and the man-made.

The Clyde herself is not to be out done. Up close she’s brown, fast flowing and a little bit tumultuous but from up here she’s serine, a silver blue steel metal ribbon winding a path to the sea

Best for last

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After my wanderings and musing I start to try and take some selfies. Not so easy with a dSLR or so I find. I’m a proponent of the @DavyWA, @petesy, @MThomson, @Rye1966 school of the outdoor selfie. Maybe they’ll run classes in the new year. However they do it so much better but it’s a good bit of fun. The sun is on it’s final leg to setting. Tinto has a crowning of grey cloud and little jacket of snow on his shoulders. It’s catching the sun beautifully and try to catch it the camera. Again I don’t do it justice but I’m happy that I’m there to see. Lanark too is looking pretty on the other side of the Clyde. Rooftops, church spires and glinting windows catching the last rays of the sun. Glasgow and the towns to the north are the same. The light is great. It’s crisp like the air. I can see mist gathering over towards the Stonehouse and Larkhall. It may over the Avon water. The river and the woods catching it and holding onto it. I’m looking north again and sure it’s Ben Lawers catching the sun, way, way, way north. Has to be. I turn west and watch the Nethan gorge turn dark as the sun hits the hills. The street lights of home start to light up and burn orange. By pure luck I turn right instead of left to circle round and look at Lanark again. I catch a sight that drops my jaw. The moon is rising over the hills. I have the top of the moon peeking above one set of hills and the sun disappearing over another set of hills. It’s almost perfectly aligned. Where I’m standing I’m the only person that can see this. I don’t know if I should take photographs or just watch. In the end I just watch and try to take photographs at the same time. Then it’s over. That special moment. The sun has gone and the moon is up. I linger on a bit in disbelief. I’ve never seen a sunset/moonrise as good as that ever. Even now I can’t adequately describe it. The photographs don’t either but I was there. The Blackhill really is a bit special in my opinion and any chance I get I walk up it. It never disappoints.

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You can find a full set of photographs on flickr, Blackhill.

3 Trips Thursday #27

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3 Trips Thursday.

As the winter seems to be on a bit of a break. It’s a bit of a mixed bag this week. Some packrafting, some winter walking and a link to a couple cracking winter climbing videos. Its all good plus a little extra for you. Get your lunch ready, settle down and get comfortable. Now you’re ready to get started. Click away.

The Links.

  1. Amazing packrafting trip and photographs. Finding Flow.
  2. A second attempt at the Loch Lochy hills pays off, with a fine winter walk in beautiful surroundings. Loch Lochy Hills – Take Two.

  3. Nothing something I’ve ever thought about doing but these couple of ice climbing vids make it look good. Beinn Udlaidh Ice.

Something extra.

A wee extra side note for a trip that hasn’t happen yet but a couple of good guys are going to cross Scotland to raise money for a good cause. Looks like it will be great. Hopefully they’ll write it up afterwards. However head over to c2c4k and get all the details.

Thanks for dropping by and reading the post. As always feel to leave a comment below. Start a conversation with me on twitter. Or if 140 characters is not enough then you can always use the form on the contact me page.

Hopefully see you next week.

Falls of Clyde – Follow the Badger

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Falls of Clyde – Follow the Badger

We’ve walked here often at New Lanark but never actually up to the waterfalls. We’ve always just wandered round the old mills and the housing blocks. Small always seemed just too small and the distance a bit too far for her short legs and it wasn’t ever the terrain for the pushchair. Well things have changed, Small is not so small anymore and she’s started primary school so we ventured back up to New Lanark and to have a look at the linns (Scots for waterfall). A wee bit of background for those that don’t know. The Fall of Clyde comprise of 4 linn. Bonnington Linn which is about 30 feet and is part of a hydro-electric scheme, Corra Linn which is by far the highest at over 80 feet as well as having it’s own webcam which is good to have a view after there’s been some heavy rains. Dundaff Linn with a fall of about 10 feet. Those 3 all lie above New Lanark. The 4th a final waterfall is Stonebyres Linn which lies a few miles down the water past the village of Kirkfieldbank with in what was once the polices of the old Stonebyres Estate. It as now the site of one of the oldest hydro-electric power stations in the UK. The first 3 falls all lie within the Falls of Clyde Reserve managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

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Late and unseasonably warm autumn sunshine.

We pulled in at the car park after lunch at the top of the hill as we always do in some really fine late and unseasonably warm sunshine. A quick change of footwear and we were off down the hill. Follow the badger is what the sign said and follow the badger is what we did. Heading off down the steep path to New Lanark. Robert Owen’s masterpiece of utopian socialism. It’s a great path to walk down towards the hotel, houses and the mills especially in the glorious yellow sunshine. Everything opens up below you and provides you with a great view up and down the river Clyde. Today was a really good day for that view so much so the sunglasses were on. Normally unheard of at this time of year in Scotland.

At the bottom of the steep hill next to the small church and the war memorial the hunt for the next badger begun. Which direction was he/she going to point us in. I actually have no idea how you tell from the picture if it is a boy or girl. Small asked and I had just to shrug my shoulders as we looked. Spotting the badger sign quickly we followed on as indicated. Towards the big mill buildings. Badger, badger where are you. Ah, there you are. Not so hard for Small, now that she knew what to look for. This one was over next to a cart selling of all things, ice cream. in the outdoors, in Scotland during autumn or what was meant to be autumn. T-shirts and sunglasses. In previous years on the same weekend I’ve been hunkered down on hills against the wind or soomin’ like a droont rat. Crazy.

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Again onwards in the direction of the badger. Only this time the signposts had changed. Either that or we had missed the badger! At nearly 5 an just learning reading is not yet a strong point so with a little help we pointed Small the right way. Through the wall and on into the woods. Past the furthest we had gone before on previous visits. Now buggyless things were easier. Where lo and behold we too much excitement another badger picture. Unbeknown to us it would be the last one as again the signposts would change.

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Into the woods we go.

This last badger was on an information board and part of a set of the dos and don’ts of the trail and also a very informative guide to what you can see as you make your way along the path. We took our time and went through it for Small’s benefit so she knew what to look for and lot’s of warnings on another board. Steep cliffs, dogs on leashes, children under close control, responsible mountain biking and don’t enter into the gorge due to the hydro schemes. Basically be good. The best bit being all the things you can find in the woods; aik, birk, rowan (the tree), loads of other trees, a varied variety of mushrooms which all look great to eat but wouldn’t dare and all sorts of woodland creatures and florer and fauna. Now armed with the knowledge of what to look out for Small struck ahead leading the way along the path.

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All was well walking along enjoying the sunshine falling through the gaps in the trees dappling the trail. Until we came to a fork in the road. Decision time follow the red marker or the blue marker. No on our 4th or 5th different style of sign. I do think some sort of consistency would be good for signage. I know that the place is managed both by New Lanark world heritage site and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It would be good if they were on the same page. Red was for the riverside walk and blue was the woodland walk or the alternative route should the Clyde be in spate either naturally or because of the hydro plant. Which will still get you to the viewing areas. Already of thinking of another visit after some heavy rains to see the linns especially Corra in full flow. Red it was as we did come to see the waterfalls.

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Following the right hand fork we dropped down to the water’s edge and on to a wooden causeyway. The water on the river here looks deceptively slow here till you see it pouring over the weir. Where it runs at such a tumult. Standing watching the water run and listen to the noise. I noticed in an eddy of slow water next to us a wee broon troot sook a fly or something from the surface and the tiniest of splashes as it kicked its tale as it turned back to the river bottom. There were a couple no more than a few inches long. I pointed them out to Small but she was only seeing the surface of the break. Forgetting I had my sunglasses on which was cutting out the sun’s glare on the water. The benefits of polarized lenses. I gave them over to Small so she could see. I’m pretty sure fish weren’t mentioned on the information board but I could be wrong. After we had watched the fish a bit we walked on to find yet another different sign post, by this time I had lost count. This one was pointing towards the Bonnington Linn Power station.

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Corra Linn

This is where the path starts to climb up again away from the river and away from the Bonnington Linn Power station. Corra Castle is hard to see in all the trees but still stands proud but ruinous on the high cliffs on the opposite side of the river here. The large pipes painted green and covered in moss merge in to the woods. The path climbs on to the view point of the river’s most majestic daughter. Wordsworth he’s not but sometimes and probably got this about right. This is probably the best spot on the whole walk if the rivers are running heavy. I’m sure of that.

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Now it was a case of following the path even higher and onto the Bonnigton waterfall itself. At times here, walking along the path would give you the fear especially with a small person who has no fear, intent on climbing up on railings for a better view. Or poking her head between and leaning out. Not good for the heart. The cliffs must be over 30 metres as the river Clyde here cuts a great gorge here. There high enough that peregrine falcons come to nest in the nooks and crannies. You can come and watch them in spring and summer with their chicks. There’s even a hide.

Whinging and moaning.

We followed on and came to another view point by this time small was getting a bit fed up or hungry both illicit the same responses. Whinging and moaning, her legs were tired, she was hungry. However all was solved when Mummy Bunten produced a packet of Fruitella chews. It was almost like breadcrumbs. If you walk to here you can have another, once we get to this point you can have one more. This is how we got to the big horseshoe of a waterfall and then passed the old iron bridge and onto the new bridge where the water is diverted for the power station. We stood in the middle of the bridge, basking in the glorious late autumn shine. Looking for more fish and watching the swans and ducks floating. Small resting her tired legs.

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The hill at the end.

After that it was a case of retracing our steps all the way a back and finally all that was left to do was climb back up the big hill  to the car park. The only badgers we saw where pictures and it was the same with the falcons. Next we might just try for the circular route and see how that goes. Plenty of sweets and juice for bribes to get us round might be the order of the day as well. If you’re around this neck of the woods pardon the pun. Its well worth a visit to the nature reserve and the Falls of Clyde, anytime of the year.


You can see the full set of photographs here New Lanark/Falls of Clyde Flickr set. I’ll add more as time goes by and the visits mount up.

As always feel free to leave a comment in the box below or send me a message through the contact page. Failing that hit me up on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #26

Tom Weir Balmaha 3 Trips Thursday

3 Trips Thursday

I’m eschewing the usual outdoors photograph for one of the late great Tom Weir. Who’s recentstatue at Balmaha I visted this week. Broadcaster, writer, walker and climber. All around good guy. The great Weir’s Way tv programme, you can’t get much more inspiring than that. Getting out and walking the length and bridth of Scotland. Meeting the people and talking about the area and it’s natural history. I have fond memories of that toorie bunnet and of watching Weir’s Way on the TV. If you’ve never seen an episode then look them up or better yet click on the first link. You won’t be disappointed.

The Links

  1. A good one to start with since I was talking about the inspirational Tom Weir. A selection of episodes on YouTube.
  2. As it says in the post, a grand day oot in the snaw. A classic snow day in Lowthers. Wanlockhead.

  3. This is one has a fine walk and folly to top it all off then off to the coast and some cracking see cliffs. Hill of Garvock and Arbroath Cliffs.

Hopefully you enjoyed those links. Feel free to leave a comment, suggestion or feedback in the box below. Send me a message from the contact me page. Maybe even start a conversation over on Twitter?

Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #25

Winter Trees II 3 Trips Thursday
3 Trips Thursday

Hopefully your snow hasn’t turned into the frozen slushy mess that it has for me. It’s no fun when it’s like that. Well there’s plenty of good proper snow in the links below. Dive on in and make a snow angel. Enjoy the crispness of the new white stuff.

The Links.

  1. I was cold just reading this. Some great winter photographs of Carneddeau down in Wales. Plenty of snow and some of it deep. Blizzards, spindrifts and a frozen beard.
  2. This great again from Neil, proves it’s not just the tallest hills the give the greatest views. Not so much snow but plenty of snowy vistas. Duncryne.

  3. I’ll finish off with some more snow and a cracking day out in the white stuff. With some good photographs to get you enthused. Beinn Mhic Mhonnaidh.

As always leave a comment in the boxes below or hit me up on Twitter or send me a message through the contact me page if that’s what you would prefer.

See you next week and thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #24

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3 Trips Thursday

It’s that time of the week and if you’re like me and one of the unfortunate ones stuck in the office while others are out enjoying the winter wonderland that this week’s snow has brought. You are unfortunate no more. Get the tea and the biscuits or whatever you’re having for lunch and sit down and enjoy some recent snowy goodness with the links below.

The Links

  1. Alex and Bob have some great snow on Meall Dearg. Loads of fun. Proper winter walking weather. Meall Dearg. A Graham near Aberfeldy.
  2. What’s not to love? A dug enjoying the snow. Not much reading but the video is brilliant. If that doesn’t make you want to enjoy the snow, I don’t know what will.  A long walk in the snow.

  3. Some really white photographs to finish off this week off. Beautiful. Buachaille Etive beag.

There you have it, another week in the bag. Hopefully the snow is still around come the weekend. Fingers crossed. As usual hit me up on twitter, through the contact me page or just leave a comment in the boxes below.

Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #23

Loch A'an 3 Trips Thursday
3 Trips Thursday

The third installment of the year and it feels like it’s flying in already. A right good mixed bag this week for the links. A local walk starting off by the sea, then a walk up a Corbett and finally jumping across the see to Northern Ireland and the mountains there. Get comfortable and read on.

The Links

  1. This week’s first like is for a nice wee walk next to the Firth of Clyde. West Kilbride or be more exact it starts out at Portencross and the castle. Great views there. Portencross 21 January 2015.
  2. Next link is of a walk up the Corbett, Beinn Each. Some absolutely cracking views there. Really brilliant photographs looking down the glens. Venison Pie Hill.

  3. Last but no means least we’re jumping over to Northern Ireland for a wild camp. The trip follows the Mourne Wall. Which if you read more into is quite fascinating The Mourne hills look like a super place for walk. Mourne Wall Wild Camping Experience.

It keeps on rolling. I really hope that you enjoyed this weeks links. As always you can get in touch with me through the contact me page, on twitter or by leaving a comment in the boxes below. Have a great week and I’ll have more 3 more links for you next week. Thanks for reading.

3 Trips Thursday #22

Towards Loch Striven

3 Trips Thursday

Well plenty snow this but for me at least at has all disappeared today, hopefully more is on the way. Maybe some of you lucky ones will get out to play in the snow this weekend.

The Links

  1. Another one short on the prose but some great views from a short trip up Ben More. Day Tripping.
  2. Not so much of a trip report but some absolutely stunning outdoor photographs. The Year in Pictures.

  3. This is a summer one but it’s a cracker. Just imagine these brilliant photos with the hills covered in snow. Arnisdale.

I hope that all that this week’s snow didn’t make you shiver or feel too cold. As usual leave a comment in the boxes below, send me a message through twitter or use the contact form. Whichever you prefer.

Thanks for reading