Durisdeer Hills

Durisdeer and Black Hill

Durisdeer is a picturesque village nestling beneath some pretty and surprisingly steep hills. It is close to the Dalveen Pass: I never realised we had such impressive roads in this part of Scotland: almost Glencoe quality.  Today’s walk is along the less attractive of the hills around here: yes, it’s Donald-bagging time again.

Track up Scaw'd Law over Blackgrain Shoulder

We parked at the cemetery in the village and took the track heading over the Blackgrain Shoulder and then onto Scaw’d Law: the first Donald of the day.  The track is reasonable but steep in places and unfortunately we soon entered the mist: lose the view and gain the compass.

Jazz at the trig point on Rodger Law

Having climbed Scaw’d Law it’s a gentle undulation over the next two hills, both Donalds: Ballencleuch Law and Rodger Law.  These were both dull and I was glad the mist was down as I could have some fun doing compass work.   We now throw a curve and skirt Hirstane Rig to the fourth and last Donald of the day: Comb Law.  This completes our quartet of dull hills that achieve some fame because they manage to scrape over 2000 feet.  We head down Kirkstane Glen and Jazz has some fun playing with the Red Grouse.  With the Glorious Twelfth less than a fortnight away these birds were seriously nervous.  As these hills are managed for grouse the area would soon be out-of-bounds for a while.

We join a track through the hills known as the Wald Path that takes us all the way back to Durisdeer.  This is marked as an old Roman road and indeed further along are the remains of a Roman fortlet (see below): that must have been an extremely desirable posting.

On Wald path looking towards Durisdeer

Durisdeer Roman fortlet

Looking back along the old Roman road

The walk along the Wald Path was very enjoyable with lovely scenery all around. The colours seemed so vibrant with the grass and heather making the place look like Wimbledon. Unfortunately there were sheep too so Jazz was back on the lead after her freedom up on the grouse moors.

This was a walk of two parts: the hills themselves were uninteresting and I won’t be doing them again. However, around Durisdeer itself the hills are very picturesque and the area has a lot of charm. I’ll certainly be back to walk the hills on the other side of the Wald Path: Black Hill looks much more interesting.

Distance:18km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again: