Chapelgill and Cardon Hills

The last time I took a day off the government’s ONS said that the country slipped back into recession, such is my productivity.  However, with a beautiful day forecast and everyone else working (i.e. watching the Olympics on iPlayer) I thought I could escape notice and so we headed for the hills.  The target was a couple of Donalds near Culter Fell with an Iron Age fort thrown in for Jazz.  We’ll just have to wait for the Q3 figures to see how much the economy suffered from our day in the sun.

Spot the new turbine?

One of many dips

Jazz on path to Culter Fell

We parked again near Culter Allers Farm 1 and took our zig-zag path up onto the shoulder of Culter Fell but at King Bank Head we branched off heading for Chapelgill Hill.  The moorland was dessicated and Jazz was on continual search for water – with a wallow in a peaty bog her idea of heaven in this heat.  This hill isn’t much to look at and a small cairn at the top is the best it can offer, but it does have great views over Southern Uplands.

Culter Fell from Chapelgill Hill

Cardon Hill

After lunch we continue on to Cardon Hill – again not much effort from this side, but the drop down to the north that we took was steep, luckily over short heather.  With the Glorious Twelfth just around the corner 2, it was unsurprising that the Grouse were keeping their heads well down – either that or they found a peat-encrusted Spaniel too much to bear.  We dropped down to Mitchell Hill where Jazz could have a drink+dip in the stream and I could recharge my water-bottle at the farm 3.

Mitchelhill Rings

As a keen scholar of the Iron Age period, Jazz was eager to check out the fort on White Hill.  This hill looked an easy saunter as we descended Cardon Hill, so it was a bit of a surprise to find how much effort it took: I blame the heat.  The fort at the east end has a well-defined set of earthen rings and would have been a great defensive location: but did they appreciate the views?

White Hill looking toward Mitchelhill

Broughton Heights from Cardon Hill

We dropped down at the west end of White Hill and joined the path heading for the lane through Nisbet farm back to Culter Allers.  This is a pretty part of the world and the walk was enjoyable even in the unexpected heat of this summer.  It did give the chance to put my hat to another great use.  You’ve no-doubt seen my hat in several of these posts, and apart from its obvious fashion-setting power, it has many other uses on a walk.  There are the normal hat things like keeping the rain off, acting as a sun-shade, insect swatter, and branch deflector.  I also use it as an insulating, waterproof seat 4 and protection when crossing barbed-wire fencing.  But today it served a new purpose: bucket – as I scooped up a brimful of water from a  burn and threw it over my head.  The cooling effect was brilliant and the soaked hat added to the cooling as the water evaporated over the next 20 minutes.  Now, if the PR people at White Rock hats want to thank me for this unsolicited testimonial then I accept most currencies.


  1. It is interesting to compare photos to that taken just back in March – spot the new wind turbines when compared to this picture from March?
  2. Apparently, by tradition, if the Twelfth falls on a Sunday (as this year) the season is postponed to the Monday.
  3. I usually just take 50cl of water on a trip but today I went through 2L.
  4. The Brat calls this the “potty” mode
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