Tag Archives: Livestock

Tibbie Shiels to Traquair

St. Mary's Loch

St. Mary’s Loch

This is the second day of our weekend doing the central section of the Southern Upland Way (SUW) and a kind Missus dropped us back at Tibbie Shiels Inn for the much shorter wander around St. Mary’s Loch and then over the hills to Traquair.  This was probably just as well because although it was a gorgeous morning the forecast was for snow by mid-afternoon. Continue reading

Castle Kennedy to the Middle of Nowhere

Geese, Castle KennedyI have a map of southern Scotland on my office wall that I have annotated with the walks Jazz and I have done. The brown bits and islands have the expected spider’s web but there was a big gap that was teasing me: the last section of the western half of the Southern Upland Way we still had to do.  It’s been blank for a few years as it requires serious planning (i.e. more than our usual “while having breakfast”) and spousal cooperation for drop-off/pick-up duty.  A recent brain-wave gave me the idea of a holiday in the area and bribing the Missus to do this if I did the cycling support team bit while she tried to join up the coffee-pushers on the nearby cycle network.  She fell for it, and so on a lovely early-Autumn morning Jazz and I were dumped at Castle Kennedy to start this last western bit. Continue reading

Grey Hill Saves the Day

Jazz at Grey Hill trig point with Ailsa Craig behindThe instruction from Her Imperial Majesty the Missus to clear up a pile of “junk” awaiting integration into my filing system resulted in a leaflet produced by South Ayrshire Council called Girvan Walks seeing the light of day again. The longest route involving a circuit to the clachan of Pinmore caught the eye and with a quick consultation with the canine companion we were set.  I have no idea how long it has been waiting “filing” but let’s just say that a few wind farms have sprouted around Girvan in the meantime.  To cement things the last time I was down here Jazz was literally the twinkle in her father’s eye: time for an update. Continue reading

Gargunnock Hills

Gargunnock Hills

Gargunnock Hills

I’d spotted this ridge when we took a scenic route to Stirling and thought it looked worth a visit.  I keep forgetting that I can reach this part of the country faster than parts of south Ayrshire and so usually discount it: I’ll need to work on that. It is a lovely escarpment that jumps out of the upper Forth valley and apart from a steep first hour we were promised a longish but straightforward day.  Ah, the best-laid plans of man+dog… Continue reading

Two Cleughs in the Pentlands

Castlelaw Hill from Glencorse Reservoir

Castlelaw Hill from Glencorse Reservoir

This walk was a standard one when I was a lad (yes, more nostalgia) and so to give it a slight new spin we were going to start at Balerno on the “other” side of the Pentland Hills.  Back in the 19th century 1 when I used to do this I had the place to myself: no longer.  Today the hills were heaving and it also looked like everyone got a mountain bike for Christmas.  I’m sure the Regional Park authorities spin this as a good thing: I’m not in their camp, but this is a website for misanthropes after all. Continue reading


  1. After reading an earlier draft of this nonsense, my Mother wishes it to be known that my birth was a temporal anomaly as she herself is a child of the mid-20th century and so obviously couldn’t have a son who went walking in the 19th.  It looks like I need to check out a high-security nursing home…

Overfingland to Moffat

Looking back at the car and Lowther Hill, 2It’s a May Bank Holiday with decent weather forecast, so obviously we are into “avoid-the-crowds” mode.  And where else but the Southern Upland Way (SUW) almost guarantees you’ll meet no-one the whole day?  So our eyes were drawn to one of the longer stages that we still needed to do in the western half, and with the Missus offering to pick us up at the end, we were set for the section from Overfingland to Moffat. Continue reading

Allermuir and Caerketton Hills

Allermuir from Caerketton

Allermuir from Caerketton

With a few hours to spare on a trip to Edinburgh, Jazz came up with the idea of climbing the two hills at the end of the Pentland Hills range that she needed for her scrap-book: Allermuir and Caerketton. Since we park just off the bypass, it makes for a convenient stop. I last walked here 35 years ago and it turns out I was either much fitter then or I’ve been suppressing the memory of the steepness.

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Moorfoots in the Rain

Fisherman on Portmore Loch

I was brought up in the Esk Valley with the Pentland Hills on one side and the Moorfoot Hills on the other.  Probably because they are just round lumps the Moorfoots were somewhere I never walked.  Time to rectify that, and even bag three Donalds into the bargain with a nice circular walk from Portmore Loch.  It all started well, but then the rain set in and gave us a very soggy afternoon. Continue reading