Tag Archives: Livestock

Cauldstane Slap

How cool is that name?  This was a walk back in time: the last time I’d done it was with my Father the day before my Higher Geography exam. That was 33 years ago, and I’m now 6 years older than Bertie-boy was then.  That messed with my head for a bit but on a positive side, I was using the same OS map and was feeling pretty smug that I’d got my £1.40 worth out of the Ordnance Survey.  Luckily the Pentlands haven’t changed that much: a few extra wind farms in the distance being the obvious change. Continue reading

Heatherstane Law

Base of wind turbine

Today for inspiration I opened Nick Wiliams’ excellent Southern Uplands guide with the intention of walking where it opened (so long as it looked interesting and wasn’t too far away, obviously).  So step up Heatherstane Law.  However, don’t try to find this on an Ordnance Survey map because there it is called  Hudderstone.  Clearly when the OS surveyor asked a local for the name of yonder hill their accent was a little on the strong side and the literal transcription made it into the database.  Whatever name you use, it was a nice day out, and a good example of how quickly a guide-book can go out-of-date.

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Kilchattan Loop, Bute

West Island Way stone

I want you to keep this to yourself because I’ve found an absolutely superb walk and I don’t want hordes of riff-raff coming along and spoiling it.  Luckily, because no-one reads this blog 1 it shouldn’t spread.  It is the loop of the West Island Way at the south end of Bute starting at the village of Kilchattan.  This is a 48km walk along the length of Bute and has been in place since 2000, but I’d only stumbled on by chance recently.  We’ve decided to do it in three stages, and today we’d head to south as I’ve always wanted to check out Kilchattan having seen it so often from the mainland.  Continue reading


  1. Apart from discerning people such as yourself, obviously.

Glenkens Circuit

Old Raleigh Bike Sign

Today we were down in St John's Town of Dalry to do a 12km stretch of the SUW that we’ve been leaving because it doesn’t offer the chance for a nice circuit, and is too short for the bother of arranging two cars.  And sadly public transport isn’t an option either: I think the bus goes on Tuesday and comes back on Thursday…  So we’d have to either retrace our steps or bash some tarmac. Continue reading

Culter Fell and Friends

Culter Fell from Hillshaw Head

The map just south of Biggar goes all brown and contoury 1 and is an area we usually just drive passed. Well, a bit of winter planning came up with a route that takes in one of the bigger lumps, Culter Fell and a few of its friends in a nice circuit taking in four Donalds and so today my legs got a much-needed stretch on a beautiful Spring day.  Continue reading


  1. I’m sure that’s a word.

Ben Cleuch and King’s Seat

Andrew Gannel Hill

I’ve always liked the bit heading north on the M80 when Stirling comes into view and you can see the Ochils rising dramatically from the Forth valley. Today was our first time walking in these hills and it was tough.  We did have a couple of clues. The first is the “rising dramatically” bit in the first sentence: we’d have to climb dramatically.  The second was the map: our friends at the Ordnance Survey clearly couldn’t fit all the contour lines together so just used a big brown crayon to colour things in. Continue reading

Lauder to Longformacus

SUW signpost

The third day of our weekend avoiding the Brat’s party and its fallout saw us back in Lauder with the help of another helpful parent for the next stage of the Southern Upland Way.  And what a difference a day makes.  Yesterday was dreich and humid leaving us soaked with sweat at the end; today was a perfect late summer’s day with beautiful skies and scenery looking at its best.  This next section of the SUW is a wander over the Lammermuir Hills to the picturesque village of Longformacus. These hills aren’t what you’d call “Alpine” so the skies are huge: brace yourself for lots of big sky pictures. Continue reading

Galashiels to Lauder

Jazz on suspension bridge

After yesterday’s hills it was time to treat our legs to an easy wander and a stretch of the Southern Upland Way was next up on our master plan.  With the assistance of a helpful parent we got dropped off in a dreich but humid  Galashiels for the start of the walk to Lauder.  We were getting the tail-end of Hurricane Irene: New England got a metre of rain; Galashiels gets slightly damp.     Continue reading

Grey Mare’s Tails and Donalds

Grey Mare's Tails

As keen followers of these ramblings will know, our usual planning process involves a quick check of the maps on a Friday evening with a glass of Chilean red for company.  Not so this time: the Brat had managed to persuade her Mother that a pre-University party wouldn’t result in the house getting trashed.  Jazz and I spotted the warning signs very early and made plans a month in advance to clear out for three days walking well out of ear-shot.  Today was the first day and we were doing a nice circuit of three Donalds starting at the Grey Mare's Tails between Moffat and Selkirk. Continue reading

Lang Cleuch and Enterkin Pass

Looking toward the Lang Cleuch

It has been a month since we were last in the hills, so my legs had gotten use to the easy life.  Time to get some altitude, and the Lowther Hills seemed like a good idea with a circuit from Enterkinfoot on the A76 beside the River Nith up to East Mount Lowther.  We’ve climbed this Donald before from the easier Wanlockhead side and the views were stunning, so we were looking forward to the view with our lunch. Unfortunately, the rain thought otherwise – probably just a result of me saying only a month ago that the weather was always great in this area: I should learn to keep my mouth shut. Continue reading