Monday, 21 August 2017

On the 17th August 12 members of the Biggar Ramblers met for an afternoon walk to tackle Carmichael Hill and visit the Hyndford Monument. The monument is visible on the skyline from the A73 road to Lanark looking remote and inaccessible but the Carmichael estate provide a route with their " History Trail ". The route first took them to the remains of Carmichael House. Built between 1735 and 50 by the Great Earl whose monument was to come later on the itinerary.  The history was brought to life by one of our group who as a girl used to deliver milk to the grand house! It was deliberately 'ruined' in 1950. Next the route took them through an ancient beech wood on the lower slopes of Carmichael Hill. More native woodland has recently been replanted and they traversed this using two gates in the new deer fences. Onward and upwards over the heather covered slopes eventually reaching the indistinct domed top of the hill with superb panoramic views including the heather covered adjacent Tinto Hill. There were a lot of wild blaberries amongst  the heather. They were good to eat but leave telltale purple stained fingers! Following a clear track now the Hyndford Monument soon comes into view on another prominent top a little below the height of the previous hill. The views are again stunning, it's a peaceful place. The monument has informative plaques about the historical significance of the Carmichael estate and it's esteemed ancestor. On their descent they were joined by a party of swallows hawking for insects. They are starting to gather in larger groups migration being not far away. Another treat was a family of spotted flycatchers using the adjacent deer fence for their repeated darting forays over the undergrowth. After an eventful four miles they were back at the estate farm in time for a late tea and cakes served in the sheltered courtyard. The good weather was a bonus, it's a lovely walk.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Ten walkers left from the Kingsmeadow Carpark, Peebles to explore the new Pilot's trail up to the viewpoint on Cademuir Hill. A walk through Victoria Park, Jubilee Wood and along the Cut to Bonnington Farm took them to the car park at Cademuir Plantation. A brief stop to see the new map and onwards up to a fine new picnic bench for coffee. Then along the recently created new trail up to the viewpoint for spectacular panorama, again seated at a fine new picnic bench. The return then took them a short distance back the way to the gate leading to the open hillside, stopping for lunch in the shelter of a wall from the wind. On with the rain gear only to cease a few minutes later. Then back via the Manor Sware, Southpark and along the Tweed to the cars.
Walk Leader: Gerard Bakker
On a bright breezy 30th July, 10 ramblers travelled to Nithsdale to explore the hills above the pleasant little town of Sanquhar. They started off by walking through the lovely Euchan Glen,  beside the rushing, tumbling Euchan Water. Then a nice easy stroll through fields to Glenmaddie homestead.
Here, things got serious with a tough, rough, boggy ascent to Little Hill. But after this, the ground became drier and good progress was made up the wild hillside to Mid Rig and the lunch stop just below Cloud Hill. Wide views opened up across to the Lowther Hills, with Tinto looming in the distance. As the party crested the ridge at Collar Knowe, the massive rocky face of Glenwhargen Craig came into view, several miles to the south-east. From here, the Southern Upland Way was joined which, after some undulations. led gradually downhill over the open hillside, crossing a number of wet, boggy burns, but with fine views over Sanquhar and the hills beyond. After crossing the Whing Burn, the party continued to Ulzieside Farm and back to the start.
The Thursday 20th walk was via the train to Milngavie and the local bus towards Killearn. This was to complete the short seven mile section on the West Highland Way back through the gentle Lowland farmland and woodland part of the Way.
From behind the Beech Tree Inn the group followed the well laid out path along the dismantled railway and almost immediately the view was of the distillery of Dumgoyne, the hill of the same name and the ridge of the Campsie Fells running south. The way continued behind the steep wooded Duntreath Hill with a glimpse of the castle and occasional sighting of Blane Water then alongside grassy fields of sheep and getting a little steeper. Beyond it turned a sharp right uphill past the weekend charity coffee cabin and through a small wood to meet the road and housing at Carbeth. A short road walk followed by a right turn led to the Carbeth huts at Carbeth loch and beyond to the larger Craigallian Loch and the first sight of the Allander Water. The final stretch was through Migdoch Woods following the route of the Allander Water into the town centre of Milngavie. Time for a short coffee stop before the return train.
The Ramblers were blessed with a fine day for their walk on 5th July. The cars were parked at Chatelherault Station, from where the party made their way up the avenue to Chatelherault visitor centre. They then followed the signs for the Green Bridge and on  crossing the bridge, they walked along the banks of the Avon to Millheugh and saw the makings of a salmon leap at Millheugh Bridge. Lunch was taken overlooking the water and the walkers made their way uphill to Larkhall Station in nice time for the train to return them to the starting point. A leisurely walk comprising just over 5-and-a-half miles.
Walk Leader: Marion Macmillan