Sunday, 24 April 2022

On 26th March eight Biggar Ramblers tackled Broadlaw, a Corbett that is the highest summit in the Scottish Borders at 840 metres. The sunny weather promised a good day out and passing Talla Reservoir en route to the starting point at the Megget they were treated to a stunning reflection of the sheer side of Muckle Knowe in the calm water. From the Megget Stone, which is already at an altitude of 452 metres, the Ramblers enjoyed a gentle breeze as they climbed the steepish sections up to Cairn Law and the views opened out.


After passing between the two cairns, they continued following the fence as the route levelled out to some extent. After a fair stretch of walking on rough open moorland on the rounded top, the tip of a radio tower mast became visible over the horizon.  As the walkers came over the last rise, the trig point became visible, and, just beyond it, the radio tower, along with a white ‘UFO’ like structure. This ‘VOR beacon’ is the highest short-range radio navigation system for aircraft in the UK.


At this point the Ramblers were happy to find an old stone wall to provide improvised seating for lunch and a brief rest. They enjoyed the return route down as it offered the views that were behind on the way up: along the valley and over to Megget Reservoir and even a corner of St Mary’s Loch. A splendid 5 mile walk in spectacular countryside was enjoyed by all. 

Saturday, 16 April 2022

 Five members of Biggar Ramblers braved the elements to  climb Culter Fell on 30th March. A horizontal snow shower greeted them as they arrived at the start point, but cleared as they began the steep ascent up Fell Shin passed the line of shooting butts. As the climb levelled off they took time for a short coffee break in the biting wind. As the group headed towards the first cairn the wind gathered pace and brought with it a hailstorm which cut into their faces. Visibility reduced but the path remained clear ahead, though the snow had drifted in pockets making progress with the bracing side wind quite challenging. Reaching the trig point (748m) after a little over 2 hours it was no place to linger in the cold. Besides the panoramic views theyd hoped to enjoy were hidden in cloud, mist and the continuing hail blizzard.

The team followed the fence line downwards south over Moss Law. Very quickly the sun appeared and lit up the snow capped peaks spectacularly behind and ahead of them. Lunch was taken when they reached the land rover track in the continuing sunshine, which remained with them as they followed the track alongside Culter reservoir back to the start point along King’s Beck. Despite the sun the temperature kept at or below freezing throughout the walk, but they were all well equipped for the conditions. The ramblers much enjoyed this challenging seven and a half mile circuit despite the wintry conditions on the fell, which is the highest peak in Lanarkshire.

 Three members of Biggar Ramblers set out from the Glenochar car park to walk the circular route of Lousie Wood Law and Dun Law south of Abington. The weather at the start was wet and this

continued for a good bit with the wind increasing during the ascent of Coupland Gair. The weather
eased but the party soon entered the low cloud and it wasn’t until nearly at the summit of Lousie
Wood Law that the weather cleared to give views. From Lousie Wood law the route was over Black hill and into the steep descent of Little Windgate Hass and at last some shelter from the wind. A suitable spot or lunch. Then the ascent out of Little Windgate Hass and into the increased wind gusting at an estimated 40mph to reach the 2 nd summit, Dun Law. Descending over Kneesend and reaching the base of Dobbin the group walked out to Glenochar Bastle and Fermtoun Trail. This was created 25 years ago and a good number of bridges, walkways and handrails were put in to assist visitors to see around the area. Unfortunately there has been no maintenance and care was taken at each location and such facilities were avoided to ensure a safe return to the start.

 Biggar Ramblers walked a circular route on the familiar territory of the Carmichael Estate recently.They knew to expect mud, deer, and a short but stiff climb to great views from the Monument. But this time, before they did the stiff climb, this 4 mile walk took in the Mausoleum on Kirkhill at the site of the old church. As they made their way up to the stand of trees, they were greeted by a stunning array of snow drops and daffodils almost out. The Mausoleum among the trees and shrubs on top contains a number of graves with inscriptions showing the historical range of postings the Carmichael family held in the past. A perfect resting place with lovely views.

The route then heads off for the stiff climb up the east side of Carmichael Hill which gave the walkers a windy battering. After coffee in the lea of trees near the top, the gusty winds made heading out to the Monument a challenge, but an achievement! They took the relatively short descent down the south western side of the hill to the estate road and through the trees towards the ruins of Carmichael House. There are sawn logs lying around as the clear up from the storm winds continues and it’s always quite spooky following the path through the trees past the pets’ graves, up what would have been the ‘ha-ha’ on the original lawns. Passing the house completed the circle and the group made their way back to the visitor centre to enjoy a welcome lunch in the refurbished Bistro! see more info.