Posts

Bike and Hike

Image
"It was a shame that for all the beauty of the scenery that the top of the mountain was covered in mist." Ben Alder and Ben Bheoil  These two Munros stand south of Dalwhinnie in a remote part of Scotland. The best way of getting to them is to cycle out to Culra bothy, some 17km, which, I suppose is one way of warming up before a lengthy hike. These hills were not even on my radar for possible hills to visit but something happened that changed all that. I have had a mountain bike for over 20 years now, for over 15 years it has been covered up, sitting, rusting out the back. A few years ago I did replace the main gear cassette and chain however frustrated at not getting the gears working properly I gave up and left it. That was until the start of the summer. I had decided on not worrying about gears, all I wanted to do is to cycle and to have a bike that would be a low maintenance as possible. With that in mind I took the gear shifters off, pushed the rear mech back and fixed t

Beat the Street

Image
  For 6 weeks between September and October the Beat the Street game was installed in our local neighbourhood. This gave children and adults alike a chance to participate, a different take on staying healthy. The idea is simple, there was over 60 boxes in a local area  scanning a box with a special cards or fob that gives you 10 points towards your overall amount. There were different events during this time that gave double or even triple points. The rules were simple, you can walk, run or cycle between boxes,travelling by car was against the rules.  Halloween themed boxes The benefit was that it got me motivated to run in the local area, something I didn't like usually doing. It also allowed you to meet other people that was taking part. It was fun to see those that took the game seriously. Once I got into, it my aim was to break into the top 100 players. I managed this and was able to sneak into the top 50, finishing at 49 out of over 7000 players.  Leader board  Badges

Doughnot Hill

Image
Where is it? This trail run or walk is located just outside Dumbarton at Overtoun house , overlooking the river Clyde. The run up to the top of Doughnot hill can be steep and muddy in places, but it does have a great crag top run overlooking the town and Dumbarton castle.  The Route Overtoun House - Map Park at the carpark of the house, from there the run starts heading back down Milton Brae towards the main road. Once past Loch Bowie take the next left on the farm track that leads to the quarry. You can't run through the quarry site. Instead you can run around the perimeter, which has been sign posted. This can be quite mucky in places and the track is only a couple of meters wide.  Loch Bowie Sign Post Alternative track around quarry After the run around the quarry the track leads back to a forestry track, which ascends  up to the Black Linn Reservoir. Head north west beyond the reservoir up to the top of Doughnot hill. There is a trig point at the top so should be easy to spot,

Green Bridge Run

Image
There are many walks or runs that can be done at Chatelherault Country Park, just outside Hamilton.  One of those is the Green bridge walk, a 7km track that heads south east along the river Avon Water. I decided to run this route, having walked it on previous occasions.  The track is mostly tree lined for the first 4.5km. The track before reaching the turn for the Green bridge is mostly level, it then descends down to the fine wooden bridge with good views across the Avon water.  Avon Water Sign The Green Bridge Time to rest The track after the bridge ascends rapidly and I was forced to walk this section of the run. As the track evens out there is a chance of a nice viewpoint, however it isn't too well marked and can be easily missed. You get the full effect of the weather on the west side of the Avon water as the tree line has been cut back, giving less protection.  There is a chance to visit the Cadzow Oaks, trees which are over 700 years old. You can have a longer run by heading

Ben Dubh

Image
  Location   Ben Dubh is located at Luss at Loch Lomond about an hour drive from Glasgow on the A82. The Route The Route From the car park at Luss, head up School Road, it looks like a side street and has the Signpost for Glen Luss. The will take you to the Bridge over the A82. Once over, continue past the house and take the next left at the corner you will see the Signpost for Ben Dubh and a gate. Go through the gate and follow the path through the ferns.    Glen Luss sign Hill Sign Hill Track The walk leads through a wooded area before opening out onto open ground where you get a better look at the Hill. The path continues north west for 4km, there are a few false tops before you reach the cairn at the summit.  Obvious Path Getting There  The Path Up.  The Top It took just over an hour to reach the summit with the 3 older children. They all managed it, even though the youngest (7) found the track a bit of a slog.  The weather had been so dry during July that the boggy sections had co

Scotland's Highest Village

Image
  Lowther Hill Radar Station Wanlockhead has the distinction of being the highest highest village in Scotland at 466m and located here are the Lowther hills. Lowther and Green Lowther hills can be spotted easily due to the radar station and aerials that are situated at the tops of these hills.  Wanlockhead Route  The Route  We  parked at the Visitor centre car park. From there we walked past the toilets, up the slope next to the playpark. We continued this across the road and up onto the open slopes, heading south east.  We were following part of the route for the Southern Upland Way, the markers were quite obvious.  Wanlockhead Village Route Markers for the SUW The track crosses over the road that leads up to the radar station and it would be possible to walk entirely on the road. The height of Lowther Hill is 725m so the accent from the village is only just under 300m.  Looking Back Down the Track Getting Closer  Road to the Station  View from a Distance  It took just under an hour t