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A beautiful Galloway day on Fell of Fleet

A beautiful Galloway day on Fell of Fleet


Postby Robertgee » Mon Dec 27, 2021 1:25 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Fell of Fleet

Date walked: 19/12/2021

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 12.9 km

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2021-12-19 @ 08-29-05.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



Weather was to be a beautiful frosty morning and sunny all day, with not a breath of wind. So just what I was wanting for a day to Galloway to climb one of my last south of Scotland subs. It was a very cold start, as the walk was in the shade, early sun being behind the hill I was to climb. The walk itself turned out to be one of the best winter walks I’ve done in a long time, but having said that, some of it was terrible. :shock:

There's plenty of room to park at the start of the route just over the River Dee, south of Clatteringshaws Loch. A very easy 2.5 miles to begin with along a good forest road, then it was all change.

06-Meikle Millyea.jpg
First sun light on Meikle Millyea


10-Arriving at the valley of the Pullaugh Burn.jpg
An easy walk through the forest


18-Loch Grannoch and Craigronald.jpg
Loch Grannoch


I’d now to leave the road and climb the forested jungle slopes of Back Hill of Orchars. There was an old path/track, used for timber extraction a number of years ago, but as it’s all replanted hereabouts, it’s no longer used so has become very overgrown for much of the way. This path did give me a way up the hill through the trees, but it wasn’t easy to follow, and I lost it completely in a couple of places. :(

21-Start of old path up Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
Start of the old path...it's not easy to find


24-Following old path to Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
There's a path somewhere in there


After this jungle section was complete, at the highest point, I joined a wide forest ride up to Back Hill of Orchars, and the fun really began. The walking up the forest ride wasn’t really too bad, but at the top I came out on the open hillside/moorland and the walking became pretty bad and slow. :( The view back from here though, over the main Galloway hills was superb, and being out in the sun now, the temperature was actually pretty mild. :D

32-Forest ride to top of Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
Forest ride to top of Back Hill of Orchars


33-Loch Grannoch, Cairnsmore of Fleet and Craignelder from Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
Loch Grannoch and Cairnsmore of Fleet from Back Hill of Orchars


35-Fell of Fleet from Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
Fell of Fleet from Back Hill of Orchars


From here to the summit of Fell of Fleet, the ground was the typical terrain to be found on much of the Galloway hills, very uneven ground covered with thick tufted grass and hidden holes, not nice for walking on. :( The horrible walking improved a little when I found a small path near the trees on the left. Unfortunately I’d to leave this as it didn’t lead to the summit, and I’d more awful terrain to cross on the final leg to the summit.

As I’d climbed the hill from the north, I’d no idea what I was about to see on the not yet seen southern side. There was a vast blanket of mist throughout much of the land to the south of the hill. This extended right out over the Solway Firth, with the high Lake District Hills sitting above the mist. The mist also appeared to extend right out into the Irish Sea all the way to the Isle of Man, with only the very highest part of the island visible, (there would have been a lot more of the Isle of Man visible had the mist not been there). Above the mist the views were exceptionally clear. Over the part of Galloway to my south, hill tops were islands in a sea of mist. To the north, no mist, but the main Galloway Hills were looking terrific basking in the sun. A wonderful place to be right now. :clap:

46-A mist filled Solway Firth from Fell of Fleet.jpg
Arriving at Fell of Fleet's summit cairn


50-Criffel and Bainloch Hill from Fell of Fleet.jpg
Criffel and the tiny "island" that is Bainloch just to it's right


51-Screel Hill and Bengairn from Fell of Fleet with the Lake District Hills in background.jpg
Screel Hill and Bengairn with Lake District Hills behind


52-Bengray and White Top Of Culreoch from Fell of Fleet.jpg
Bengray and White Top of Culreoch


53-Cairnharrow and Pibble Hill from Fell of Fleet with the Isle of Man in background.jpg
Cairnharrow and Pibble Hill with Isle of Man on horizon behind them


56-Merrick, Mullwharchar and Meikle Millyea from Fell of Fleet.jpg
The main Galloway Hills from Fell of Fleet


After taking many photos, and a sit down for a snack, it was time to reluctantly retrace my route back to the car.

61-Over Loch Grannoch to Cairnsmore of Fleet and Craignelder from Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
Loch Grannoch and Cairnsmore of Fleet from back at the Back Hill of Orchars


63-Merrick, Mullwharchar and Meikle Millyea from Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
Galloway Hills from Back Hill of Orchars


Progress down from Back Hill of Orchars through the forest was actually harder than on the way up, as I lost the old path more often and took a lot longer to find it again. :crazy: But persevere and I did find it. :D This path is only likely to become worse over time, but for now it still makes for a relatively easy route up to Back Hill of Orchars, though it may be pretty awful in the summer months.

67-Back on the old path looking to Meikle Millyea.jpg
Back on a good section of the old path looking to Meikle Millyea


70-Following old path back down from Back Hill of Orchars.jpg
I think I've lost the path...AGAIN!


Back on the forest track, it was an easy stroll back to the car, and another balloon turned blue. :D

78-Meikle Millyea and Clatteringshaws Loch Dam.jpg
Almost back...looking towards Meikle Millyea and the Clatteringshaws Loch Dam
Robertgee
Walker
 
Posts: 80
Munros:102   Corbetts:38
Grahams:32   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:144   Hewitts:36
Wainwrights:38   Islands:60
Joined: Dec 5, 2015

Re: A beautiful Galloway day on Fell of Fleet

Postby piers2 » Mon Dec 27, 2021 5:27 pm

The early start is commendable! Certainly deserving of those fantastic views. Are there any walks around here that doesn’t involve deep tussocks…! :shock:
piers2
Backpacker
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 27, 2021

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