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Bin of Cullen from Old Cullen, Moray

Bin of Cullen from Old Cullen, Moray


Postby denfinella » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:20 am

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Bin of Cullen

Date walked: 17/02/2013

Time taken: 2.5 hours

Distance: 13 km

Ascent: 415m

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Gyles's recent excellent report of ascending Bin of Cullen from the west rather than the south made the hill sound like a worthwhile walk for another sunny Sunday afternoon. Our route was a slight variant - a little longer and taking in the sinuous Glen Burn which looked enticing on the OS map. Time was of the essence due to a start time of 2.15pm and sunset shortly after 5.15.


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There is an large car park on the edge of Cullen with a track leading down to Cullen Old Kirk. Following gyles's helpful pointers, we entered the graveyard through the main gate and exited through an unlikely-looking gate to the right-hand side of the kirk.

Getting through Cullen House grounds involves passing a minefield of slightly unfriendly signs ("Private! Keep Out!" and the like), although the first sign does fortunately state that walkers are allowed on the main through-road. After crossing the Burn of Cullen, we followed the mulchy track upstream and later round to the right towards the wide downstream section of Glen Burn.

Glen Burn.jpg
Glen Burn - lower course

Following the valley upstream, the track is nearly flat but the valley sides gradually narrow, making this an interesting approach to the Bin of Cullen. The sun rays poking through the dense trees made for a pleasant stroll.

Glen Burn - middle.jpg
Glen Burn - middle course

The upper section had recently been deforested, giving a reminder that this forest is all planted by man. It was much brighter as a result and gave a nice bit of variety.

Glen Burn - upper.jpg
Glen Burn - upper course

There's a nice (smallish) waterfall just beyond the deforested section which is worth a look - easily missed as it's hidden by the valley side - marked on OS maps. Hard to take a photo. Reaching the crossroads at the top of the valley, we very briefly set off on the wrong track for some inexplicable reason - turning right instead of going straight ahead. If we hadn't noticed we'd have ended up back near the start, which would have been very annoying.

Instead, the correct track heads steadily uphill now, having joined the shorter "tourist" route from the nearby road. We hadn't met a soul until this point, but the rest of the ascent was quite busy. Forking left at the top of the pass between the Bin and the Little Bin leads onto a flatter track traversing the hillside, which affords the first glimpses of good views towards Knock Hill and the Aberdeenshire plains. Unfortunately a lot of crisp packets had been dropped along this part - the miscreants probably hadn't realised the irony in their actions given the name of the hill they were ascending.

The traverse ended abruptly with a turn to the right. Here, you have the option of a path straight up the fall line or a track which winds up in a series of haripins, criss-crossing the direct route several times. The path was much quicker so we thought it was strange that everybody descending was using the longer track.

Anyway, it's not far to the summit, which is clear of trees and commands superb 360 degree views.

Cullen.jpg
Cullen to the NE

There was a slight haze to the southeast, but every other direction had fairly clear air. Ben Rinnes was easily visible with the Cairngorms behind.

Ben Rinnes.jpg
Ben Rinnes to the SW

Morven in Caithness was clearly made out, plus a snow-capped Ben Wyvis to the west which the viewpoint indicator informed us was 101km away. Didn't really come out in the pictures.

Buckie.jpg
Buckie to the NW

It looked to be a good day for climbing Knock Hill too, which still held onto a few snow streaks on its shadier side.

Knock Hill.jpg
Knock Hill to the east

After some snacks at the summit, we descended by the same route back to the track junction. On the way down it felt much easier to use the zig-zags rather than the direct route, explaining why everybody was going that way earlier!

This time heading north from the col, the route back to the car was quicker both in time and distance from the way up. The map promised a good choice of similar routes back to the car - in reality, a lot of tracks were overgrown or now non-existent, leaving only one sensible way back. At one point the tracks seemed to be dictating a route which led further and further away from the start point... luckily not for long.

Upon leaving the plantations there was a short section of open fields to cross, again on a track, with the sun setting behind the Bin behind us.

Sunset.jpg
Sunset behind the Bin

The evening rays also created some nice light effects on the trees in front, giving them an almost autumnal appearance.

Evening rays.jpg
Evening rays

Finally, Cullen House was seen again from the other side of the bridge, with the car park a few minutes further on.

Cullen House.jpg
Cullen House

All-in-all, a very pleasant little walk, with a variety of scenery - good for a clear day. Not as dramatic as some hills perhaps, but the Bin of Cullen definitely holds its own in terms of charm. (Not to mention Cullen itself has a certain reputation for ice-cream!)

Log fire.jpg
Fiery branches
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denfinella
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Re: Bin of Cullen from Old Cullen, Moray

Postby gyles » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:37 pm

Hi Denfinella,

I was very tempted to take the burn route you took but thought I would take the slightly shorter option. Your right about the tracks, some that are marked on the OS map are seemingly overgrown. Still an enjoyable woodland walk. Looks like you had a good afternoon.
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gyles
 
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Re: Bin of Cullen from Old Cullen, Moray

Postby denfinella » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:51 pm

Hi gyles,

Thanks for the suggestion of the hill in the first place!
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denfinella
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Re: Bin of Cullen from Old Cullen, Moray

Postby Phillida » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:41 pm

This is a really nice hike and the ice cream is a great reward afterwards. The grounds of Cullen House are open to pedestrians on Tuesday's and Fridays 1.30pm - 4.30pm.
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Re: Bin of Cullen from Old Cullen, Moray

Postby Sgurr » Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:47 pm

Is the summit view-finder still there? We were sorry to see someone had taken a marker pen whcih had dried on the steel surface. We did the best we could to get it off (a few years back now) but ran out of loo paper to scrub it. Nice little hill.
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Sgurr
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