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Faw Hill and Belling Hill stroll
by wjshaw2 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:01 pm
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Belling Hill
Date walked: 06/04/2013
Time taken: 3 hours
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 225mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
I drove from the walk at Rubers Law (see here: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=30579&p=187666#p187666) to the junction of the roads on the side of Doorpool Hill. They've been laying a pipeline or cable from here along the side of the road towards the A68. The verges are wide enough and firm enough to take a car or two. I walked along that road until I reached a gate near the Settlement just off the road to the north. It's quite impressive, the best part of 100m long and 'preserved' by being covered in trees. the 2m high banks around it are well preserved however. Iron Age?
A hop over a gate and under an unnecessary electric fence led me to the rather newer Peel which has three walls standing to several metres, a wonderful low door, and one window looking S to Belling Hill. It also looks a wee bit wobbly, so didn't hang around leaning or climbing on the walls. A peel is a medieval fortified house quite characteristic of the wild Border country.
From there I headed north across fields and through good gates to the top of Faw Hill - a much better viewpoint than Belling Hill proved to be later on. It was here that I thought I should probably have just combined Rubers Law with a long circuit over Black Law to the north, this wee hill, Belling Hill and Bonchester Hill, maybe starting from Bonchester Bridge and finishing at the pub there. Another time.
I descended Faw Hill to the East of the forestry plantation and then picked up what should, according to the map, be the old path across Cummings Hill and the shoulder of Belling Hill, but that doesn't really exist, but there is now a much bigger track which starts at the same place used for forestry access, but it heads off to the South rather than anywhere near Cummings Hill. That said, Cummings Hill really is just a heathery spur itself.
I crossed it and walked up to the wall with the forestry. On the way I crossed a ditch lined with gorse, that I was later to work out was the actual line of the forestry marked on the 1:50000 map. So the wall I actually found followed the purple line of the Forestry Commission woods marked on the map. This wall leads straight to the top, which confused me a bit as I wasn't expecting it to do that, but after looking around it had to be the top, I worked out that some of the forestry had gone completely and this wall was not on my map.
It was quite an underwhelming top. If the forestry there hadn't been felled, to get to the top you'd have had to have crawled to the foot of a tree to get to it, but there's now a wee cairn developing on it. As often happens with wee Marilyns, it's not actually a great viewpoint because of the forestry surrounds and it not being much higher than surrounding wee lumps. But it's another balloon that's turned blue.
The route down was fairly quick. Assuming there was a track access to the mast on the western spur of Belling Hill I headed towards the north side of it and found the gates that lead back to the road, happily meaning that apart from that one wire of electric fence near the settlement, I'd crossed gates all along this walk.
I think this hill definitely works better as part of a larger walk rather than just popping up to it from the nearest road (it looks like there's a reasonable path up through the forestry from the Falside side). The Bonchester Bridge circuit is now definitely on my list.
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