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Meeting the Donalds of the Manor

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:17 am
by ExpatEddie
My original plan was to walk the 4 Donalds of Manor Valley South of Peebles. Execution of the plan did not turn out as intended as you will find out as you read. Starting out from just south of Langhaugh in the Manor Valley (NT199309) there is a farm track leading to the right of the wood which leads to the old Old Kirkhope farmhouse. Along this track is what looks like an isolated cemetery with an Iona cross but found out later it is a St Gordian Cross and a service is held here each July. At the old farmhouse I intended heading SW to Long Grain Knowe but instead kept to the hillside above the burn and aimed for Newholm Cairns Hill. On the way up I kept looking at Dollar Law to my left and repeatedly thought “I should be over there instead of here”

Once onto the hill with cairns I could see 2 paths – one was Thief’s Road which contoured around Dollar Law and the other was the path to the summit. This was the one I took and eventually got to the summit.

Next summit was Cramalt Craig and to be certain I didn’t walk off the wrong shoulder I took a bearing and set off to Fifescar Knowe, Dun Law and the next Donald. Plain walking all the way and looking at ways to continue after Cramalt Craig instead of coming back to join Thief’s Road and a recognisable path. The compulsory photograph, a nibble and a look at the map. Could a descent into the glen and contour round Stone Grain Rig save me some time – possibly.

One thing I did not see was that 2 contour lines vanished on the map meaning a near vertical slope and when I realised I could not see the route off I had to contour round. Even then the slope was not easy so my speed was slow. I eventually did get to the bottom of the glen and after a lunch break got round Stone Grain and onto my original plan. I realised by then that I had not saved any time and very little distance.

Greenside Law was now in sight and a straightforward route following a quad bike track which had kept the grass short and reached the summit later than I had expected. My next summit was to be Black Law but as I was behind time and I was going to cross the path through the Manor Valley to Megget I was reluctant to start climbing again. I turned left and headed back home. Not the best decision as this path hits the road 1.5 miles from my start and that length of tarmac is not a good way to end a walk. One thing I did learn on this walk was PLAN THE WALK, WALK THE PLAN :) .

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The start of the walk goes to the right of the cottage


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The small 'cemetery' on the hillside


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Old Kirkhope with Dollar Law starting on the left (I went right)


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Dollar Law (where I should be)


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Looking back down to Manor Valley


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Summit of Dollar Law


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Summit of Cramalt Craig


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Heading down to Stone Grain Rig


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Approach to Greenside Law


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The track down into Manor Valley and the road back

Re: Meeting the Donalds of the Manor

PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:05 pm
by gmr82
Nice to see this area all nice and green, the only downside of having done most of my Donalds in the winter is I've missed out on all the vibrant colours of summer. Dollar Law is a real favourite of mine, first time i managed to look down on Culter Fell! You didn't miss anything on Black Law - I hate this hill :lol: Had a really sore leg mid walk, major snow thaw that day and its really boggy as is it, every step was horrible! Still though, what we do for Blue Balloons :) Do you have plans to go back for Black Law?

Re: Meeting the Donalds of the Manor

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:36 am
by ExpatEddie
gmr82 wrote:Do you have plans to go back for Black Law?


I did actually go back and do Black Law a few days later. It was uninteresting so not worth doing a write-up. For general information I parked off road at NT198295 and went up Sting Rig using a quad bike track until the middle of the 2 tops. Turned left to the highest, backtracked to the other then off SW to where the fence line changes then NW in the direction of Manorhead to meet up with the Megget path. A total of 5 miles in 2.5 mours and home in time for a late lunch. :)

What we do for blue balloons :lol: