Our planned trip to our local hills, the Pentlands, was scuppered by thick mist so we decided to give the Lammermuirs a first try, as the forecast there was brighter.
Following Walkhighland's (very clear) directions, we parked at the cattle crossing and headed off. It was a very still day, with snow still lying and I was pleasantly surprised at how expansive and wild the hills looked.
The Whiteader reservoir was like a mirror, giving nice reflections of the surrounding hills. It must look fantastic on a brighter day.
We soon began to climb gently up on an obvious track, just before the cottage. We passed the ruins and standing stone. The Walkhighland's report mentions stones, but we could only see one. Are there other standing stones around?
Apart from some guys on the hillside - who appeared to be taking soil samples - and numerous skittish grouse, we had the place to ourselves and it soon felt very tranquil and wild.
After a stretch on Tarmac, we came to the turning up to the left for the minor path to the summit. Here the snow was much deeper, and we had to use the recent ATV tracks and heather to pick our way along. I was glad of the waterproof boots, and they held out pretty well for the walk.
Before too long we made the summit and had our tea and snack at the cairn while we enjoyed the views of the surrounding hills. The various wind farms around were all still and looked looked almost ghostly against the white snow.
After about 15 minutes we headed off. Initially we tried to decend to the main path more directly, but finding the snow too deep we returned and retraced our route back down the minor path to the main track.
The remainder of the route became increasingly muddy, perhaps a thaw was beginning.
At the foot of the hill we passed alongside the reservoir again and through a farm with an open barn. We stopped to admire the sheep and I did a double take as I saw some giant sheep in the barn ! On a second look, they turned out to be llamas.
It wasn't too far now back up the car.
This was an ideal outing for the amount of time and light we had available. We'll definitely be back to try other routes in the Lammermuir Hills.
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.