Map: OS 1:50,000 no. 72
Attendees: Me, Big Dog, Small Dog
Many years ago I drove through Lamington en route to Somewhere Else. It was so long ago I can’t remember where Somewhere Else was. Or why I went there. I do recollect the Lamington section of the journey though. It was the first time I’d seen Holy Trinity Chapel, a beautiful little building tucked off the A702 towards the east end of the village.
I’ve been back several times since. The Chapel dates to 1857 and was once owned by a wealthy local family. Now it’s in the trust of the Biggar Mueseum. The building’s normally locked but there are worse ways to spend an hour than wandering its grounds.
The Chapel 1
P1100815 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
The Chapel 2
P1100817 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Cross in the old graveyard
P1100813 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Metal gate at rear of cemetery
fullsizeoutput_3099 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
On one such visit I discovered that a small metal gate to the rear of the graveyard offers a decent start / finish point for an alternative trek to Lamington Hill. Parking can be found nearby in Lamington’s main street, on the opposite side of the A702. There’s also a bus stop here.
Today it’s a greyish mid-morning as I go through the gate on to a path that quickly widens to a track. To my left is a field used for grazing horses, to my right a copper coloured hedge and intermittent tree line.
A short distance on, a muddy driveway is joined. In a previous life, this was a Roman road. An old tennis court -presumably not of Roman origin- is visible nearby. It looks unused.
I turn right onto the driveway, passing an area of recently felled trees. There’s nobody about but several boughs and branches have been piled up and a controlled fire set. Blue woodsmoke curls into the air. I find myself lingering over the scent - too much urban living I guess.
Path/track looking back towards the Chapel
fullsizeoutput_309a by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Driveway at end of track - turn right here
fullsizeoutput_309b by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Turning second left off the driveway brings me to Lamington Kennels. A metallic stag stands guard on the approach. Small Dog eyes is wary. A sign directs walkers on a left fork above -and behind- the main kennel block. I try to sneak by but there are several dogs in residence. We’re spotted. There’s a brief exchange of barking between my two and the rest. It seems more reflex than hostile; tails are being wagged all round.
Lamington Kennels and its metallic stag
fullsizeoutput_309c by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Further along the upper track, there’s another fork. The track to the right would take me to Cowgill Loch and beyond. I take the less well-trod option to the left. It rises gently through a young plantation. Occasionally pheasants emerge from the undergrowth, disappearing back into it as quickly as they arrived.
The track ends at a wooden stile on the forestry edge. The stile’s an old one, shaky on its mountings and overhung by sopping trees. Its top tread feels greasy smooth. I clamber slowly over the top. There are now clear views of Lamington Hill ahead. An obvious ATV track runs up its eastern slopes.
Left fork here upwards into the trees
fullsizeoutput_309d by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Over an iron gate directly behind the stile, I follow a stone wall on soft, spongy, ground. Ahead, there’s another stile and another gate but you’d be hard pushed to go wrong here. I’m at the top 40 minutes after I set off. There are excellent views from the trig point, particularly NW to Tinto and SE to the Culter hills.
Gate behind the slippery stile - Lamington Hill beyond
fullsizeoutput_30a3 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Onwards and upwards
fullsizeoutput_30a0 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
Big Dog at trig point with Tinto in the background
fullsizeoutput_309e by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
A few minutes are spent taking pictures and the dogs and I return by our outward route.
Close to the plantation again, I hear the distinctive honk of geese. High overhead, a large number are scrambling into formation for their winter journey elsewhere. I watch them for a time, marvelling at their energy and the dynamics of the group. Then I remember I have my own journey to undertake. A modest one by comparison - it’s still 15 minutes to the Chapel.
fullsizeoutput_30a1 by Neil Mackay, on Flickr
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