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The Curious Cows of Cairnpapple Hill

The Curious Cows of Cairnpapple Hill


Postby Chris Mac » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:47 pm

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Cairnpapple Hill

Date walked: 25/09/2017

Time taken: 1.04 hours

Distance: 2.41 km

Ascent: 73m

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Cairnpapple-Hill.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

After my thoroughly enjoyable day on Beinn Narnain on Thursday, a recovery Friday, football on Saturday and rain on Sunday it meant my only other chance for a walk would be Monday (the last of 5 days off) but I would have to be at Edinburgh Airport for about 7pm to collect Y.

It was raining in the morning but would be clearing in the afternoon, so it was the perfect opportunity to visit Cairnpapple Hill. Plans were updated during the day and I was informed that I only needed to do a pick up from Torphichen at 7pm as the flight landed at half 6 and a friend would be driving the girls to her house just 5 minutes down the road from the hill, perfect! :D

With sunset just after 7pm at present, I knew an hour would be plenty of time to climb the hill, since it has good car parks either side of it. I set off and it was less than an hour to get there. As the hill doesn't have a portrait on WH I stopped en route to take a few shots of it in profile:
ImageDSC_3906 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The summit is the right hand side of Cairnpapple's two mounds:
ImageDSC_3920 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I initially planned to park on the west side but on driving through Torphichen I just kept following signs for Cairnpapple Hill and ended up at the east side car park which turned out to be ideal as there was a better view east to the Forth bridges with the sun setting to the west and making visibility poor.

There was a decent sized lay-by so I parked up, put the boots on and set off...
ImageDSC_3928 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The gate immediately warned of a bull in the field!
ImageDSC_3929 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Remembering the fake bull of Dungavel Hill, I suspected it was another farmer vs walker deterrent, but decided to keep edgy as the last bull I had seen in a field next to Scotts Tourie at Eaglesham was an absolute beast and he was unfortunately in my mind when I saw the sign!

Initial signs were not good...
ImageDSC_3931 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Through the gate and it's just a short path up to the cairn and radio tower:
ImageDSC_3932 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

As you head up the path on the left is the second mound of Cairnpapple Hill, with the trig point visible:
ImageDSC_3935 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I decide to head to the cairn first:
ImageDSC_3937 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Radio Tower:
ImageDSC_3939 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Henge & Cairn:
ImageDSC_3940 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The view west:
ImageDSC_3944 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

North:
ImageDSC_3946 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

East to the Firth of Forth and bridges:
ImageDSC_3952 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

That's the true summit over there:
ImageDSC_3955 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A zoom shot of the Forth bridges:
ImageDSC_3958 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Forth Rail Bridge
ImageDSC_3959 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Both bridges:
ImageDSC_3962 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Trig point on the top of the southern mound of Cairnpapple:
ImageDSC_3964 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

With bull signs and cow pats fresh in the mind... i decide it only makes sense to scan my surroundings to see if the Minotaur's great great grandson is patrolling his field...
ImageDSC_3970 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The coast looks clear so I go through the gate and down the hill but then meet a row of barbed wire fences:
ImageDSC_3972 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I decide to walk west into the setting sun and past some scenic trees as the OS map shows that it will be easier to cross that way:
ImageDSC_3973 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Still scanning for a bull...
ImageDSC_3974 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_3975 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Heading along the fence I find a stile but it's rickety and small and there is no clear way to pass the second fence easily:
ImageDSC_3977 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

But just a bit further along are two gates so I head for them and hop over both into the middle field:
ImageDSC_3978 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Looking back at the tower:
ImageDSC_3979 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

West towards Glasgow:
ImageDSC_3983 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

South west:
ImageDSC_3984 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I soon reach two more fences which need tackled before the bull run can begin...
ImageDSC_3988 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Hmm... doesn't look like the bull is about...
ImageDSC_3996 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Sunset:
ImageDSC_3998 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I decide i'm not getting anywhere without a good old barbed wire fence crossing and I carefully step over the first just behind where there is an easy gate to climb into the cow field:
ImageDSC_4001 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The gate where I crossed on the right at a little mound behind which two cows are lurking... I say hi and move on:
ImageDSC_4002 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Things then got a little edgy as this cow, trying to look bull-like, stared me down:
ImageDSC_4003 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I simply veered left a little and continued towards the trig pillar:
ImageDSC_4005 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I'm there in no time:
ImageDSC_4008 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Met by a superb trig pillar with built in trough! :lol: :clap:
ImageDSC_4012 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Sunet and cows to the west:
ImageDSC_4013 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Directly east of the summit you can see The Knock viewpoint, although it looks like it is part of this hill:
ImageDSC_4016 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Summit view north towards the radio tower and cairn on the north mound:
ImageDSC_4019 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

North east towards Queensferry:
ImageDSC_4023 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Raven Crag of the Bathgate Hills to the south:
ImageDSC_4029 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

South west:
ImageDSC_4030 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

West... is it just me or are those cows getting closer?
ImageDSC_4032 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

...
ImageDSC_4035 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

:?
ImageDSC_4040 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

:shock:
ImageDSC_4042 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

There is a definite movement of bovines in my general direction...!
ImageDSC_4044 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I get down from the trig point and move behind it since the photo opportunities on this hill just increased big time! :D :lol:

ImageDSC_4046 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Hello there:
ImageDSC_4047 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Trig point/scratching post: :lol:
ImageDSC_4048 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I get the impression that i'm in their living room...
ImageDSC_4050 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

...I decide to say hello and offer a gift in return for access to their hill-field-home:
ImageDSC_4052 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

My gift is gratefully received! :D
ImageDSC_4053 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

:clap:
ImageDSC_4054 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Where did you come from?
ImageDSC_4060 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I'm not sure I have the time to feed all of you!
ImageDSC_4061 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

With the others now on their way over, light fading and time getting on, I decide to head towards The Knock and leave the cows to settle at their hill top home for the night:
ImageDSC_4063 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Heading towards the Knock, from the map it looks like I can reach the same road I parked on for an easy return to the car:
ImageDSC_4065 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Cheerio!
ImageDSC_4066 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

:lol: :lol: :lol:
ImageDSC_4068 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I go up the mound then see that the road disects The Knock and Cairnpapple:
ImageDSC_4073 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

At the Firth of Forth the haar is moving in:
ImageDSC_4075 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Mooo:
ImageDSC_4086 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

A few crows are kicking about and letting their presence be known so I oblige and take a few photos:
ImageDSC_4091 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_4094 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

ImageDSC_4097 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Twilight craws:
ImageDSC_4099 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Just down from the mound is a gate which I climb over onto the road and then it's just an easy stroll back to the car which is in the trees at the end of the road:
ImageDSC_4100 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Just beside The Knock is a large stone circle with resident sheep flock! The animals seem to enjoy living in the local attractions here... :lol:
ImageDSC_4101 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Small but impressive standing stones:
ImageDSC_4103 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Sunset and radio tower:
ImageDSC_4105 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

The road dips between the two hill mounds:
ImageDSC_4108 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

Bridges now almost completely under the haar:
ImageDSC_4116 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

End point:
ImageDSC_4118 by Chris Mac, on Flickr

I was still chuckling at the encounter with the cows, they are such nice, docile and funny characters, i've yet to meet some I don't like. The thought of the Scotts Tourie bull still fills me with fear, luckily he was nowhere to be seen for me today and I had great fun on the smallest of hill walks. :D
User avatar
Chris Mac
 
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Re: The Curious Cows of Cairnpapple Hill

Postby mrssanta » Sat Sep 30, 2017 8:06 pm

your picture of the cows against the orange sky and cloud is fab!
User avatar
mrssanta
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 3064
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Location: north yorkshire moors

Re: The Curious Cows of Cairnpapple Hill

Postby PeteR » Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:49 pm

I was up there recently........did The Knock at the same time.

The bull you were trying to avoid looks like this...........

The Beast of Cairnpapple
ImageP1380750 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr

ImageP1380753 by Pete Riedel, on Flickr


Seemed quite docile to me.......not that I got close enough to find out otherwise :lol:
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PeteR
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Re: The Curious Cows of Cairnpapple Hill

Postby Chris Mac » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:41 pm

mrssanta wrote:your picture of the cows against the orange sky and cloud is fab!

Thanks, there was another just before it, but I thought the clouds in the second one looked more like the elusive bull! :D

PeteR wrote:I was up there recently........did The Knock at the same time.

The bull you were trying to avoid looks like this...........

The Beast of Cairnpapple
https://www.flickr.com/photos/beardybaldybloke/36947616262/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/beardybaldybloke/36947616242/

Seemed quite docile to me.......not that I got close enough to find out otherwise :lol:

Haha thanks for sharing... i'm very glad he didn't seem to be about when I was there... seeing that thing in person may have scarred me for life!! :shock: :lol:
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Chris Mac
 
Posts: 821
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Grahams:12   Donalds:11
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Joined: Sep 11, 2014

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