Hownam Law route
Another chance to visit the hills, so the decision was where to head. Last weekend I was wading through snow up north at Drumochter and opted for a trip south this time. After studying the options I selected Hownam Law & Linton Hill for a couple of reasons - only a couple of WR's for these hills and I am gradually picking off all the Marilyns in the SE of Scotland.
No need to set the alarm for silly o'clock as I guessed it would only take about an hour and a half to reach the start. I would like to thank Colin Watson (colinwatson) as my walk would be loosely based on his route. I plotted a route using the GPX facility and uploaded it onto my spare phone.
As I have mentioned before one of the most important and vital things about planning is where to park and this is so much harder when visiting the smaller hills. Both hills have very limited parking near to my start points, enough for one car at each hill, so don't plan a group outing.
Parking slot for Hownam.
Linton Hill parking - improvised.
Next major decision, which hill to tackle first, I opted for Hownam as it was further south and I could suss out where the start area for Linton would be as I would be passing very close to the start.
Once parked up near the bridge (Heavyside) which looks like it has been repaired recently I set off, the big bonus for me was that I could see Hownam in the distance and that always makes things a wee bit easier.
Hownam is the highest of the rounded humps.
Road down to Howgate
New gate required.
In need of attention, not quite water tight
Not far now
Zoomed to catch these, needn't have bothered as they spotted me and came over for a chat.
Here they come galloping over.
Cute or what
Interesting prevention measure
Summit trig on Hownam
The final pull up to the summit is certainly a tad steep, but like most Marilyn's you know you won't be out of breath for too long. Unfortunately the views weren't that clear I attempted to take photo's of Cheviot and Windy Gyle to the south but they weren't very clear.
The descent was just a matter of retracing my steps, having another brief chat with the horses and then back to the car. A nice little stretch of the legs that took less than 2 hours, my original plan was to drive to the next hill with my boots on but that plan was kicked into touch as the boots were caked in mud.
So a 10 minute drive or so to the foot of Linton Hill, parking was anything but easy or obvious as my photo at the start of the report demonstrates.
Looking along the road in the opposite direction and the way ahead.
I opted to do this walk without my rucksack as I knew it would take me less than an hour, the summit area can be seen from quite a distance away as it has a large mast protruding up through the trees.
The initial part of the walk is on a tarmac track that leads up to what I think is Lintonhill Farm. I am never happy walking on farm land or through farm yards and the like. I followed the track up to a sharp right hand bend in the road where I then opted to climb a wooden fence and head directly towards a track that I could see in the distance.
Looking back down the track towards the start
Looks pretty stagnent, but had water flowing into it.
The way ahead
Looking back, a tad muddy
Not far now
Summit trig on Linton Hill almost hidden
Not much else to say about Linton Hill, certainly not difficult and not a hill I will be revisiting. The descent as with Hownam was just a matter of retracing my steps apart from following the track round by the farm instead of climbing the fence. That is one of the benefits of the descent you can see the way ahead much easier.
I was back at the car as expected in less than an hour and it was good to get out again, even though the hills weren't the most exciting.
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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.