Was on the way down to Dumfries to arrange a flat for later in the year. Despite having been on this train journey countless times over the past 3 years, I have never been up the most easily accessible marilyn from the stations. Weather nothing like the two days prior but thought I might as well do it today on the way back; asked Iain if he was interested - he never turns down a hill opportunity when it arises!
After getting off at Kirkconnel, we set along the path to Kirkland Farm - pleasantly paved for most of the way. The clag had mostly burned off from the start of the day but it did rain quite heavily as we left.
After that it was a bit further along to Vennel before leaving the road and joining the bridleways. There is an informative local geology sign hidden behind the large waymarker cairn. The deep-cut ravines and steep drops juxtaposed with the smooth undulating terrain was typical of this area.
Vennel with Churn Burn:
We began the ascent up 'The Can' along a grassy track and curved about an area called the 'Lambing Slack'. This name turned out to be extremely apt as we came across two newly-born lambs that let us get within a few inches of them. We tried to not disturb them too much of course.
Views here on a clearer day would be spectacular - the whole Nithsdale valley becomes apparent and the horizon is littered with hills near and far. We were almost bang on the cloud line at the top but were lucky enough to not have our view excluded too much.
After a quite steep climb, it levelled off and we followed the fence along the wide ridge to the trig.
Cairn Table peeking over Stony Hill:
Tinto from a less common angle (I saw it from the north for the first time in Lanark last week and was blown away at its overwhelming presence):
Will really need help here - likely in-between Lowthers and Culter:
Didn't spend long on the summit as we wanted to get back at least a bit early. The light was beginning to fade too. Retraced our steps while making a detour the to the Greymare's Tail Waterfall (no not the Grey Mare's Tail Waterfall!).
Waterfall from above:
It finally levelled off back at the waymarked area, where we could give our feet a rest before joining the road back.
The turning unfurling, Churn Burn:
Was an hour wait before the train so relaxed on a bench with some extremely unhealthy food from the newsagent.
Sunset on way back:
Wish I'd gotten some better pictures - Arran was glowing a light purple in the distance. Always an excellent train journey.
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