Share your personal walking route experiences in Scotland, and comment on other peoples' reports.
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.
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Maxwellston Hill, Dailly
by Robertgee » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:07 pm
Route description: Maxwellston Hill, Dailly
Date walked: 01/02/2019
Time taken: 5.75 hours
Distance: 12.8 km
Ascent: 300m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
It was a beautiful winter's day, blue skies, sunshine, wind speed zero, snow on the ground, and a good hard frost, so a brilliant day for a hill walk. I didn't fancy doing a "big" hill, not fit enough these days and don't have crampons, etc. So opted for this one which I found on Walkhighlands.
The description for the walk, says that near the start, conditions can be very muddy when going through the gorse bushes. I found this to be very true, even after a week of sub-zero temperatures, with the thermometer reading minus 10 at one place on my drive down to Dailly, it was a mud bath in a couple of places. I'd reckoned the ground would have been solid with the low temperatures, but there was a lot of watery ground only slightly freezing, and I was breaking through as I went. This was made all the more difficult fighting my way through the gorse. At first I didn't think it was possible to get through all this gorse, but I was aided by following some sheep tracks, which showed me the way.
So I thought I'd do this walk report to help others wishing to do this route, and describe the best way through this overgrown jungle. Once you leave the track just before the farm and go through the ford, head up through the field toward the top left corner. Here you'll find a stile leading into some rough terrain. At first there isn't any sign of a path. A waymarker points straight, (very faded), ignore this and make your way left. You'll quickly reach a fence, where a right turn starts to take you uphill, on a narrow path. Next you'll reach a stile over the fence you've been following. After crossing this, a waymarker points left, ignore this and turn right. Cross some boggy ground and go under the huge gorse bushes to the right. Very muddy under here, but once through it gets better for a while. From here it's easy to follow the narrow path, which eventually squeezes between two gorse bushes, and basically stops you from going any further. The gap is well overgrown and makes any further progress quite tricky, but I was able to fight my way through, with the mud trying to suck me in with every step. At my return at this point, after again fighting my way through (it was actually worse in the return direction), I noticed that it actually looked as if this obstacle might be by-passable, if you take to the rough grassland to the right, and head around the gorse that way...if only I noticed that sooner. But anyway, however you get around this obstacle, you'll find things easy from here, you reach the edge of the forest and follow this uphill. Just follow the waymarkers from here. Watch for the waymarker on the far side of the burn which you initially follow, it's easy to miss this,as you keep following the good path straight up the hill, but this will take you the wrong way. The walks probably best done early in the year, with a good frosting of the ground, to make the mud easier to cross. It's probably impassable in summer with all the vegetation high. In a few years time it might become impassable altogether, unless some of the gorse is cut back.
Enjoy the superb views from the top of the ridge, Galloway Hills, Ailsa Craig, Arran, Water of Girvan Valley and the village of Dailly, the starting point of the walk.
To end the walk I diverted along another of the "Dailly trails", (look up online for map and information), and headed along the Lindsayston trail, (curling stone route waymarkers), this gave a longer walk and a more varied return.
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