The times, distances and heights walked are for both hills combined.
Cairn Table 2 hrs 15 mins
Rising above the village of Muirkirk this wee hill has been a regular fixture on my hillwalking calendar for 20 years now and in anything other than an icy cold snap or an extended dry spell it can be an extremely boggy experience with long stretches of the path resembling a quagmire.Therefore with very little rain over the past couple of weeks i decided it was a good slot to fit Cairn Table in.
Arriving at the carpark for 10am i set off for the McAdam Cairn and the old Sanquhar drovers road as i prefer to ascend the hill from this route as its normally less boggy than the main path and walking out this way does give a sense of bleak isolated moorland for a little while anyway !
The hill path branches off to the left just before the drovers road crosses the bridge over Garpel Water and its here the path usually gets very boggy but today it was more like soft earth which i can live with.
Once i gained a bit of height the biting cold wind began to ruin what would have been a mild and sunny spring day. I soon passed a few walkers who were descending and exchanged brief nods as the strength of the wind now discouraged any chat and eventually the largest of the hill's twin cairns came into view.
The views from the summit of Cairn Table are surprisingly good given its height with the highlight being the wide expanse of Ayrshire and the hills of Arran in the far distance.
After a chilly 10 minutes taking photos and carefully wandering around the very stony summit area i headed down the main path which was dry enough to let me quicken my pace at least until i reached the first of several duck boards which in theory are meant to act as a bridge over the worst of the bogs at this point but in practice were about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike !
The bogs actually weren't that bad today though some areas did require a bit of hopping but on a hill like Cairn Table some bog hopping goes with the territory,anyway my mind was already on another wee hill looming in the background directly in front of me !
Middlefield Law 45 mins
The drive from Muirkirk to the parking area beneath Middlefield Law takes less than 10 minutes and finishing Cairn Table a bit quicker than i normally do complete with dry feet i looked at this wee hill in the near distance and thought...why not.
With a starting point at over 300m this tiddler is hardly an epic undertaking but definitely worth doing if you are in the area hillwalking or just want a quick jaunt up the high ground for some views.
Any time i visit Middlefield Law i've always parked at a layby on the unclassified road along from Forkings Farm as this approach is the only one i know of which has an ATV track leading all the way to the summit,any other route involves a pathless hike across heather and tussock grass.
From the layby to the hilltop normally takes me around 20 mins if the path is reasonably dry like it was today so its nothing too serious just about 1 km of empty moorland.
Middlefield Law is crowned by a trig pillar and a large cairn and offers good views of the East Ayrshire moors with Cairn Table dominating the background to the south and Dungavel Hill with the surrounding forestry to the north.
A very windy but enjoyable few hours spent on a couple of fine wee hills not too far from home.
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