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First of the year - Lamington Hill

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 3:55 pm
by thepigguy

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This one didn't go exactly to plan.

I was in Edinburgh visiting my son and daughter and looking forward to my first new hills of the year. A stomach bug which had hit me while on the Kirkwall-Aberdeen ferry had left me feeling a little jaded, but I was perky enough a couple of days later and climbed aboard the 9.20am 102 bus heading south towards Dumfries.

The plan was to get off at Lamington, head up Lamington Hill, then over to Cowgill and up Hudderstone before going on to Coulter to catch the 6pm bus back. The weather forecast was reasonably promising so I was pretty excited when I got off the bus.

As I approached the village chapel, I realised I had left our fairly expensive camera on the bus while organising my rucksack. A couple of minutes swearing later I was on the phone to Stagecoach in Dumfries where they promised to contact the driver and the camera would be on the bus as it returned towards Edinburgh. Unfortunately this was due in Lamington at 2.30, leaving me only three-and-a-half hours. Not enough for the planned walk, but too much for a trip up Lamington Hill alone.

I set off anyway, following Inca's route from the back of the kirkyard. Easy enough at first, the track takes you round to the kennels and then up through forestry before a stile brings you out into the open hillside. There's an old gate that needs to be climbed and another stile before the last, pleasant walk up the ATV track to the summit.

That had taken me an hour and 20 minutes - slow even by my leisurely standards - and I didn't feel exactly marvelous. I'm guessing the bug and a lack of recent walking (it's been a shocker of a winter in Orkney) had left me maybe 30 per cent fit. Plus all the larger surrounding hills were covered in cloud, it was getting windier and snow/sleet/hail was threatening.

So, after a cup of tea, I retraced my steps, giving myself time to explore some old ruins around Lamington village, before being reunited with the camera and escaping wifely wrath!

Despite all the puffing and wheezing, I'd recommend Lamington Hill, a really pleasant walk which I will be repeating - maybe with Hudderstone next time.

Through the trees onto the hillside

Lamington Hill as you emerge from the trees

The way up is clear and, apart from some ice, pretty easy

Looking down towards Baitlaws

February in the Borders

The "view" over to Tinto

Lamington Hill summit

Gate on the way up/down that needs to be climbed

Ruined buildings near Lamington village