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Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown

Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown


Postby Sgurr » Mon May 18, 2020 10:31 am

Date walked: 16/05/2020

Time taken: 5 hours

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What? Drumcarrow Craig
When?Saturday May 16th 2020
Who? Sgurr solo
Weather?Sunshine and light showers
Distance? 11 miles Ascent?700 (?) feet
Map? 59

After A’Mhaighdean last year, I was casting around hopefully for a birthday hill, but the only thing with even a trig on it within walking distance from our house is Drumcarrow Craig: from the sublime to the ridiculous. Birthday was forecast to rain, so did it early. R had only just come out of hospital a fortnight previously having broken a hip and an arm and acquired Covid 19 while there so he didn’t get an invite.

The Castle is the nearest to town with free parking…but I walked. The blue notice outside the Castle is about George Wishart, a protestant martyr who was burned at the stake here. His initials are set in the road. I have seen someone walk all the way up the crow steps and down the other side with his hands in his pockets.
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This is the narrow end of our main shopping street(Market St.) but even the busy end can be totally deserted at some times of day now.
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Blackfriars Chapel, with behind Madras College where both my kids went. Eventually this will be handed over to the University and there will be a new school on the outskirts, but all building has stopped, so it is anyone’s guess where next year’s secondary pupils will be in August. Back here probably.
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West Port, the flowers usually look lovely but it isn’t an allowable activity for the group that tends them to keep them nice.
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I usually turn left here, but the beginning of the Lade Braes doesn’t lend itself to social distancing, so I walked past the care home and joined it later. Below Gibson house. OAP home. As far as I know Covid free.
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Saturday afternoon, but no football allowed. Usually a match here.
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There is just about room along most of the Lade Braes to dart into the side if someone else is coming. I do ALL the darting as I have a first-hand account from R of what Covid does to you and I DO NOT WANT it.
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Here is a wider part
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Once upon a time I got a beautiful picture of the duck-pond looking all blue and the ducks looking gorgeous, but anything short of full sun, and it looks mostly murky. There are no ducklings to be seen on any of the burns and ponds this year. The gulls aren’t getting their usual quota of chips from the students, and the herons are always a menace.
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Doocot. In Fife the lairds are supposed to have pickle land, muckle debt, a doocot and a guid ganging cause (lawsuit). The reason for the muckle debt is the guid ganging cause and the reason for that is the doocot as they sued their neighbours for keeping doos which stripped their crops.
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It is even less possible to social distance along the end of the Lade Braes to Lumbo Den, so I scuttled along as fast as I could
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Into Lumbo Den
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Looking back from Lumbo Den.
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After Lumbo Den, I crossed the road and walk up Craigtoun Den

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Path skirting the park
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This leads to Craigtoun Park
This is The Dutch Village in Craigtoun Park. I think the Youngers(who owned the mansion and the park) built it. Really in need of restoration, at one point there was a cafe in it, but too dangerous now. When the park is in full swing you can hire boats.
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The Duke’s Golf Course. The eponymous Duke must be glad that Covid 19 has kept his private life out of the headlines for a while.
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Wood skirting the course. I met a mountain biker here who almost bumped into me. Did he stop? Of course not.
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That scar is Balmullo quarry. Nice walk to the top of that, but need to take a bike and am a trifle scared after R's mishap. Don't want another broken hip.
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Hole in the wall
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At least we can now see the objective
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Denhead. The long dead Prof of Spanish used to live here.
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Getting a bit closer
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A colleague of R's had a daughter who was pony mad. When she went to Uni it came to live here in term time and she pestered him into going up to see if it was happy. He was lying on top of Drumcarrow Craig listening to the larks when the phone went "Dad, did he look happy?" "Of course he's happy, ANYONE would be happy up here. I'M happy up here. Tell you what, I'm staying up here, and I'm going to send him down to run the b****y department."
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There may be a shorter way, but this is the standard one.
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All the horses came rushing over to greet me. I think they had been starved human company (or thought I had something for them.) I just told them firmly that the only apple I had was in juice form in a carton in my pocket, and I didn't think they could cope with drinking through a straw, and they left me alone.
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The grass seems to have healed a bit since R and I drove here to climb it before Lockdown. The scrambing bikers seem to be allowed to come and turn the place into a quagmire over winter.
Summit. There are supposed to be Pictish remains round here, but I think you need an archeologists eye to spot them
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Mast
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I can now work my self- timer
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St. Andrews zoomed. Hard to avoid wires up here.
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Looking across to Tentsmuir forest and beach
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Views from hill
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No riders to beware since lock-down
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Back through the wall
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This is “Badgers” hole on the course, but haven’t see any signs
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Entrance to Craigtoun Park
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Boarded up Craigtoun Mansion. There have been plans for years to make luxury flats, but the owner then acquired a student residence near the Old Course and this was shelved. He only got it because he was going to build the golf course, but then wanted a purpose built club-house. It used to belong to the Younger family who gave it and the park to the town. Had my kids there when it was a maternity hospital. It then became an OAP home but the heating bills were extortionate per patient as they could only use the ground floor. So it was sold.
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Dutch Village again
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The train used to be pulled by a tractor, but I think is better these days. The station looks like something out of a Flanders and Swan song
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“No passenger waits on Chittening platform or Cheslyn Hay
No one departs, no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, from St Erth to St Ives
They've all passed out of our lives
On the Slow Train, on the Slow Train.”

Flowers on Lade Braes
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I always think this tree looks like an Arthur Rackham Illustration
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Back in Cockshaugh Park
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More flowers on Lade Braes
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Museum Display seems to have gone up in smoke
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Hope Park Church
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North St.
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St. Salvator’s (University) Chapel
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Butts Wynd
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The University in complete lockdown
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The Scores leading back to The Castle
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Next day, we invited all our friends that couldn't catch Covid to the party
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Last edited by Sgurr on Wed May 27, 2020 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
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Location: Fife

Re: Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown

Postby denfinella » Wed May 20, 2020 12:21 am

Lovely report, and any hill at all is an achievement within lockdown restrictions! :)

Happy birthday.
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denfinella
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Re: Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown

Postby RiverSong » Wed May 20, 2020 9:55 pm

Enjoyed your photos of St Andrews, but sad to see it bereft of people, it’s always been very busy anytime I visited. Impressive walking all that distance 8)
RiverSong
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Re: Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown

Postby Sgurr » Thu May 21, 2020 10:36 am

RiverSong wrote:Enjoyed your photos of St Andrews, but sad to see it bereft of people, it’s always been very busy anytime I visited. Impressive walking all that distance 8)


You are right. If I had 1p for every tourist I have seen taking a selfie, I would be a very rich woman. Lockdown gave me a good opportunity to walk round another day and take photos of all the shops and put them on St. Andrews Photo Corner f/b page. For Market St. I had the sense to ask which shops were there before and had LOADS of interesting memories. It would have been impossible otherwise. However, the cars are sneaking back. Don't know where from. No use being censorious as Scottish people could easily have bought their cars in England(or University lecturers come to a new job here)...but there was a cluster of 8 English number plates the other side of the West Port.
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Sgurr
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 4176
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Joined: Nov 15, 2010
Location: Fife

Re: Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown

Postby Huff_n_Puff » Sat May 23, 2020 3:33 pm

Enjoyed that, I lived in St A for a few years in the 1970s, brought back some interesting memories but I never walked up Drumcarrow Craig; something for the 'to-do'list? :wink: :wink:
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Re: Drumcarrow Craig in Lockdown

Postby dogplodder » Sat May 23, 2020 4:13 pm

A most enjoyable read. If you have to be stuck in a city for weeks on end St Andrews comes pretty high up the list! :D
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