A shorter one this time, another TUMP close to Beauly. We had walked in Gallowhill Wood many times before but never bothered to find the exact summit of Gallow Hill. Quick research online revealed that the top has no landmark (cairn, trigpoint, large boulder, etc.) and is covered with woodland. Thankfully, a good forest track passes just 100m from the summit, so we were happy to visit to Gallow Hill to test our navigational skills.
The car park in Milton is officially closed, probably to discourage folks from Inverness to come here to exercise, but the area is still busy: we saw countless cyclists on the road along the firth. We found room for parking on the grassy verge of the road just past Redcastle. Usually, we walk through the gate and past the Mains to photograph the ruins of Old Redcastle, but this time we decided to stay away from buildings and headed along the shore to the entrance to Gallowhill Wood.
The day was cloudy with passing showers but the area of Beauly Firth avoided the rain today:
The tide was low and we spotted a few mallard ducks quacking about
Several cars were parked on the large layby by the entrance to the forest. Despite lockdown restrictions, being so close to Inverness, this area is still a popular walk for dog walkers and families on a Sunday stroll. Luckily, we avoided any human contact and dived happily into the woods, where it was just us and trees...
Once away from the main path towards Redcastle, we turned right (east) on to a track circling the hill. From higher up, we enjoyed nice views down to Beauly Firth:
Zoom to Beauly ridge:
Turn left here:
The track climbs through the forest, gaining about 50m in height. The woodland looked pretty dense and I was wondering at this point, were we condemned to forest trashing to find the summit:
Luckily, not this time! When we reached the highest point of the track, what awaited us was a friendly-looking pine plantation with loads of room for lurking:
Don't tell him twice! He's ready for a summit tracking race!
We didn't take our Garmin GPS, so Kevin relied on Viewranger on his mobile phone to locate the highest point. Hill Bagging database gives only an estimated grid reference, so it was just a matter of walking around and checking the app
According to our device, the highest point is a bit further (about 50m) east from the dot marking the 153m on 1-25k OS map. Kevin found an old tree stump between two pines and decided, this was as good a spot for the summit snap as any other:
Me trying to strike an unusual pose... looking more like I'm just about to slip off the stump
Having proved our point that every TUMP has its highest point (just as every dog has his day ), we returned to the track. Instead of returning the way we came, we thought it would be more interesting to continue on the track. Or alongside it, in some places:
The circular path follows the northern edge of the forest, with nice views north towards Black Isle and Ben Wyvis. The latter was invisible today
Kevin on the path along the woods:
Turn left once again:
Back on the tarmac road by the shore:
Just before we returned to the car, I said:
"So we are now into TUMP-ticking. What does this make us?"
"Desperate!" Kevin concluded.
It was our 10th local TUMP climbed since the lockdown started. Might not be a big deal, but a nice walk for a couple of hours.
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