Hill of Stake from Largs

Sub 2000s: Hill of Stake

Date walked: 28/04/2012

Hills climbed : Hill of Stake (Marilyn).
Date : Saturday 28th April,2012.
Distance : 20.7 km (12.8 miles).
Time taken : 8 hours 10 minutes (5hrs 40mins actual moving time).
Weather : Bright and sunny spells. Cool breeze.
Attendees : MacAoidh.

Now that I have retired (early) from work, I’m finding more time to enjoy stravaiging on my local hills - the Renfrew Heights (Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park). As the weather looked settled I took the notion to pay Hill of Stake a visit. I parked at Flatt Farm (now demolished) where there is ample parking places at NS212592.

I set off at 9:40 and followed the track to the second gate, which is adjacent to the sheep fanks. From there I left the track and climbed the gentle slopes up to spot height 301 above the Quadrocks https://www.scottishclimbs.com/index.php?title=The_Quadrocks#Main_Crag

Heading up to the Quadrocks

Looking towards Girtley Hill from spot height 301.

From spot height 301 I made my way to Girtley Hill by following a quad bike track as far as NS23282 61398. At this point I climbed a fence which is just below the summit of Girtley Hill.

Looking towards Rowantree Hill and Burnt Hill from Girtley Hill.

From here it was a 35 minute walk over the tussocks and heather of Bessel Moor to reach the summit of Rowantree Hill ( Brother Hills).

Heading over Bessel Moor to Rowantree Hill/Brother Hills.

Looking towards Burnt Hill from Rowantree Hill (Brother Hills).

I had a short stop here before heading over to Burnt Hill and 30 minutes walk took me to the summit trig point.

Looking towards Cowal from Burnt Hill

I had a 10 minute stop on Burnt Hill to admire the view over to Arran, Cowal and the Arrochar Alps. From here the ground became rougher with bogs, hags, heather, and large areas of spongy sphagnum moss.

Looking towards Arran from Hill of Stake

I reached the boundary fence line at NS261641 and followed it to the summit of Hill of Stake, arriving there at 13:15. The sun had some heat in it, so I sat with my back against the trig point to shelter me from the cool breeze and I had a lengthy break to have a bite to eat and enjoy the wonderful panorama from Ailsa Craig, Arran, Cumbraes, Kintyre, Jura, Cowal, the Arrochar Alps, Ben Lomond etc. As I was sitting a young couple arrived and I enjoyed having a chat to them. The sun disappeared behind the cloud and it turned chilly, so I left them to enjoy their lunch.

Looking back to Hill of Stake from High Corby Knowe.

I left Hill of Stake at 13:50 and headed over West Girt Hill and High Corby Knowe. The heat from the sun returned, so I sat once more to enjoy the view before heading over Long Hill and arrived at Slaty Law at 15:05.

Looking back to Slaty Law from Box Law.

I had another short stop on Slaty Law before making my way directly to the wreckage of de Havilland Devon VP969, which crashed on the shoulder of Box Law (NS25828 60782) on 3rd June,1958. The 2 pilots survived the impact and made their own way to the lonely cottage of Howcraig, which was the home of the shepherd William Cameron and his family. The shepherds son was a school friend and he can vividly remember the pilots walking into Howcraig with their faces covered in blood.

Here is a link to one of my YouTube videos with pictures of the wreckage

Box Law

I then went up to the cairn on Box Law and back down to visit the impact site (NS25661 60929) and fragmented parts of RAF Vickers Wellington R1164 which crashed on 25th January,1941, sadly the pilot didn’t survive.

Following the quad bike track to Hare Craigs

When I return to Largs from Box Law I usually head directly to the ring contour at NS246608 as a feint quad bike track starts at this point and soon becomes more distinct and leads all the way to Hare Craigs, which gives a welcome break from tramping through the tussocks etc.

Looking over the Cumbraes to Arran from Hare craigs

I always enjoy stopping at Hare Craigs to sit among the boulders and enjoy the view over the Cumbraes to Arran and today was no exception as I lingered for 25 minutes before descending to Greeto Bridge, which is another lovely spot to sit by the pools.

Looking back to Hare Craigs from Greeto Bridge.

From here the last part of the walk is along the track which leads back to Flatt Farm. I arrived back at the car at 17:50. It has been a good few years since I last did this circular walk, but now I have more free time I’ll be doing it more often.

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Comments: 5

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Location: Largs - North Ayrshire

Munros: 282
Corbetts: 90
Grahams: 102
Donalds: 89
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Sub 2000: 64


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Trips: 1
Distance: 26 km
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Grahams: 1


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Corbetts: 1
Donalds: 2

Joined: Jan 02, 2009
Last visited: Jan 23, 2021
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