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February Day Trip to Tinto Hill

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8 walkers met at the ever expanding Tinto car park for this day walk. For a misty and dreich Sunday morning the place was fairly busy with other walkers, many with dogs, and a few hill runners. We set off up the well-used tourist path passing and being passsed by a variety of others along the way. As we gained height and climbed above the low level mist we had good views of the temperature inversion.

Ascending Tinto Hill  Inversion on the ascent

The views disappeared higher up when we entered the mist surrounding the summit where we encountered icy stones and an icy wind. We found shelter from the wind on the leeward side of the large summit cairn and had a break.

The summit of Tinto Hill  Descent to Tinto Reservoir  At the Tinto Reservoir

From there Hamish and Brian decided to retrace their steps back to the car park while the rest of us opted for the longer return route by way of the reservoirs at Lochlyoch. The first part of the return walk followed the fence down the ridge, still in the mist and still with the cold wind. As we got below the mist we met a group of about a dozen walkers from Ayr heading towards the summit and they were the only others we met on the return journey. Turning down the ridge to the reservoirs we were sheltered from the wind and had a pleasant walk down and by the time we reached the reservoirs the sun came out. The two old reservoirs were built in 1882 and 1913 to supply water to the town of Lanark 7 miles away and they are now owned by Tinto Trout Fishery. From the reservoirs a 3km walk along the minor road brought us back to the start point.

To finish an enjoyable day on the hills, we visited the Tinto Hill Tearoom to sample their soup, scones and cakes before driving home. Hamish and Brian had also visited the tearoom and had left just as we were finishing our walk.

GPS data : distance 10.7km, total time 3hr 51mins, walking time 2hrs 54mins.

Willie Robison

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February Weekday Walk to Dungavel Hill

6 walkers and a dog met at the start point for the short walk to Dungavel Hill. I arrived at 9.50am to find the others already there and getting kitted up for the expected wet and windy conditions. As it turned out, we were sheltered from the wind for most of the walk, and the rain showers were never more than a drizzle.

We set off at 10am precisely and had a pleasant walk to the top with a couple of navigational glitches along the way. The first was following a windfarm track to a dead end instead of taking the older forest track. The second was a large excavation and spoil heap that made it difficult to find the start of the path through the trees to the summit. At the summit the strong wind meant we only had a brief stop in the shelter before heading back down the hill using a different path through the trees to get back to the track.

On Dungavel Hill  In the Heron Farm Shop and Kitchen

After the walk we visited the Heron Farm Shop and Kitchen for food and drinks.

GPS data : distance 9.6km, total time 2hr 24mins, walking time 2hrs 15mins.

Willie Robison

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