Sunday, 5 April 2009

West Lomond and Bishop Hill

Once again to the Kingdom of Fife in search of a sun tan :) This time the destination was the Lomond Hills.Passing Cowdenbeath,Lochgelly and Markinch reminds me of a song I heard years ago in praise of the beauty of Fife. Some of the lines I remember are "see the bonnie pit bings all in a row" and "see Rosyth dockyard,the finest in the land". If anybody knows it can they send me the lyrics please..! I used to think it was a piss take but having spoke to a few Fifers I`m not sure if they take that view :)

Parked at the usual place on the high road between Leslie and Falkland under blue skies but accompanied by a chilling wind and set off towards West Lomond.

Looking towards West Lomond...

Looking back to it`s doppelganger East Lomond....

Great path all the way to the top and we had the summit to ourselves despite the good weather.
Looking south to Ballo reservoir from the heavily eroded trig....

It was a bit too chilly to hang around for long so we soon headed off south west to the Devils Burdens en route for Bishop Hill.This outcrop would not look out of place in the Peak District....just like a mini Stanage.We pottered around the various nooks and crannies and climbed a pinnacle or two before heading down to John Knox`s Pulpit.

Bob heading towards the Devils Burdens...

Devils Burdens from below..

Down to the saddle between West Lomond and Bishop Hill we stopped for a bit to eat at John Knox`s Pulpit halfway up a small crag.For a miserable old codger like him it is a remarkably beautiful place.

Bob in the Pulpit...

Had a wee traverse round the corner....

Fortunately,despite hanging around the Pulpit for an hour,I`m sure that I managed to avoid contracting a debilitating dose of the Presbyterian work ethic :)
The Pulpit is in a stunning location and can be seen halfway up the crag in this shot here..

We headed up the glen a bit to see the waterfalls and then upwards towards the Marilyn Bishop Hill..

We met our only other walker of the day here,a guy from Crail.On the way up to the summit we went down the north side to have a look at Carlin Maggie..

Bob suddenly remembers that his days of leading HVS are over and makes a jump for terra firma....

The windy conditions must have been ideal for the glider pilots from nearby Scotlandwell.They were staying up for hours on end it seemed on the thermals to the north of the escarpment.

We then headed back cross country to the car in a north easterly direction with a small detour into a forestry plantation so that I could bag the sadly negelected Drumain trig point.I`ve still to check to make sure but I think West Lomond was my 24th out of 31 on the county high points list :)


blueskyscotland said...

Now your being kind Alex.My days of leading HVS never started!Hard severe or VS at a push if I,d swallowed half a bottle of brave pills.I,ve always been good at jumping off things though,handy when growing up in a rough scheme and the local gang are after you.Todays top tip for youngsters....If you can play on a very high wall that youve already practiced jumping off many times...when kids chasing you follow your example watch their bones break as they hit the pavement hard without the preparation. Such is life......Always full of surprises...

muchtyman said...

The songs from the Shores o' The Forth by John Watt, Davey Stewart & the Beggars Mantle Ceilidh Band - a great LP if you can get your hands on it - includes 'Kelty Clippie' 'Fifes Got Everything', 'Bobby Muldoon' and the poem 'Dunfermline Linen.

Tapes may still be available from Springthyme music (see below).

Essential listening as you roam around our great Kingdom looking for obscure trig points I would say.

From "Shores of the Forth"


The New Tay Road Bridge, finest in the country
Half a croon tae cross it, an it disnae raise a cheer
It's a bob tae cross the Mersey, ye can stuff it up yer jersey
Would they pay it doon in London toon,
Oh no bloody fear

Oh Fife's gor everything, just the place for towrists
See the bonny pit bings staundin in a row

Fife's entertainment, finest in the country
We're the boys tae come tae if ye want tae get some tips
There's fitba at Central Park, neckin burdies in the dark
Haggis suppers, hot pies, bingo and chips

Fife's Scotch Whisky, finest in the country
Distilled frae mountain water in the coaltown of Markinch
Man it's got such power, matured for half an hour
So don't be vague and ask for Haig it's whisky at a pinch

Fife Coast beaches, finest in the country
If ye like sewage floatin roond yer toes
The Costa the East Neuk, it's enough tae mak ye bloody puke
If ye want tae go in for a dook, ye hae tae haud yer nose

Noo Fife's got culture, finest in the country
Oh when it comes tae arty talk, oh we'ew no the mugs
We've got Chink nags on oor wa's, a wheen o gonks in oor ha's
Vernon Ward, Tretchikof and white wally dugs

The Rosyth Dockyard, finest in the country
If ye want a cushy job just working for the state
There's auld folks, blind folks, holiday inclined folks
And if ye want a submarine just hurl it oot the gate

I would point out that a lot of it is well out of date - The East Neuk beaches really are some of the finest in the country - far cleaner than a lot of yon west coast 'resorts'

From Springthyme site:-

John Watt & Davey Stewart
Shores of the Forth

A classic album with a happy mixture of songs and music from the ancient Kingdom of Fife. Including 'Kelty Clippie' and 'Fife's Got Everything.'

mc: £7.29 (US $11.24)
excl VAT: £6.20 (US $9.56)
Also on Vinyl lp>

blueskyscotland said...

That`s great Muchtyman..thanks..!
Only heard it once on the Radio.Might have been Archie Fisher`s show years ago.
I`m away to get the guitar now :o)