Sunday, 24 February 2019

Abington. Castle Hill. M74. Upper Reaches of the River Clyde.

                                                 ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.
A rare day out with Alex and a hill for a change. As I get older, left to my own devices, I'm more interested, on solo trips, to do coastal walks, lower level tours, or visit interesting urban areas rather than mountains. Although I still enjoy them I really need company to motivate me towards the extra effort to go up them and unlike me, Alex has never deviated from a love of hill walks. To the point where he rarely suggests anything else, with me at least :)  Above is Abington village, right beside the busy M74, and the starting point for our walk.
A bridge over the River Clyde to get to the hills. At this point it's not far from its source in the mountainous Southern Uplands.
A young dancing river still at this crossing, soon to be joined by a dozen other mountain streams to swell its volume as it snakes across the valleys towards the central lowlands and Glasgow.
This was in December. Fairly cold but no snow anywhere. It's been a very mild winter so far with mid February breaking new ground as the warmest day since records began for Scotland at this time of year.
A kestrel looking for prey.
Coalburn bing. A area known for its open cast mines in the past. A few scattered villages still clinging on here now that heavy industry no longer provides employment locally.
Luckily the main artery of the M74 runs right through here connecting Scotland to England and Glasgow to Carlisle.
Likewise the young river beside the road, reaching Glasgow by a less direct alternative path through gorges, over waterfalls, into dark forests, wide sunlit valleys, then past farms, town and villages to finally reach the sea.
Us climbing the foothills with views spreading below.
A glimpse into the Camps Reservoir surrounded by wind turbines. This area has a rich abundance of these covering dozens of different hillsides with modern metal forests the new trees. The highest hill ranges down here stayed in the mist most of the day, only clearing by late afternoon.
Alex reaching his summit.
And we did the next in line. Raggengill Hill.
Tinto in the distance.
Returning to Abington Village where there is a large free car park, handy for these hills.
Sheeps in sunlight. The End.


Carol said...

Coalburn Bing was always quite a landmark on my very many trips up and down the M74 to Scotland!

I always had my eye on all those hills too but worry they'll all be pathless and, therefore, very arduous - especially on the legs. We've done Tinto which obviously does have paths and Richard wants to do more in the Southern Uplands. I have to say he won't do anything without a path though!

Rosemary said...

I too gravitate more towards the lower levels than years ago, but I really prefer seeing the great expansive views only achieved from up a mountain. It is good that you managed a walk together, after all your blog is called Alex and Bob's Blue Sky Scotland.
Thank you for your advice re: cameras, I have now lowered my expectations.

Anabel Marsh said...

Low level / urban does me fine these days too. Nice trip though.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol, Yes it sticks out. I really enjoy climbing up bings, part of our industrial past.
Not being Munros or particularly spectacular to look at most of the Southern Uplands are pathless to some extent but many hills are easy grass slopes under foot. Wild Galloway has paths for a reason as its usually a nightmare underfoot away from them. Cairn Table is good as are the Pentlands ( Paths up them.)

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
Yep, Age shall not wither them... just make the hills seem higher. In one post years ago I turned Alex into a soft toy cartoon character on a road trip up north. I thought it was very funny and inspired- he did not. Hence a parting of the ways :o)
I've noticed over the years my posts have largely lost that unpredictable, wilder style of writing and gradually got more conventional to please my current audience. As in music bands, middle of the road stuff is always more popular than anything different, exciting, or experimental.

blueskyscotland said...

It's the history of places I find fascinating now Anabel. And not much time left on the clock to discover them all.

Carol said...

I think I was thinking about 'Wild Galloway' - that can be really rough off-piste.

We used to play on our huge quarry slagheaps a lot when we were kids - you'd think I wouldn't mind scree after slithering down those steep, loose slopes but descending scree still makes me nervous!

Ian Johnston said...

I'm guilty of just torching past these hills on the M74 Bob, I really should take the time to stop and explore - great view to Tinto

Andy said...

Abington was always somewhere I was pleased to see on my journeys north to the highlands. For me it always marked the beginning of the real Scotland after the flat lowlands past Gretna. Never walked in the Southern Uplands, I really should have made an effort