The weather was still a bit dodgy so the thought of heading up not one but three hillforts in an afternoon was seeming far less likely. However, we got to Bailiehill Fort and parked by the interpretation board. A very friendly, local fisherman came over for a chat and explained the field below was known as the "Handfasting Field"; I think it is the point where the 2 tributaries of the river meet, which seems rather beautifully symbolic. After chatting with him we felt more enthused about attempting the steep climb up to Bailehill so, with wellies and waterproofs on, we set off. Now, wellies are not really the best footwear for walking up steep inclines but it was pretty boggy and we eventually got to the interesting bits, albeit slightly out of breath - but what a view!
Although the skies were still heavy with rain and grey we could see straight across the valley and the colours on the hillsides were stunning. We could also make out a number of other hill fort sites on the surrounding hills as we pottered around. This site has some great thunking ramparts and I was staggered to read that is has never been excavated, so we tried to do a bit of our own "digging", poking around in some of the exposed holes but it proved unfruitful. Bah.
After a good time spent doing our usual "oooh, look at this" and "do you think this is...." and after considering the theory that these were not defensive locations at all but more a case of local one-upmanship and status ("look how high up my house is!") we rather carefully descended the saturated hillside and were ready for more