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White Coomb (Cairn(s)) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>White Coomb</b>Posted by thelonious<b>White Coomb</b>Posted by thelonious<b>White Coomb</b>Posted by thelonious<b>White Coomb</b>Posted by thelonious<b>White Coomb</b>Posted by thelonious<b>White Coomb</b>Posted by thelonious

White Coomb (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

17/05/2022 - Two cairns approx 100m apart sit on the summit of White Coomb. They are on Canmore and written in italics on the OS map. Both have a good sized footprint, 9.0m or so in diameter. Low in height and grassed over. There is a small modern cairn on one to mark the top of the hill. They are nothing flash but I liked them. The view and feeling of space is very good here.

We started from the car park at Grey Mare's Tail. Up to Loch Skeen then Lochcraig Head, White Coomb, Rotten Bottom and Saddle Yoke. Down to the road to walk back to the car. Good day out. It's nice round here.

Morven (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Morven</b>Posted by thelonious

Tap o' Noth (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Tap o' Noth</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Tap o' Noth</b>Posted by thelonious

Tap o' Noth (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

12/02/2022 – Never really been much for hanging round people. I think more so in the last few years for obvious reasons. I need the quiet places more with each passing year. Early starts or late to avoid folk. Heading out round sunset has been a bit of a life saver over winter. We were thinking of heading more inland today but the wind wasn’t great so decided to go to Tap o’ Noth. Got there about 30 mins before sunset. Empty car park so we had the hill to ourselves. Starting our walk in lovely late sunshine, it’s less than an hour to the top. We looped round east on the way up instead of the normal climb from the west. The Sun had gone to bed by the time we reached the hillfort. Twilight, I love these next two hours. The wind was cold as we walked to the trigpoint and the top just beyond, a really good lump of vitrified wall. We ducked out of the wind and plonked ourselves down inside the fort to have our tea. The walls of the hillfort shut out all the lights from down below, leaving just us and the emerging stars as the sky started to darken. Just a few days to full moon so no need for headtorches. The fort was now gently lit by moonlight. I’ve been trying to remember better the names of constellations recently instead of pointing and saying to Mrs T, ‘What’s that one called again?’ all the time. I’m pretty hopeless at it. Why can’t they all be easy like Orion. I stood up after a bit as I had been sitting cross legged for a while, which is always comfy until it isn’t. Sticking my head up over the walls, the wind reminded me quickly why we were sitting where we were. It felt colder in the dark. I didn’t stand long on the walls and soon hurried back to the sanctuary inside the fort and another warm brew. Last time we were here in the dark, I didn’t have a great feeling but this evening the fort felt safe and from inside the walls, the sky looked a perfect planetarium. We stayed as long as we could but the cold was getting into my hands so it was time to go. The walk down was by moonlight and we only needed our torches when we reached the trees. Tap o’ Noth is a fantastic place and wonderful hillfort. Just a lovely trip there today, away from the busy world.

Forvie Kerb Cairns (Kerbed Cairn) — Images

<b>Forvie Kerb Cairns</b>Posted by thelonious

Tomnaverie (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Tomnaverie</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Tomnaverie</b>Posted by thelonious

Auchterhouse Hill (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Auchterhouse Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Auchterhouse Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

Auchterhouse Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

04/01/2022 – Early morning start. Good parking at Balkello Community Woodland. It can get busy here so if you like a quiet walk go early. Lots of tracks through the wood but really just head north. The track for the hill is soon reached. It’s a short climb up Auchterhouse Hill. Nice tree covered top. Partial multivallate hillfort with 5 ramparts on the SE side. The path goes through these. Very good views from the top. We were there for sunrise. Really worth a visit to this one.

We continued on east over the tops via Craigowl Hill (trigpoint sits on a big lump, would love to know if this is an old cairn?) to Ironside Hill and then back to the car via Coldstream. Nice day out, cold wind and it snowed a bit but lovely sunshine too. Auchterhouse Hill hillfort was a nice way to start the day.

East Kinpurney Hill (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>East Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>East Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>East Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

East Kinpurney Hill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

03/01/2022 – From Kinpurney Hill we headed east to visit Henderston Hill. Not one of my better ideas as the windblow on the top was terrible. We made it back to East Kinpurney Hill in one piece thankfully. We stopped here as it looked a good place for a sit and our sandwiches. The view is very good and it’s peacefully away from the fort on Kinpurney Hill which can get a little busy. Quick check on the internet I noticed we were sitting about 90m from a cairn so we took the short stroll over to have a look.

The cairn is a scheduled monument. 6m in diameter, 0.4m in height and there is a faint ditch of about 2m wide surrounding it. It’s in a small copse of trees though sadly a lot of them have not survived the storm at the end of last November. The cairn is pretty non-existent. Very hard to make anything out. The ditch round it was there. There are two trees on it which are proper leaning now. Looking at the ground that’s been exposed it didn’t look much like cairn material.

The area is nice for a walk.

Kinpurney Hill (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kinpurney Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

Kinpurney Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

03/01/2022 – Start of a new year, hopefully this one turns out a bit more ‘normal’. A few days of walking in the Sidlaw Hills sounded as good a way to kick off the year as any. Kinpurney Hill is a fine hill. Good parking in Newtyle. Walked down road to Denend and then took the sign posted path up the Den. This is a lovely, wooded walk by a stream, bit muddy but very pretty. Coming out of the trees, the path heads up the hill. Bit steep and a little slippy in places but nothing too bad.

The fort is enclosed by a single rampart and ditch. It’s a fair-sized interior, area of 6.6ha making this the largest hillfort in Angus. Kinpurney Hill is probably better known for the tower on top. It’s an observatory, built 1774. There is a low grass bank surrounding the tower, probably unrelated to the hillfort.

Some have this hillfort as 'unfinished'. Also maybe vitrified, but probably not as the rocks are volcanic (best seen at base of tower).

Really worth the walk up. The views are fantastic from the top. The big snowy hills to the west and north looked great.

Brahan Wood (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Brahan Wood</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brahan Wood</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brahan Wood</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brahan Wood</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brahan Wood</b>Posted by thelonious

Brahan Wood (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

26/09/2021 – A fine walk today. Starting from Strathpeffer, first up to the trig on Cnoc Mor, then a nice visit to Bealachnancorr chambered cairn (liked this one very much). Next we headed over the top of Cnoc a' Mhuilinn-Thairbh to see if we could find this chambered cairn in Brahan Wood. The wood is really lovely and on a sunny day like today the stroll between the two cairns was very nice indeed. There are lots of tracks in this area so take a map, easy to get a bit lost. The cairn is in a quiet area of the wood. Not too hard to find. There is not much left of the cairn, like Bealachnancorr, just the remaining stones of the chamber. Not really that tall, hiding away a little in the grass and moss. What I first thought was the passage looked too wide and more like a second chamber. This could have been a big old cairn back in the day. There’s a big stone between the two chambers and another large stone lying just outside. The cairn sits on a small terrace and would have had a wonderful view out across the land I think. It’s within a wood now and on a sunny day just looked fantastic. We plonked ourselves down beside the cairn to have our sandwiches and a brew. Bit tired as the day was warm and humid. Such a peaceful vibe to the place. Soon felt a bit sleepy. The tall grasses picking up the light from the sun, the tree tops gently moving with the light breeze, just wonderful. The ground was full of life. We daydreamed a bit and watched spiders and bugs go about their daily business. Up and over our socks and on past our discarded boots to some important destination only known to them. Even the odd wasp that went by seemed pretty chilled out today. We really had such a lovely time here. There are better cairns around but today this one and its setting felt pretty perfect to us. Finally we left to walk the quiet road round Loch Ussie to visit the wonderful vitrified fort on Knock Farril. Then back to Strathpeffer via the very nice Touchstone Maze (built in the 90's using rocks from all over Scotland. It's really well done with lots of alignments for summer, winter etc). Top day out.

Bealachnancorr (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bealachnancorr</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Bealachnancorr</b>Posted by thelonious

Bealachnancorr (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

26/09/2021 – Scotland has a great access code but sometimes it can be tricky finding the best path to take out of a village or town. The start of a walk can be the hardest part I think. Core paths are a great help for this. Link below to map in case it’s of use to anyone.

Map of core paths in Scotland

Straight up signposted core path from Strathpeffer to first head for Cnoc Mor then paths heading down to the chambered cairn. Route was pretty overgrown and finding the site was fun. Lots of twisty paths through the trees.

The cairn is really nice. Just the stones of the passage and chamber left. The location is good and very peaceful. We stayed for a good bit, waiting on the sun to shine. It was playing hide and seek behind the clouds this morning.

Really glad we went looking for this one. Good stones with a nice vibe. I do like an Orkney-Cromarty cairn. Missed it last time we visited the trig on Cnoc Mor. The area is fine for walking, short stroll or a full day out. Like most places, best on a sunny day, take your time if you go.

Jarlshof (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Jarlshof</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Jarlshof</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Jarlshof</b>Posted by thelonious

Jarlshof (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

12/09/2021 – Jarlshof – just saying the word out loud makes me happy. I love it round here. The whole area, Old Scatness, Ness of Burgi, Jarlshof and up to Sumburgh Head which has my favourite trigpoint. The beaches, cliffs, even the airport, hotel and coffee shop. The bottom bit of Shetland is just great. As fine a place for a long weekend as you could wish for. Summer's best for birds. Even in mid September there’s stuff still about. We were lucky and saw minke whale the day before in the bay.

This was our first big adventure since March 2020 when half way through a trip to Wales, lockdown loomed and we had to head home. 18 months of not really mixing with folk, we were nervous setting off on our trip. Picked Orkney and Shetland as we love these places and thought they should be quiet. We had been lucky to visit Sumburgh a couple of times before. Ending our big trip at Jarlshof seemed perfect.

We stayed at the Sumburgh Hotel. It’s a really nice place. Proper friendly and right next to Jarlshof. Room 32 has a great view of the site and the bay.

We visited Jarlshof the day before in the rain. As today was our last day, we thought we’d go again. Visitor centre is closed at the moment but you can still walk round. We got up early. Jarlshof before breakfast sounded good to me.

Jarlshof has to be one of my favourite sites. The history here is amazing. It’s a 4000 year timeline that you get to walk around. But most of all, I love the stones. The colours and shapes are just so good. Revisiting places, you always see things you missed the first time. The broch has a ‘well’ like the one we had seen in Broch of Gurness just a few days back. I didn’t remember this from last time. I like all the twisting paths, doorways and curved walls. Very exciting to walk around. Soon it was time to head back and pack for our trip home. We stood for a while, looking out to sea, Sumburgh Head and far away Fair Isle. It felt good to be adventuring again.

Sumburgh Head (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Sumburgh Head</b>Posted by thelonious

Weisdale Hill (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Weisdale Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Weisdale Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Weisdale Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

Weisdale Hill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

10/09/2021 – Overnight ferry from Orkney to Shetland. Early morning, off the boat and on to the number 9 bus that goes to Walls. It’s a lovely bus route and if you don’t have a car, you could use it to visit the big sites like Scord of Brouster and with a bit of a walk, Stanydale Temple. Worth doing just for the scenery.

Today we were heading for Weisdale Hill. We had a bit of history with this one. Back in 2014 we were on the way here and had to turn back due to car problems. I’ve been wanting to get back and give it another go. Bus driver was proper friendly, asked where we were going. Dropped us off at Scord of Sound, the high part of the road just next to the track going up the hill. The feet were very grateful as it saved us 100m gain and we had full loads today with the rucksacks. Day 8 of the trip, we were tired. I’m starting to feel old for this backpacking game.

Slow plod up the track to the aerials on Hill of Sound then a pathless walk of about 1.2km to the top of Weisdale Hill. Nothing too bad underfoot. Pretty easy going. Weather wasn’t great today. Low cloud base so visibility wasn’t great but at least the rain was holding off.

Canmore has this cairn as a ‘a rubble pile covered in peat, which could be a prehistoric summit cairn’. Doesn’t make it sound that exciting. It’s a good size maybe 8-10m in diameter and over 2m high. There’s a small modern cairn on top. To my eyes it looked prehistory. It’s definitely built, not natural. The south side is covered in peat to a height over 2m. I’ve read the rate of peat accumulation is roughly 1mm per year, though could be slower this far north in Shetland. A depth of 2m would have taken 2,000 years or more. It’s an old cairn.

Bit of a shame it was cloudy today as the view from here would be very nice.

We didn’t stay too long, as it wasn’t a day for sitting. We headed back and into Tresta to wait for the bus back.

A nice day out.

Broch of Gurness — Images

<b>Broch of Gurness</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Broch of Gurness</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Broch of Gurness</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Broch of Gurness</b>Posted by thelonious
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