Monday, 31 October 2011

Bishop Hill and West Lomond Hill

I've been looking at the Lomands of Fife from my side of the Firth of Forth for a long time. It was great to get the chance to go up there and take a look from the north side. But first things first. Harvey and I met my friend Keith and his dog Alfie... a King Charles spaniel at Scotlandwell, near Loch Leven. I immediately recognised the hill where we met because it makes up a part of the Loch Leven half marathon. I've had two recent contrasting experiences on that hill 2009 I died on it and somehow dragged myself back to the finish line. Last year I floated up it and enjoyed the run in for home (got a better time too.) So I took it as a good omen that the start of the walk up Bishop Hill is across the road from the top of the hill. It is nice walking up the hill through the woods and perfect for the dogs. On the top you can see Loch Leven and all the surrounding countryside. There are some great views over the Forth to East Lothian. There is also a good view of the Lomands of Fife. Between us and the West pap lay some fairly stiff walking into a valley, around a gorge and up the side to the top. On the way there are some remarkable stony outcrops which look like  puzzles that have been put together... all the big boulders stacked neatly on each other to make the perfect result. It looked more like something from Oz than Scotland. The view from the cairn at the top is well worth the effort... once again a great panorama of the surrounding countryside and over the Forth. I took a good look at the route over to the East pap in case I am ever foolhardy enough to have a go at the Lomands of Fife hill race.
The treck back didn't present any problems and fortunately Keith picked the right path out of the glen. But it was long and everyone was quite knackered by the time we got back from to the car, apart from Harvey who naturally wanted to do the whole thing again!

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