I used to enjoy walking, having done a few long distance walks in the past and much to my shame I let my general fitness slide over the years. I eventually wore out my big clumping walking boots, not heather bashing on the high peaks but walking the dog along a country lane.
At the beginning of the week, I took a daftie and splashed out on a new pair of boots, which were duly christened with a walk on Wednesday up Bishop Hill, where one step led to another and before I knew it I had walked the length of the Bishop paying my respects to Carlin’ Maggie along the way.
The way up Bishop Hill is to park in the Portmoak Parish Church car park, but not on a Sunday morning when it is used by the congregation, then walk the short distance towards Scotlandwell to reach the path to Kilmagad Wood, which leads to the top of the Bishop.
This part of the path forms part of the Michael Bruce Way, which joins the parish burial ground, where he is buried to Kinnesswood, where he was born. Bruce was a local poet, who died at a young age.
Following the path up into the trees, it makes a left turn where you start to get some lovely views over to the Loch. There’s a scenic spot in the Community Woodland with a seat, where it is worth taking in the view from there. Otherwise, turn right and start heading up the hill.
The path here climbs steadily upwards and I was reminded of a hillwalking saying that my friends and I used to use, that we were “stopping to take in the views,” when in fact were were knackered and needed to rest!
The view as you climb upwards is worth taking in.
There is a fellowship on the hills, one tends to be a lot more friendlier in the great outdoors than anywhere else. I was just thinking that it would be nice to have some human interest in this scene and along comes another hillwalker, who duly obliged.
Chatting is also another way of having a fly break from the climb, although one can bleather too much and start cooling down… and that’s a hint to get moving again.
Shortly after this point you break out of the wood and onto the open hillside. The white golf ball of the weather radar pokes its head above the trees as you climb up to the top of Bishop Hill.
Near the top is one of the old quarries with a stone built entrance way. It must have served a useful purpose although what I do not know.
The last time that I walked up Bishop Hill was to join a friend who was photographing the gliders from nearby Portmoak, where were flying back and forth along the ridge in order to get some height. It’s fantastic to see the gliders so close, flying overhead with just the wind whistling to announce their presence.
I went with just one lens on my Fuji X-Pro1 camera. The 27mm (50mm equivalent) gives roughly the same field of view as the human eye does, so I was unable to zoom in and get closer pictures but it is not about the aircraft, it is about where the aircraft is that matters.
You get a great view of Kinnesswood from up on The Bishop, you seem to be looking directly down on to the houses.
I got carried away with myself and eventually walked along the entire length of Bishop Hill, passing close to Carlin’ Maggie, which is the name of a local rock formation. I did not take any photos as by that time the light had gone and it was time to get off the hill.
The wind had remained steadily on “Baltic” all morning and I was fair chilled, the clouds were dumping some rain over on the Cleish Hills, so that was my cue to get off the hill.
My last photo, was actually taken on the way up but seems appropriate to finish with, the same glider heading towards the landing field.
It just cried out to be a monochrome. Mossmorran is steaming away at the left hand side of the picture (I could have been working…) with the Forth Bridges and the Pentland Hills in the distance.
Well that’s all from me but there’s one thing for sure…