The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday, 26 August 2016

Knock of Braemoray (NJ011418; 456m)

Friday 26 August

Knock of Braemoray presents itself (particularly when viewed from the north side) as being a standalone pimple of such a pleasing shape that it invites you to climb it. As it happens to sit on the list of Marilyns and lie right next to a road along which we were going to be driving, that's exactly what I decided to do this morning.

Parking in a layby just to the SE of the hill, over a fence I stepped and, within yards, a hint of a trodden line through the tussocks and heather was before me. Naturally I followed that line and, save for maybe 30 yards of high-stepping through old heather at a point when it temporarily disappeared, that trodden line took me all the way to the summit. Well, that was a lot easier than expected!

The true summit of this one isn't marked by anything. It's another of those where the high point is a tussock that has been declared to be a tiny bit higher than the other tussocks surrounding it. So, I can't say for certain that I've stood on the high point, but I visited the ten digit grid reference for the right spot and then visited the nearby tussocks for good measure.

I then nipped over to the trig point, donned a blindfold, span around three times and then tried to relocate that trodden line. I may be lying about the blindfold and the spinning, but the end result was the same: I had no idea where that little path lay and, per the nature of these trods through heather, they can only be seen when you're on top of them.

It took me most of the descent finally to recognise something in the landscape which in turn led me back to the trod. Fortunately, yomping downhill through heather is not the same energetic activity as yomping up through it. Moments later I was back at the layby, 33 minutes after having left, with 1.6 miles walked with somewhere around 150m ascent.

It's a nice little hill and a good viewpoint. Maybe next time we're passing Mick will pop up it too. Today he was focussed on an outing rather faster and flatter than mine; as I type he's out running on the Dava Way.
Edit: now I look at the GPS track I recorded, it looks like my outward and return legs varied very little, which makes it surprising that I didn’t find the trodden line until so late on the return. I must have been almost on top of it!


  1. Nice little hill. I have a third route option left to day.

  2. I'd happily go up it again, but would probably (boringly) opt for the same ascent again (now that I know that there are trods to assis), even if I was to make it into a longer walk by dropping off in a different direction.