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]

Monday, 27 February 2017

Brown Muir (Marilyn, NJ258548, 339m)

It's been quite some months since I last went up a hill and almost the same length of time since I walked any distance. Brown Muir, tackled from Altonside, to the NE, proved to be a remarkably gentle reintroduction. We couldn't have asked for better conditions either, with clear skies, excellent air clarity, frosty ground and no wind.

Most people seem to tackle this hill from the end of the minor road to the NE, but being still new to the extra width of Bertie-the-Motorhome (he's 4" wider than Colin), I was reluctant to take us down such a minor road just yet. Happily, some journeying around on StreetView had revealed a good place to park, just yards off the nearby B-road (at NJ 29414 57381) and we were happy to walk the extra mile in each direction.

So, up a tarmac track, serving some waterworks (amongst other infrastructure, a covered reservoir liberally adorned with solar panels - a good use of space, I thought) we went, onto a rutted track, and onwards to pass the falling-into-ruin buildings at Moniesmouie. Our 1:50k map suggested the track would end there. Our 1.25k map said it would continue and so it did - a rough track all the way up to the mast which lies a few moments away from the trig:

Interesting trig point

The trig isn't the quite the highest point but a step over a fence and fifty metres further brought us to a selection of heathery tussocks, one of which is apparently higher than the rest. I tried them all out for size, just to be sure.

A retracing of steps saw us back down to Bertie two hours after we had left, having walked 6.5 miles with around 750' of ascent.

With it being so close to noon by then, we might have stayed in position whilst we lunched, except that Bertie was parked in the frosty shade (he was nice and warm inside mind; I've now added "turn heating off" onto the pre-flight checklist) and, as he has a solar panel, it seemed a shame to waste all those lovely rays beaming down. A sunny relocation was thus negotiated, although it has to be said that as practical as a supermarket car park is (particularly when you need some supplies), it wasn't the most picturesque option!


  1. You must have gone quickly to average 3.25mph, but maybe you were just approximating on the two hour time? Looks like a good hill - thumbs up for Marilyns.

    1. I wasn't approximating by much. Our exact time was 2:03, including the time spent taking photos and admiring the view on the top. I meant it when I said that this was a good reintroduction; it really was a very easy and gentle hill.

  2. How lucky having superb weather like that.

  3. You were indeed very fortunate to be able to clamber to the top of this fine hill. Had Vento Ludens and his cronies had their merry way (and the SNP local councillors) the top of the hill would have been plastered in a dozen huge wind turbines. It took the casting vote of the (independent) Chairman to defeat the application. The SNP councillors, to a man, supported the application even though the planning officers had recommended refusal.