Had a few ideas of where to go for a cycle today but they were all along the coast, my last couple of cycles have been along the coast so thinking today a change & go up into the Lammermuir Hills to the summit of Spartleton Hill with it's 360 degree views & at a height of 468 metres above sea level, battling upwards in 36 mph gusts of wind really gave the lungs a workout...
Leaving my home village of Innerwick & starting my journey pretty much uphill all the way to Spartleton, approaching the farm of Elmscleugh.
Ducks & geese paddling in the Elmscleugh burn.
Passing through Elmscleugh farm & now the first of the hard hill climbs upwards.
Half way up & finally at the top of this hill stopping to look back & admire the view & also to grab a couple of photos.
I love this picture looking down the Sheeppath Glen with the low autumn sun highlighting the nooks & crannies.
Autumn gold cycling through the Monynut forest.
Doesn't look like this old sheepfold has been used in a few years.
Through the trees of Crichness Law emerging in the Crystall Rig wind farm & spotting the hill of my destination, Spartleton Hill.
Been a long time since any letters were posted through this old hill croft door, the last letter was probably an eviction notice so they could build the wind farm.
A way marker pointing the way of the Dunbar Common walking route towards Bothwell.
Passing by another old ruin & wondering what the people who lived in that cottage & worked the land here would make of these wind turbines !
Leaving the wind farm site through the kissing gate...
...to follow the pylon maintenance road towards my destination.
Turning off the pylon road & one last push to the top.
Taking in some views on the way up, looks like spiders cobwebs between the pylons the way the light is catching them.
Came across more of these traps for catching stoats & weasels, I would love to know why, as I've said in a previous blog it must be down to the grouse shooting as the stoats & weasels will eat the eggs & young game birds.
If you notice the top 2 pictures are a before & after shots of the trap when it has been triggered, oops someone has dropped a stone in it :-/
A great track for a hill climb, I love big hill climbs as when you are at the bottom you think it's going to be a struggle but keep your head down & keep the legs turning & before you know it you are at the top job done !
Got to the top of Spartleton Hill & with the views from the photos above in order of North, South, East & West . The wind is absolutely howling, terrific views to look around at & my camera battery decided to die so the photos from here on in are from my mobile phone !
A very bleak place this would be in the middle of winter, very exposed.
Trig points are a common name for 'triangulation pillars'. These were used by Ordnance Survey in order to determine the exact shape of the country. They are generally located on the top of the highest bit of ground in the area, so tht there is a direct line of sight from one to the next one. By sitting a 'theodolite' (an accurate protractor built into a telescope) on top of the pillar, accurate angles between pairs of nearby trig points could be measured. This is called 'triangulation'.
Top - Trig point benchmark plaque.
Bottom - Where the theodolite is placed for measuring.
Now for the journey back home & a nice easy ride back as it's mostly all downhill, all the hard work was done getting up here.
Taking a different route home by following the pylon maintenance road pretty much all the way back to Innerwick, but firstly a bite to eat hiding behind a hill out of the wind, enjoying the view & watching a pair of buzzards soaring above.
Some of the locals having a stare at me after I chased them along the road a bit, makes a change from them chasing me !!!
Nearly home now & what a difference in the wind as I drop in altitude, still following the pylon road & my old house at Weatherly to the left.
The leaves of autumn gold, a familiar sight in the form of Blackcastle tower, 5 minutes from now & a hot mug of coffee will be in my hand.
Well I really enjoyed that cycle to the top & I think next summer I will pack a tent & head to the top of Spartleton Hill to stay over night to watch the sunrise from this lofty location.
Thanks for looking & I hope that you enjoyed the sights from...
'A Battle Uphill To Spartleton Hill'
Until the next time, cheers for now.