Hill: Tap O'Noth
Date: Saturday 21 February 2009
Company: Myself, Carole, Becky and Beinn
Weather: Dry but windy
Dog friendly: Yes (two stiles to cross)

It looked a fine day this morning so we decided to head for Tap O'Noth. This would be my daughter Becky's first attempt at climbing a hill. Becky is only 2.

"Tap O'Noth is an excellent example of a vitrifed hillfort. This is the second-highest hillfort in Scotland. The fort consists of two enclosures built at separate times, 21ha in size. Boulders flanking the hill are all that remain of the outer structure, although within the walls small levels of land can be seen. These were probably the sites of quarries and circular wooden houses. The main enclosure crowns the top of the hill. One of the most interesting features is the vitrification, or fused stonework, caused by the burning of the fort walls. As well as being a fortress, Tap O'Noth also served as a beacon point to warn of possible invaders. It is not known when the enclosures were built but it is thought to have been between 1000BC and AD1000."

There is a car park sign-posted "Tap O'Noth footpath" on the A941 about 1.5km from Rhynie. From the car park there is a good path all the way to the summit.

Carole and Becky setting off from the car park:

Happy to be outside:

Tap O'Noth:

Running uphill:

The Buck (O'Cabrach):

Pressendye and Morven:

Look, I've found some snow:

About 300m distance-away from the summit, Becky decided she was too tired to continue so it was up in dad's arms and we marched on up the hill.

Come on mum:

Summit trig point:

Vitrified fort:

Vitrified fort:

Looking down to Rhynie:

Lochnagar (zoomed):

The return to the car was hard work as I carried Becky the whole way back. Found it terrific to get out on the hill with the wee one and was well-chuffed with how far she managed to go on her own. She seemed to really enjoy herself. Looking forward to many more similar outings but will probably leave it a few years until she is old enough to carry her dad.