Herman Law to Bodesbeck Law (and back)
Hills: Herman Law, Trowgrain Middle, Andrewhinney Hill, Bell Craig, Mid Rig, Bodesbeck Law
Date: Saturday 2nd February 2013
Company: Just myself
Distance: 18.5km, Ascent: 890m
Time: 5Hrs 30Mins


I set off this morning to walk the ridge from Herman Law to Bodesbeck Law, including Andrewhinney Hill. I have been looking forward to walking this ridge for some time.

This walk would have been shorter had I arranged to have a car at each end of the ridge traverse. It was however a really nice day, so I didn’t mind retracing my steps back along the ridge re-ascending a number of hills.

I parked just beyond Birkhill, where there is room for a couple of cars in a small lay-by just off the A708.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the lay-by, I walked a hundred metres or so along the road crossing from the Scottish Borders into Dumfries and Galloway. I climbed over a gate beside a sign advising, “Public footpath”. I then crossed a small grassy area, diagonally, to reach another gate which provides access to the hillside.

The initial ascent of Herman Law was definitely steep. The grass was frozen which possibly made the ascent easier.

Initial ascent up Herman Law:


I then followed the fence all the way up Herman Law, as far as the summit. The fence has a number of arrows on it marking the way.

Following the fence up Herman Law:


I reached the summit of Herman Law less than 40 minutes after setting off. Herman Law is a Donald and New Donald.

I took a photo of my GPS at each top today to help me remember when I got back where each photo was taken from.

At the summit of Herman Law:


Looking across to Moffat Hills from Herman Law:


Looking towards Trowgrain Middle and Mid Rig from Herman Law:


From Herman Law, I made my way across to the next top, Trowgrain Middle. The underfoot conditions today were terrific - the ground was frozen solid, so no wet feet. When I undertook this walk today, I had no idea which were Donalds, New Donalds and Donald Tops. I looked all that up when I got back . Trowgrain Middle is a Donald Top.

At the top of Trowgrain Middle:


Looking back to Herman Law from Trowgrain Middle:


Looking across to Moffat hills from Trowgrain Middle:


From the summit of Trowgrain Middle, I took a wee diversion to visit another area that looked as high as the summit cairn.

Looking back towards the Trowgrain Middle cairn from another high point:


From Trowgrain Middle, I made my way along to the next top, Mid Rig. This Mid Rig doesn’t appear to be a Donald, New Donald or Donald Top. I got a bit confused as there is another Mid Rig further along the ridge which is a New Donald. Further, the large cairn on Mid Rig isn’t at the top.

Looking towards Mid Rig from cairn at 644m top:


Summit of Mid Rig:


Looking towards Andrewhinney Hill from Mid Rig:


From Mid Rig, it was a pleasant easy walk towards the highest hill of the day, Andrewhinney Hill.

Approaching the summit of Andrewhinney Hill:


Andrewhinney Hill is a Graham, Marilyn, HuMP, Donald and New Donald.
My first brief stop of the day was at the summit of Andrewhinney Hill.

View from the summit of Andrewhinney Hill:


Loch Skeen (zoom):


After a quick drink, I took another small diversion this time to get a view across to the Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall. I recommend the diversion.

Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall (zoom):


Grey Mare’s Tail waterfall (zoom):


Looking across to Carrifran Gans and White Coomb:


Looking towards Swatte Fell and the Saddle Yokes:


I then returned to the ridge fence-line and continued to follow it towards Bell Craig.

Looking towards Bell Craig and Bodesbeck Law (in the distance):


Bell Craig is a Donald and New Donald.

At the summit of Bell Craig:


Looking back to Andrewhinney Hill from Bell Craig:


Looking towards Mid Rig and Bodesbeck Law:


Swatte Fell and the Saddle Yokes from Bell Craig:


From Bell Craig, I continued on towards the second Mid Rig of the day. This Mid Rig is a Donald Top and New Donald.

Looking back to Bell Craig and Andrewhinney Hill from Mid Rig:


Looking towards 608m top and Bodesbeck Law from Mid Rig:


The next wee top doesn’t make it into the Donald/Donald Top list as it is below 610m (2000ft).

Heading for 608m top and Bodesbeck Law:


As I made my way along the ridge, I got my first view of the day down into the glen.

Looking down glen towards Moffat:


Approaching the summit of Bodesbeck Law:


It was great to reach the summit of Bodesbeck Law. It only took 2Hrs 25Mins to traverse from Herman Law to Bodesbeck Law. Bodesbeck Law is a HuMP, Donald and New Donald.

Looking towards the Ettrick hills from the summit of Bodesbeck Law:


Looking towards the Ettrick hills from the summit of Bodesbeck Law:


Looking across to the Hart Fell horseshoe:


Looking back towards Bell Craig and Andrewhinney Hill from Bodesbeck Law:


Queensberry (zoom):


From Bodesbeck Law, I could have descended to the road and walked back along the road to my car. The walk back along the ridge was however a much better option – safer than walking on the narrow, winding road and not so hard on the feet.

I only had two brief stops on the way back along the ridge – at the summit of Andrewhinney Hill and at the 644m cairn on Mid Rig.

Back at the summit of Andrewhinney Hill:


Looking back from Andrewhinney Hill:


Back to the 644m cairn on Mid Rig:


While stopped at Mid Rig, I could make out a snowy hill to the South-East. I think the hill is the Cheviot.

The Cheviot (zoom):


Eildon Hills (zoom):


As I approached the col between Trowgrain Middle and Herman Law, I skirted the side of the hill to reach the path leading back to the car.

Descent of Herman Law:


Final descent back to the car:


On reaching the car I had a look at the stats on my GPS. Surprisingly, only 890m ascent for the day despite ascending most hills twice.

An enjoyable day out .