Hill: Minch Moor
Date: Thursday 20th November 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 8km, Ascent: 405m
Time: 2Hrs 10Mins

The weather forecast for today looked fairly good. The reality was another dreich day in the Southern Uplands . I had been hoping to keep Minch Moor for a good day but good days seem to be few and far between in the Southern Uplands. I therefore set of to ascend it in the clag.

I drove to Traquair were I parked in the village car park (a short distance up the track leading to Minch Moor).

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Before setting off I took a photo of the weather vane, said hello to some horses and had a read of the Southern Upland Way information board.

Car Park Weather Vane:


From the car park I set off up the vehicle track towards Minch Moor.

During the initial ascent, a large growling dog came running downhill towards me. I'm totally used to dogs but wasn't taking any chances with a growling one. I had my walking pole ready to give it a whack but as expected it slowed down on reaching me and started wagging its tail. The owner soon followed apologising for her lack of control of the dog. It was a good dog really, just acting brave .

The Riggs:

Track ascending Minch Moor:

There is little need to navigate up this hill as there are good tracks all the way to the summit.

On reaching the bothy I stopped for a look inside. It is fairly basic. A single small room and no fireplace. This could be a useful stopover if doing the Southern Upland Way but I don't think I would bother staying here just to do Minch Moor.

Minch Moor Bothy:

Inside Minch Moor Bothy:

From the bothy, I followed the track uphill passing two very wide Forestry Commission vehicle tracks.

Track beyond bothy:

Just beyond the second Forestry Commission vehicle track there is a track junction. It doesn't matter which of the two tracks you take uphill as they both end up at the same place. I took one track on the way up and the other on the way down.

Track junction:

Having read a couple of internet reports of this hill I was expecting to soon reach "Resolution Point".

Track leading to Resolution Point:

Resolution Point:

Here is some info about Resolution Point from the sign located there:

"Point of Resolution" is a conservation project and a sculpture.

Conservation: the heather in the sculpture has been cut back to stimulate new growth, so providing a better food source for the grouse (particularly the Black Grouse).

Sculpture: from the Resolution Point you will see a series of "circles". However as you move away from the Resolution Point you will notice that they are not circles at all but huge irregular elongated ovals (the largest is 150m long and only 30m wide). The sculpture will keep changing with the seasons over many years.

Heather "Circles":

I hope "artists" don't start spreading their creations over more hills!

A short distance beyond Resolution Point is Cheese Well. It is apparently called the Cheese Well because there was a custom of leaving small presents of cheese to thank and placate the fairies.

Cheese Well:

There was no cheese today just numerous small denomination coins, a hair band, a sweet, a golf tee and a teaspoon. On seeing these presents, I reckon the fairies would not be placated!

Cheese Well coins:

On reaching the waymarker, I took the track leading to Minch Moor viewpoint.

Junction leading to Minch Moor summit:

Track leading to summit of Minch Moor:

It was disappointing not to get any views from the summit. A fleeting glimpse of the sun was had through the clag.

Approaching the summit of Minch Moor:

In typical Forestry Commission fashion there is an oversized sign at the summit providing "Emergency Information". We don't need signs on and at the summits of Scottish Hills.

At the summit of Minch Moor:

I returned via the same route. During the descent I was pleased to see blue skies. Was the weather going to improve? I decided to ascend another hill just in case.

Some blue skies during the descent:

On getting back to the car, I drove round to Hartleap for an ascent of Turner Cleuch Law.

Hill: Turner Cleuch Law
Date: Thursday 20th November 2014
Company: Just myself
Distance: 3.8km, Ascent: 265m
Time: 1Hrs 10Mins

I parked in a small passing place near Hartleap.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

I set off to undertake a circular walk initially taking in Long Grain Rig. I followed a reasonable track as far as Long Grain Rig.

Initial ascent of Long Grain Rig:

Looking back towards car:

Ascending Long Grain Rig:

Looking across to cloud-capped Turner Cleuch Law:

Looking back to start:

From Long Grain Rig, I walked across some rough ground until picking up another track that led round to Turner Cleuch Law.

Heading round to Turner Cleuch Law from Long Grain Rig:

I eventually reached the summit of Turner Cleuch Law. No views, visibility was still poor.

Summit of Turner Cleuch Law:

I opted to descend following the treeline. I had expected, and hoped, to find a track next to the trees but there was none.

Descent alongside the treeline:

I was surprised to find a large cairn during the descent. I would reckon the cairn was around 7-8ft high.

Large cairn passed during the descent:

I then continued downhill back to Hartleap.


Another disappointing day spent in Southern Uplands mist.