Hill of Dunnideer and Hill of Christ's Kirk have been on my wish list for a number of years. However, whenever I have approached them previously, I have always continued on for an ascent of Bennachie instead. On Sunday morning, I decided to right that wrong and definitely ascend Hill of Dunnideer and Hill of Christ's Kirk and definitely not ascend Bennachie.

It was -5C when we left home and -2C when we arrived at Insch for an ascent of these hills. We opted for an ascent of Hill of Dunnideer first, which is a very easy up and down from the small parking area.

Hills: Hill of Dunnideer
Date: Sunday 20th November 2016
Company: Myself, Becky and Cuillin


Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

From the parking area, after having a quick read of the information board, we made our way up the hill.

Dunnideer Hillfort car park sign:


Dunnideer Hillforts Information Board:


I have passed Hill of Dunnideer countless times on the train to Aberdeen. It was nice at long last to be heading up it. This is definitely a hill for all ages as you can literally get to the top in 10-15 minutes.

Track leading to Hill of Dunnideer:


The weather was stunning, a perfect clear, crisp morning.

Beautiful day for an ascent of Hill of Dunnideer:


Hill of Dunnideer:


We didn't bother with a rucksack for these hills, we were both carrying nothing more than cameras.

Becky ascending Hill of Dunnideer:


Becky ascending Hill of Dunnideer:


Final ascent of Hill of Dunnideer:


I hadn't realised that the ruins at the summit were quite so old. The castle ruins date back to the thirteenth century.

Approaching the summit:


Insch:


We spent some time at the summit having a look around the castle ruins.

C13th castle ruins:


C13th castle ruins:


Becky at the castle ruins:


Myself on the castle ruins:


Tap o'Noth and Bennachie are both very prominent from the summit.

Tap o'Noth (zoom):


View towards Tap o'Noth:


As well as the summit having C13th castle ruins, there are also the remains of a much older vitrified hill fort.

Vitrified hillfort remains:


From the summit, we made our way back down to the car taking care not to slip on the frozen-hard ground.

Looking back to C13th castle ruins:


On reaching the car, we drove round to a potential starting point for an ascent of Hill of Christ's Kirk.


Hills: Hill of Christ's Kirk
Date: Sunday 20th November 2016
Company: Myself, Becky and Cuillin


We parked next to a gate where there is room for one or two cars.

Parking on roadside verge:


From the roadside verge, we followed a track leading towards Sleepytown. As I had forgotten to take my phone with me, I have no details of our routes or stats for these hills. We didn't have a map, so we just explored to find a way up.

Becky and Cuillin heading for Hill of Christ's Kirk:


On reaching the end of the forest near Sleepytown, we continued to follow the track leading uphill.

Track towards Sleepytown:


Heading uphill:


At some point we definitely lost the good path and ended up on a poorer path and then non-existent path up through long grass. If you keep going up until there is no more up, it is usually a good way of reaching the summit!

Heading through long grass:


We eventually got back onto the good track just a few metres from the summit. To get to the trig point we had to step over a rusty barbed-wire fence.

Becky and Cuillin at the summit of Hill of Christ's Kirk:


View towards Hill of Dunnideer and Insch:


View towards Bennachie:


After taking a few pics at the summit, we made our way back down this time following the good track downhill towards Sleepytown.

A nice very easy day out up a HuMP and a TuMP.