Easter Sunday and I was feeling tired and a bit drained. We’d had a great day on Saturday but to be honest all I really felt like doing on Sunday was curling up in bed and trying to get more sleep. I hadn’t had a brilliant night and my period was giving me a bit of grief. In spite of this though we wanted to make the most of the day. I didn’t want to go too far and Neil suggested a drive to Carron Valley reservoir as he wanted to look at the area with a view to using it for some night time photos so off we went. We never actually got there though. We ended up walking into the hills to Holehead weather radar.
The thing is that as we drove we broke through low cloud into blue skies and came to an area of the road where we could see low cloud across the valley in front of us. Naturally enough Neil wanted to stop and take a couple of photos and we were able to pull into the bottom of a gated entry for a rough gravel road that led uphill.
While Neil started to take photos I was drawn towards the gate and the track leading up the hill. I could see it going off but not where it went. I got the urge to explore and when Neil finished taking his photos I suggested we follow it for a bit and see where it went. In the distance we could see what looked like a giant golfball on the hill and thought the road might lead to it. We weren’t sure what it was but thought it likely that it was a radar station or small observatory.
The gate had a stile so we climbed that and started off up the hill. I had started to feel better in the car but when we stopped and decided to investigate the hill I felt much better again. There was no one else around us. The land we walked through was rough grassland with peaty damp aspects to it as well. We passed some sheep, heard and saw skylarks rising into the blue above us and even spotted a butterfly. It was wonderful! Every now and then we paused and Neil took some more photos of the landscapes around us. The low cloud that had led us to stop in the first place gradually thinned. We passed an area with fir trees in the distance and heard ravens on the breeze then spotted them above those trees. Second day in a row to see and hear ravens! A short distance further along and we could see mountains still dressed in snow.
The road did that thing that often happens in the Campsies and other hills, you come to a bit that looks like it’s the top and when you get there there is yet another rise before you. Slowly and steadily we rose higher into the Campsie Hills. The views were wonderful, the sky above us was blue, the sun was shining and there was a light, warm breeze. It was an incredibly peaceful place to be with the pathway stretching out behind us.
At one point we stopped and I sat down for a rest. As the day had started off cool we had our coats and by this time I had taken mine off and was carrying it so I spread it out in the grass beside the path and sat on it while Neil carried on taking photos. The short rest left me feeling much more refreshed and we decided to continue on.
Eventually we reached the top and discovered it was a weather radar that we had seen from the roadside. The views from beside it were wonderful and it’s probably going to be a good place for night time viewing as well.
On the way back down we visited a small standing stone that we had spotted. It doesn’t seem to be marked on any maps and we’ve no idea how long it has been there but it was interesting.
Again I sat for a bit while Neil took several photos. Then we continued on the way back to the car and returned home tired and hungry but feeling very much at peace.
(All photos copyright Neil Pitchford)