The sun was shining, it was an early finish at work….
The rukkie packed, boots laced up then the GPS satellites were found (Endomondo) and off out. It was now the back of 1pm and with no cloud cover, the pavement was starting to become slippier in the shaded areas but soon I was passing the golf clubhouse and on to the track, yep, the Green Rd. The track as it leaves the tarmac area starts flat but then quickly rises to 200m ASL splitting the golf course into two sections.
I tend to head down the 5th fairway where I cross back on to the regular track and as I turn the bend, the first mile is over, I soon meet the boggiest bit on the track but after this is it is literally dry and downhill the rest of the way.
Which way and road will I head today ? the choice as I left home was to turn left and head down the road until Penny’s Erch ( a fine example of an old sandstone railway bridge) at NS 342711 and then on to the cycle track where I would head back home but as I looked across to the south, I decided that the ‘Hill With No Name’ was the destination. At the bottom of the track, I headed east until I met the next right turn where I head down past ‘rich farm smells’ to Mathernock Bridge where the Gryfe today was more a trickle than the usual rushing torrent that it has been the last few months.
Passing the field where the old AAA Battery is situated, I could see an inquisitive large, very large old bull with its beady eye on me, I think it was saying ‘Bob, no visit today’. I had no intention of finding out how friendly the big fella was. Heading uphill now, the road starts to revert to more of a track but then the gate is met which takes me on to the open hillside and after taking a detour around a flock of sheep (have to be careful if they are in lamb), I finally strike out for the top of this unnamed summit.
In reality, the summit is not much higher than the other high spots in this area. I have found out that this area of ridge is named ‘Side Hills’, it has a mention in an old archaeological digest but a ‘googling’ finds no other mention but Roddy IOB’s suggestion that of local farms which lie either side of the ridge have the name ‘Side’ or ‘Syde’ in their name and the probable reason for the ‘syde’ part is there was a ‘Chapel of Syde’ located in the area to the S of the ridge this chapel was commissioned and built by one of the Lyles of Duchal. There is a house or farm in the area which has the name ‘Chapel’, I guess this may have connections. No definite date is given for the ancient chapel.The word ‘Syde’ has meaning of ‘Long hill-slope’ which is self explanatory when you see the local lie of the land.
The summit or top is at the area of some gorse bushes and a drystane dyke. I stopped and took in the views of the local farms and beyond and listened for any activity on the radio. There was a few PMR channels in use although mostly business by the sound of things. I did hear one GM station call out on occasion as I headed to the top. I took some photos and the usual panorama, the views stretching out before me, to the west was Corlic and the Cowal hills and moving NW, the higher Cowal hills such as Beinn Mhor then blending into the Arrochar area, Beinn an Lochain showing snow on its top. The Luss hills with Ben Lomond and the Crainlarich Alps just visible through a shimmering haze. Eastwards was Kilmacolm and views towards Paisley and finally the Hill of Stake and Misty Law to the south. A good day to have come out.
The road and later the track in the shaded bits was showing signs of icing up with the sun now setting, I quickly dropped back down the hill and when on the local ‘black stuff’ care had to be taken .
There is a couple of mentions of ‘Cauldside’ in Canmore.
I had checked information of the area previously and had known about a possible enclosure but I could see no evidence ( see link next)
Enclosure and Obsidian Scraper <HERE>
Hilltop is at NS 325702
A good day to have headed out.
Black Friday indeed, my trusty boots have split unfortunately. Ces’t la vie !
Geograph images <HERE>, good site to check images of the immediate area