The Smell of Death

It’s not often that the smell of Biggles’ farts is welcome, but on Sunday we were longing for the heady aroma of overcooked cabbage.

We frequently drive past nearby Loudoun Hill and on Sunday we decided to enjoy the views from the top. We parked up at nearby Darvel to walk along the old railway line to the hill – a round trip of about 7 or 8 miles.

Loudoun Hill from the old railway track near Darvel

While we stopped to take the photo above Beanie and Biggles began frantically rolling in the grass. A closer inspection revealed the reason for their enthusiasm:

The well rotted carcass of a sheep

The smell was vile and we spent the rest of the walk trying to stay up wind of the pups. We tried to get them to roll in cow dung in the hope that it would mask the smell of death but our Beaglets were very proud of their lovely new scent and didn’t want to spoil it.

The old railway closed in the 1930’s and now it’s just a grass track running through farmland. We stopped several times to admire the views.



There were lots of stiles to lift our stinky pups over:


I was half way over this one with Beanie when Paul spotted the notice advising walkers to take a detour to avoid the horse.


We took the alternative route which took us through a field alongside the railway track. Just moments later the meanest, biggest, angriest black stallion appeared on the railway track. Beanie and Biggles barked frantically and the horse pounded it’s hooves and galloped up and down the railway track looking for a way to get through the fence. I’ve never seen a horse look so menacing.



We moved on briskly. Loudon Hill was now getting closer.


As we approached the hill we left the railway track to walk along farm roads. The fields were full of cattle – young males I think. They were all very interested in Beanie and Biggles and came stampeding over to the fence for a closer look.


Eventually we got to the hill. It’s a short but steep climb up and the views from the top are amazing.


The Battle of Loudoun Hill was fought in May 1307 between a Scots force led by Robert Bruce and the English commanded by Aymer de Valence. It took place beneath Loudoun Hill, and ended in a victory for Bruce. There’s a plaque to commemorate the battle at the top of the hill.



This one’s looking back towards Irvine bay (where we live):



We spent about an hour on Loudon Hill chatting to other walkers. We then retraced our steps back to Darvel and our car. I was a bit nervous about crossing the field beside the black stallion and sure enough, he was lying in wait for us. I was convinced he was going to jump the fence to get to us at one point. And of course, Beanie and Biggles wound him up by barking. A few minute after escaping the stallion we heard a drumming of hooves….LOTS of hooves. A herd of cattle stampeded over to get a closer look at our very noisy Beagles. Fortunately there was a fence separating their field from the railway track!


I’m sure they were just curious, but the jostled and pushed to try and get close to the fence for a better view. Every so often they’d charge away from the fence and then come stampeding back. It was quite unnerving being so close to them. And of course, Beanie and Biggles continued to bark, howl and bay. But there was a fence there. Nothing to worry about. And then…..

….the fence stopped. We were in the field with a herd of large cattle that were hell bent on getting a close look at our noisy hounds. We legged it up the steep railway embankment and fortunately most of the cattle stopped following. One particularly curious one followed us for a while but he eventually gave up.

A lovely walk, but watch out for the farm animals!