Let’s Off-Road!

OK, so Byne Hill ended up being a tedious trudge round a graveyard, leaving my desire to have a bit of a climb (without killing my dodgy knee) unsatisfied. Enter Cornish Hill, with the following key attributes:

  • it’s only 460-odd metres high
  • it offers “outstanding views of the Galloway Hills and lochs” according to various websites
  • it’s in the Galloway Forest Park so there’s no way a grumpy farmer can deny access to it
  • it’s miles from the nearest cemetery ‘cos I’ll be buggered if I’m going to have a repeat of the Girvan fiasco

The walk up the hill is covered on numerous websites, so on Tuesday morning I printed out the one from the official Forestry Commission site and we set off. What could possibly go wrong? Well how about this – the directions from the Forestry Commission site are wrong, just plain wrong! They take you miles away from Cornish Hill (basically on the opposite side of the park) and lead you onto a track designed for four wheel drive, off-road vehicles. Given that we have a bargain-basement family car, not an off-roading monster, you can probably guess what happened next. Here’s a little excerpt from the Fast Show just to set the scene:

This was a dry day so the car didn’t get stuck in mud, but it did end up like a beached whale, sitting mostly on its exhaust pipe atop a hump in the narrow road with the wheels barely touching the ground. Just as I was trying to escape our predicament without doing further damage to the car, someone came along in another vehicle, clearly impatient to get past. I mean we where in the middle of nowhere, what were the chances that someone would come along right at that ever so embarrassing and frustrating moment?  That’s right, pretty much 100% given our luck. Somehow I got the car free without doing any appreciable damage, but I think our dogs learned a few four-lettered expletives while I was doing it.

Anyway, after that less than encouraging start we dug out a map, found our way to the correct starting point for the walk (which can be found here) and made it to the top of Cornish Hill without any further misadventures. The walk itself was over very quickly, but it delivered some impressive views for such a modest height, especially since that the weather wasn’t too great that day.



Rugged scenery and stimulating smells all round


The hill’s not “all that” though; it’s not even as tall as Biggles!


Human down! Commence pocket raid!

Since the hill walk was over so quickly we headed back via the Glentrool Visitor Centre and supplemented with one of the short trails there. It was much warmer and brighter away from the hills, and the Beaglets had a lovely relaxing sniffabout.




So despite a rocky start the day ended very well, though there was still one more brief moment of drama when Biggles did a re-enactment of our earlier trouble with the car..


Yeah it looks easy on the way down


But it’s a lot tougher to get back up. “Er Mum! Some help here!”