Box Hill – 209.4m, apparently

There’s not many hills in London to run up, certainly no proper hills. Box Hill in the Surrey Hills is about as good as it gets. Four months in London and my mountain legs have already deserted me. In their place are the puny, road-running limbs of a southern softie unacquainted to a steep slope. I had…

County tops between Inverness and London

Leaving my job in Inverness and re-locating to London has brought a temporary halt to my blogging efforts. However, in between lugging my worldly possessions hundreds of miles from one corner of the country to the other, my round-Britain trip re-visiting numerous county tops has continued in earnest. In the last week I have re-acquainted myself…

County tops

In a madcap, two-day cross-country dash, I re-visited 12 English county tops, from Worcestershire to Suffolk, as part of research for a guidebook on these high points. These three hills were the highlights. Worcestershire Beacon, Worcestershire Cleeve Common, Gloucestershire Milk Hill, Wiltshire

Craig Dunain

Up Craig Dunain again, yet again. There is no other hill or mountain I have climbed so frequently, at the moment three times a week. And why not? The hill is a perfect training ground within easy running distance of Inverness. Craig Dunain – all 288m of it – doesn’t look terribly impressive in this photograph, but it’s a…

Craig Dunain

Last night was my work’s Christmas bash. No expense spared in this year of recession. To Wetherspoons in Inverness we went for cheap turkey and trimmings, and even cheaper drink. Hence the reason I woke up this morning feeling considerably worse for wear. A run will sort me out, I reasoned. Fresh air, that’s what…

Bushey Heath

I’m re-visiting many of the UK’s county tops for a guidebook, due to be published some time in 2011. This is one of the least memorable: Bushey Heath, a 153m ‘peak’ on the Hertfordshire/Middlesex boundary and the highest point in the latter county, which I visited during a recent few days in London. The ascent…

Creag nan Clag

I saw this big fellow as I made my way to Creag nan Clach, a Marilyn overlooking lochs Duntelchaig and Ruthven in the northern Monadhliath. I’m without a car at the moment, so unless I can cycle, walk or catch a bus or train to the bottom of a hill, I’m not going there. Frustrating at times, but also…

Carn Glas-choire

In the north of Scotland, summer – all two days of it – seems to have merged seamlessly into winter, with the first flakes of snow sprinkling the high tops of the Cairngorms. I went back to Carn Glas-choire, the 659-metre summit of Nairnshire on the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park, three years…

Fyrish

  Fyrish is a 453-metre hill overlooking the Cromarty Firth and topped by an 18th century monument, making it a focal point for the Easter Ross community. It is also the venue for an annual hill race, a seven-and-a-half mile jaunt along forest tracks from Evanton. It was hot, still and steep. Vests were off. A mile-and-a-half in, I was happily…

Roineabhal

We We were coasting through South Uist when the car lost power. It just died. Flat battery we thought. But, no. Even with jump leads attached to a Range Rover, car refused to play ball. Ever tried to find a mechanic in the Western Isles on a Sunday morning? Your chances are slim to nil….

Carn nan Tri-tighearnan

Carn nan Tri-tighearnan – I’m glad I’m writing that name, not saying it – is the highest point in a swathe of land bordered by the A9, the Moray Firth and the River Findhorn. It is a bleak, brooding and melancholic place. Think Kinder Scout without the crowds. Once up on the high moor, the journey…