DATE                                                   31.01.11

DISTANCE                                         ABOUT 5.8 MILES

WEATHER                                         GREY AND WINDY

START / FINISH                               CAR PARK AT HETHPOOL

Loft Hill.

Today the weather wasnít at it best , cold grey and windy , so  as anyone who knows me will tell you I cant walk in strong winds , so it look like it was a woodland walk for me today .

I had heard that they the forestry people had been working in the woodland in the Collage Valley, Whitehall forest I think itís called, so I decided to have a wander up that way.

I parked the car at the free car park at Hethpool, and wandered up the road heading up the valley, as soon as I started walking I knew that I had made the right choice, the sky was grey and the wind was far to strong for me to walk up any hill tops, on reaching the woodland I by pass the first track I had walked along their many times on my way to Trowupburn and carried on till I reached the track opposite the small holding at Whitehall from here it was a steady uphill plod , the forestry people had been working on thinning out a lot of the older trees , I haveĒ nt got a clue why but it made for some good access points to have a mooch around.

There is only so much mooching to be had before its time to get on and start covering some ground, so I got back onto the forest track slowly heading up following the White hall burn. as I approached the summit the forestry people hade gone from thinning out the trees to full scale harvesting, however this gave me an excellent route which would take me onto Saughieside Hill , unfortunately the wind was far to strong for me so I made a mental note to return and have a wander along the tops.(note did return a few days later and did a smashing walk up there ,will do a trip report when I get time) anyway back to the forest for me , followed the track which bought me out near the top of Loft hill, a quick wander to the top , only to be greeted not only by a stone cairn but also a wooden one made up by some old tree, there must be a story behind it. From here I cut back down joined up with a footpath that would have taken me back to Whitehall , but being on a exploring mission  I took another foot path and headed off back along the valley.

This path took me over the Whitehall burn, thereís not much water, in fact its not much of a burn so crossing it didnít cause any problems, from there it bought me out on the lower slopes of Blackhagg rig and back onto the privately owned road, from there I just walked back along the valley bottom back to the car.

Not a bad walk considering I had to be keep out of the wind however it has opened up some good possibilities for a couple of good ridge walks at a later date.

A few photos.

Looking along the Collage valley (note the grey day)

Across at Newton Tors.


On the forest track at Whitehall.


Looking back.


Looking down at the Whitehall burn.


Same again but from a bit higher up.


Across the valley towards the Tors.


Coming to where they have cleared the trees looking towards a cloudy Black hagg.


Back in the forest walking along a new roadway made by the harvesters.


On Loft Hill.


Stone cairn.


Two cairns?

Looking down the valley (very misty & grey).


Looking down towards the farm at Trowhopeburn.


The Tors.


Heading down.


Still heading down but now on the footpath heading back into the woods .


Another Clearing giving a view towards the Tors.


Have now left the woods looking back.


believe that this is a holiday let (but not certain).


Looking across the valley towards the Bizzle (canít really see that much as it grey and low cloud now).

A   new small waterfall in the Collage burn .


Again looking across at the other side of the valley .


Small waterfalls on the Whitehall burn.


Looking along the valley as I head back to the car.

Not a bad little walk , I will return to this area at a later date.