April Squares: Benbecula

Benbecula is a small island – eight miles by eight miles – squashed between North and South Uist in the Outer Hebrides. It’s generally flat, more loch than rock, with its high point, Rueval, at 406 feet not much of a challenge. Still, we climbed to the top and here I am gazing out at the landscape spread before me. For the full story see Hebridean Hop 14: Benbecula.

Today is the last day of Becky’s April Squares – #SquareTops – so huge thanks to her for running another successful challenge. I’ve enjoyed looking back at some of the tops we have stood on in the past in lieu of being able to revisit them in the current lockdown.

What next? I wondered in March if I would be able to write another Glasgow Gallivanting post, given that I’m not gallivanting anywhere. Turns out I could, so that will be out tomorrow. Also, I’ve finally had time to write up our trip to Berwickshire last summer, so that series will be starting next week. After that, who knows? Perhaps some limited gallivanting will resume. Let’s hope so!

April Squares: extensive views

Today’s post is proof that you might think you will get extensive views when you climb to the top, but it’s not always the case. Above is John at Renish Point in Harris. He’s looking quite happy – probably just as well that there is no picture of me at this point.

And here I am below, taking in the extensive views from the top of the cliffs on Islay’s Mull of Oa. The mist is clearing here, so maybe if you could see my face I’d be smiling.

These images are both from the last couple of years, so I think most of you will have seen them before. Just in case, here are links to the full posts.

Hebridean Hop 6: Rodel

Islay: Mull of Oa and Port Ellen

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge. Can you believe tomorrow is the last day?

April Squares: Wideford Hill

Ascending to the top of Wideford Hill was part of a wonderful holiday in Orkney in 2015. Both it and the nearby Cuween Hill have chambered tombs that you can clamber into. One of us did, one of us didn’t! Probably easy to guess, but the answer is here should you wish to know for sure: Wideford and Cuween Hills.

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge. Just two more days to go!

April Squares: Eoligarry

Usually, either John or I is standing “on top of the world” in these posts. Today we are replaced by cows! This is from a walk round the Eoligarry peninsula on Barra a couple of years ago. We climbed to the remains of Dun Sgurabhal, an Iron Age fort, with views to beaches on all sides. Seemingly, at least one of the cows below was resentful at sharing the space.

I’ve decided that these last four days of Becky’s #SquareTops challenge will all be from Scotland’s beautiful islands. I’ll really miss that scenery this year.

April Squares: Conic Hill

Here’s John on top of Conic Hill at Balmaha on Loch Lomond. The hill is formed by the Highland Boundary fault, also followed by the chain of islands you can see here: Inchcailloch, Torrinch, Creinch and Inchmurrin.

Read more: Balmaha and Conic Hill.

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge.

April Squares: Cockleroy Hill

This image shows one of three short walks taken on a cold, wet day in May 2015. They took us from prehistory through to the very contemporary gas refineries of Grangemouth, which you can see below me here as I stride purposefully along the top of Cockleroy Hill in West Lothian.

Full story: Cairnpapple Hill.

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge.

April Squares: Crawick Mulitiverse

Crawick Multiverse is a former open-cast mine owned by the Duke of Buccleuch who commissioned a landscape artist, the late Charles Jencks, to transform it into the artland it has been since 2015. There are plenty of features siting on top of other features, as you can see, but it’s not so much top of the world as out of this world! The site’s themes are space, astronomy, and cosmology, with features and landforms representing the sun, universes, galaxies, black holes and comets.

Read more: Crawick Multiverse.

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge.

April Squares: Blackhill

I like this shot of John, on top of the world at Blackhill Viewpoint in Lanarkshire, because it almost looks as though he is levitating. He has, of course, no such talent (but has many others, I hasten to add).

Blackhill features as a tiny afterthought in my post on Craignethan Castle. I wouldn’t have noticed had I not reread that but, on the horizon to the right of the trig point where several hedges converge, a fuzzy rainbow is just starting to form. It was that sort of day!

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge. We’re into the last week already!

April Squares: Forth Bridge

Todays post is a flashback to September 2017 when we ascended to the viewing platform on top of the Forth Bridge as part of a charity event. Below is the “official” photograph of us to prove we were there. I can’t crop that, because it would spoil it, but we do look as though we have that “top of the world” feeling.

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge. I suggest you pop over today to wish her happy birthday!

April Squares: Mine Woods

From yesterday’s highest-we-have-ever-climbed post, it’s back down to earth today. However, I think this shot is proof that you can get great views, and still feel on top of the world, even though you aren’t high up yourself. This is a walk in January 2018 through Mine Woods above the pretty little spa town of Bridge of Allan in Stirlingshire. I’m looking out across the golf course to the snowy hilltops beyond, including Ben Ledi.

Linked to Becky’s #SquareTops challenge.