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Dumfries & Galloway Walks

Neilson's Monument

Date: 7th Aug 2015
Distance: 1.8 miles
Ascent: 270ft
Time: 3 hours 10 mins
With: Lisa, Rhiannon, Mum & David
Start Grid Ref: NX683596

Walk Summary:
A short there and back walk from the Barstobrick Visitor Centre to Neilson's Monument on Barstobrick Hill.

Route Summary: Linear there and back walk on good paths from Barstobrick Visitor Centre, aka Stickety Lickety Teahouse.

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

The track leaving the visitor centre heading for Barstobrick Hill
One of a number of small ponds near the visitor centre
Leaving the track we began the short climb via this nice grassy path
Rhiannon and Lisa climbing the upper slopes of Barstobrick Hill
Looking back at my mum and David with the visitor centre in the distance
The Neilson Monument on the top of Barstobrick Hill
Looking south towards Bengairn and Screel
The distant Cairnsmore of Carsphairn and the Carsphairn Hills
Rhiannon and Lisa below the Neilson Monument
Rhiannon walking back down to the visitor centre

Walk Detail: For the last full day of our holiday in Galloway I thought it would be nice if we could all go for a short walk together. The location I chose was this short 'there and back' route to visit Neilson's Monument on Barstobrick Hill, a landmark that I'd seen a number of times over the course of the week whilst driving up and down the A75.

The walk started from the so-called Barstobrick Visitors Centre. This was really the Stickety Lickety cafe which had a large adjoining room with some information leaflets situated next to a riding school and accessed by a rather rough road climbing up from the A762 a mile or so north of Ringford.

The route was simplicity in itself. From the visitor centre we took a wide track passing above some ponds and alongside some paddocks. After a short while we then took a nice grassy path, initially enclosed, that led us up on to the upper slopes of Bartstobrick Hill. Despite a modest height of just 163m the view from the top of the hill was extensive and included the Galloway and Carshpairn Hills as well as Criffel on the Solway coast.

The summit is crowned by the distinctive Neilson's Monument. The monument is dedicated to James Beaumont Neilson who invented the hot-blast furnace in 1828 and was erected by his son in 1883. The top of the hill is also supposed to have been the site of an iron-age hillfort but there was nothing much to suggest this to the untrained eye, the scattering of boulders looking entirely natural. Unfortunately my father-in-law had a dizzy spell while we were up by the monument and although he recovered enough to walk back down it did put a bit dampner on the morning.

The route back was simply returning the way we went up. This was a very short walk and nothing compared to my adventure on Merrick earlier on in the week. Still it was worth doing and for comparatively little effort the views were superb.


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