Monday, May 25, 2015


At the east end of Talla Reservoir near Tweedsmuir is a little track which heads south, following the course of the Games Hope burn.

I had a perfect day for my walk, but this old rail is the remains of a bridge, and is a reminder that, in flood, the burn can be particularly powerful.

Not too far in is Gameshope bothy, and I could see that work was being done there early on Saturday morning, so keeping my feet dry I continued up the glen, with the intention of visiting the bothy later in the day.

If you like waterfalls, then the Gameshope has them in abundance.

Even in a dry spell, the burn was carrying a weight of water, draining the surrounding hills - Great Hill, Cape Law, Din Law and Garlet Dod.

Looking back down the glen.

Looking ahead over Crunklie Moss.

Peat bogs are wonderful places, but you would not want to be wandering around here in poor light! The photo doesn't really show how deep this hole is!

My first destination was Gameshope Loch.

One has to admire the wall builders of yesteryear. This one past its best now. My route was to follow the line of the wall to near the top of Garelet Dod, at 698 metres, my second target for the day.

I was rewarded with this view. Yes, wind farms in the distance, and a weather front moving in from the west.

Big sky country.

On one of my many stops on my way down, I found these smiling faces. No sheep anymore (see below), so hopefully more in the way of natural flora and fauna in the future.

On the map hereabouts is a feature marked as 'Skull Heads'. Well, with a bit of imagination .... !

It was a welcome sight to see the bothy, on the left of the storage shed.

What a wonderful wee bothy, maintained by the MBA, see here.

It's just the one room, and was spotless on my visit. Full marks to Mike, the MO, whom I had seen earlier in the day.

And the bothy is a splendid memorial to Andrew Jensen.

What a setting it has!

For me, it was a great day, with no blocks of conifers in view, and the windfarms still far off in the distance. The good news is that the Gameshope estate was purchased recently by the Borders Forest Trust, see here, and the future of the area is assured. Let's hope so.

The bothy has a wonderful feature ... its own 'moat'! There's no bridge across the burn, just a ford. Whichever way you look at it, it was going to be wet feet. However, with a pair of dry socks in my pack, it was a comfortable walk out!

Photos © Skip Cottage

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Bob - that's a lonely walk . . and were it not for those bloody wind-farms you could probably imagine yourself being back a couple of centuries - I hate what they've done to those hills. My friend and I used to walk in the Lowthers around Leadhills a fair bit, in the days before all the mine workings were blocked up - they were really lonesome places and with a drizzle coming on, you just headed back to Leadhills itself. It was a great feeling getting back to my Aunt's cottage on Symington Street. Her name was Jane Hawley (or just plain Miss Hawley) and she was really well-known around the Moffat, Beattock and Leadhills area back in the 1970's - in fact if you look at YouTube, she appears in the episode of Weir's Way where he visits the Leadhills library. Anyway, the only way to get the loneliness out of your bones, was one of her cakes, and she always had tons of them to feed two hungry lads . .
    Thanks again for reminding me of those hills.