Walking around Caerketton

I took the weekend off from my PhD studies to re-focus my brain with some healthy fresh air. On Saturday, I did that by exploring St Anthony’s Chapel and climbing Arthur’s Seat. And yesterday, I climbed Caerketton Hill to further my weekend of self-caer.

(Get it? Caerketton is pronounced caer-ket-ton. Caer = care. Self-caer… It’s OK, I laughed, even if you didn’t.)

The Caerketton Hill is one of many peaks in the Pentland Hills, a range of hills that border the rural estate where I live. I’ve explored bits of the hills over the years (herehereherehere, and here), but this was my first time tacking this particular (and relatively easy) peak that sits at a height of 478m (1,568ft). The actual circuit is about 5K (about 3 miles) if you start from the Boghall Farm car park. However, I nearly doubled that as I walked from my cottage (and back) and did a bit of wandering through the heather looking for (and sadly, not finding) a geocache.

Note: Here is a map of the Pentland Hills. Caerketton is in the top-right of the image, circled in red, with yellow highlighting for the bit that I walked. You know, in case you’re curious.

The first bit of the walk was a bit muddy underfoot, but most of the route had quite solid ground. I really enjoyed the climb and was taken by the views once I got to the top of the hill. However, the top of the hill (and the slowly fading sun) also meant it was quite windy and was getting quite cold. That means that my face was rather frozen for a bit, making parts of the journey unpleasant.

But then, as happens in life, things changed! The last bit of the circuit was an easy(ish) jaunt that was protected from the wind, so I warmed up rather well. Although the last bit home from the trailhead to cool me down again! So much so that when I took my post-walk shower, the water was stinging my frozen flesh a bit. (School Girl error: I should have let my body warm up a bit before hopping into the shower!)

Anyhow, climbing hills two days in a row, after being fairly sedentary for a month, was hard work! But I am fully recovered from the illness that caused the inactivity so I knew I could manage it. I am going to try to be a bit more active on the weekends (especially now that the weather is improving!) so hopefully, my next hill climb will be a bit easier.

And now… photos from Caerketton Hill for you to enjoy!

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