Hightown Hill and Bishop Forest Hill.

I like doing all sorts of things in addition to hills.Quite a few Marilyns are nice easy wee hills and it`s always interesting to have a root around the area for additional things to do.These two hills were a case in point.I can`t remember where Bob was on this particular day.Todays hills were Hightown hill and Bishop Forest Hill.

A lovely sunny day in prospect and I decided to go down to bag a few Dumfrieshire hills for a change.I`ve never yet managed to visit the Italian Chapel on Orkney but today I was to discover it`s equal in the other end of Scotland 🙂 I turned off the M74 at Lockerbie and was aiming for Hightown Hill when I noticed a small homemade sign at the side of the road.Ukranian Chapel it said.Followed the sign down a few minor roads and eventaully came to what looked like a heavy goods vehicle yard.The sign to the Chapel indicated I should go in here so that`s what I did.It didn`t look too promising I can tell you..!There was a small car park and a workshop with a few lorries outside.A couple of men chatting away gave a nod in my direction.Another small sign at the edge of the car park said “Chapel this way”.Around the corner the chapel came into view….

The Ukranian Chapel.

Not very promising,is it?

Here`s what greets you when you open the door….

Inside the chapel.

It`s a riot of colour…

Ukranian chapel,Lockerbie.

This is a hidden gem of a place 🙂 They obviously had no access to materials as it`s entirely made out of random pieces of timber and plywood and plasterboard.what a job they done though.! It`s still in use to this day by the Ukranian community in Scotland.A caravan next door is left open and has a small display of newspaper cuttings etc.A nice touch is the kettle,tea/coffee/milk and biscuits left there for visitors.More info and pics here….

The Ukranian Chapel

I found this video on Youtube which goes into more detail and is worth watching if you are interested…

Back on the road again,through Lochmaben, and I parked opposite Hightown farm at the start of the marked path.It didn`t take long to get to the trig point at the summit.As an isolated hill the views were expansive but too distant for a camera to capture with any interest.Queensberry was prominent to the north and the Lake District was just visible through the haze to the south.

The summit of Hightown Hill…

Trig point on Hightown Hill.

Onwards to the next hill of the day,Bishop Forest Hill,via a quick snack at a roadside coffee bar outside Dumfries.I knew there was a sculpture park of sorts up Glenkiln but was surprised by the lack of signs in this regard.A small discreet one past Shawhead was the only indication that there was something up there.I pulled in to the small car park at the head of Glenkiln Reservoir and parked below this.

John the Baptist by Jacob Epstein…

John the Baptist by Jacob Epstein.

Further along the road.Henry Moore….The King and Queen.

The King and Queen by Henry Moore.

For a detailed description of the various sculptures  and some excellent pics visit this site….

Glenkiln sculptures 

A couple of greylag geese were posing by the banks of the reservoir on the walk back to the car…

Greylag geese.

I didn`t time myself as it was a nice sunny day and I was in no rush but I`d guess it probably takes around an hour to vist them all.Picked up the car and drove up the glen a bit to Marglolly Bridge where there is room for a car to squeeze in at the entrance to Slongaber farm.

Starting point for Bishop Forest Hill.

From there an unmarked track goes all the way up to around 1,100 feet or so leaving a battle with the tussocks for the remaining kilometre over to the trig point and the huge cairn at the summit of Bishop Forest Hill.

Summit of Bishop Forest Hill.

I came home via Moniaive which was added to my list of places to retire to as it seems to have more than it`s fair share of old hippies
To give the day a more modern bent sculpture wise I paid another visit to the Andy Goldsworthy one further up the road outside Penpont.

Andy Goldsworthy . Cairn at Penpont.

All that was left was a pleasant evenings drive over the Dalveen Pass and back up the motorway.A day with a difference and unusual in that the hills were the lesser of the days pleasures.

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