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Lauder, Wanton Walls, Dabshead Hill Fort, Southern Upland Way, Scotland.
[19.2 km] Thu 26 Nov 2015

OS Grid Ref:
Lat/Long: 55.720933, -2.723102

I'd spent the night on the moors above Lauder so I was able to get an early start to head for my walk. I’d parked in a small lay-by on the A697 road. There was no footpath by the road so I set off through a gate and up a recently ploughed and very muddy field. At the top I followed a farm track at Walton Walls and continued up the hill. It was still dark but I hadn't switched my head torch on. I saw a light ahead and it turned out to be a young lady walking her dog we spoke briefly as we crossed in the dark.

I was now on the line of the Southern Upland Way walk and at the top of the hill that track turned right. However I turn left and followed a forestry track through Edgar hope Wood in a northerly direction for about 2 miles. It was a very pleasant walk along the track through the dense woodland and eventually I came to a fence up to the right which I followed.
Hillfort outer ditch

It was a steep climb up the hill side until I reached another track at the Summit. This track was quite substantial and I followed it to the right and then it curved steadily left heading in a north western direction. Up ahead was Dabshead Hill and on the summit an ancient Hill Fort.
Just before sunrise
I reached the outer ditch and was planning to walk around it when I noticed the full moon a head was about to set over the far Horizon. I then decided to head for the centre of the hill fort which had an ordnance Survey trig post and an adjacent tall Monolith stone.
Monolith at sunrise
The stone was skewed at an angle of about 45 degrees. I took some pictures of the moon setting. Almost directly opposite the moon was the sun about to rise. The sky was partially clear and the sun's rays illuminated the underside of the clouds. I was able to take a few more photographs before continuing my walk to the northeast along a faint and wet track
Sun on the trig post and monolith
After just over 1 mile I left the track to investigate a circular stone sheep fold and some nearby standing stones which the map shows as a cairn. I headed back across open Moor to re-join the original track until it came to a more substantial track turning to the right in an easterly directions. I followed it round to Edgarhope Sike where I came to a ford and adjacent wooden bridge. Over the River the track re-joined the Southern Upland Way and on to a house.  
Stones at the cairn

Addition to the cairn
 The map calls it Braidshawrig but the name on the gate is Burncastle. The track headed uphill through a narrow gap in Scoured Rig woods and then headed across very wet fields in a southwest direction. Being the Southern Upland Way it was well marked with posts and I eventually descended to a river and foot bridge. Across the river the fields were incredibly wet and I continued on the Southern Upland Way to Park Hill where I re-join my walk I'd come in by through Wanton Walls. At this point I reversed my outward route and back across the muddy field to the car.

On the Southern Upland Way