Mormond Hill

Mormond Hill (Scottish Gaelic A’ Mhormhonadh, meaning the great hill or moor) has been on the to-do list for a number of years now. The distinctive white horse, made from white quartz placed on the side of the hill, and the numerous disused satellite dishes and masts on the hill, remnants from Cold War NATO communications, have long attracted my attention but, for some reason, we have just never gotten around to walking the route. Until, that is, today!

Looking out the window just before 6am, the weather looked favourable for an ascent of the hill and Leanne, Harris and myself got ourselves ready to make the most of the final day of the weekend.

We were only slightly deterred by the unexpected rain en route, but thankfully it did not come to much. The skies may look fairly ominous in the photos and we could see rain showers off in the distance but we thankfully avoided anything more than very light drizzle. The sun even came out for us, typically, as we were about to finish our walk!

Parking at the top of Hospital Brae in Strichen, we utilized the instructions available online from www.livefortheoutdoors.com. This got us as far as the White Horse and the Hunter’s Lodge at the top of Waughton Hill and we then headed over to Mormond Hill, where the various antennae and communications satellites are located. Unfortunately, these could only be viewed in the distance thanks to a fence and padlocked gate but, regardless, it made for a very enjoyable walk.

I will admit to being slightly concerned at the presence of cows and, in particular, at the signs warning of the free roaming bull but, other than one particularly inquisitive cow, they left us to our own devices and there was no sign of the bull.

Thankfully the many sheep on the hill were much quicker in clearing a path for us. Harris certainly appeared to enjoy seeing the sheep, cows and rabbits, before falling asleep en route to the second peak.

The white horse, which I am sure used to look whiter than it does today, is definitely better admired from afar. Up close, it’s little more than a lot of strategically placed rocks and it’s difficult to appreciate the overall picture.

Finishing our walk late morning, we stopped off at The Lodge in Strichen, enjoying a rather fine lunch. Leanne thoroughly enjoyed the fish and chips, I had a lovely fish platter, and Harris fairly enjoyed his kids meal that consisted of a number of elements including sausage, fruit, and a yoghurt. Well worth a visit at the end of any ascent of Mormond Hill.

Note: If only I had read the content of ‘Mormond Hill (inc. Waughton Hill)’ online at Walk Highlands beforehand, I would have known to persevere at the top of Mormond Hill for a better look at the antennae and communications satellites!