Thursday, 30 May 2013

Strawberry Hill

A new path has been made up in the Castle Grounds, linking Strawberry Hill with the Marybank Lodge. I have been exploring Strawberry Hill for a wee while now, and it’s not an easy area to access. However, the new path skirts the hill to its south, then veers north to join the path that leads from the Marybank Lodge to the Castle College. At time of posting, there are still signs out asking walkers not to use the path as heaving machinery is in use, but all the work (on culverts) seems to have been completed, and no heavy plant was in evidence along the route.
Starting at the gates of the Castle College, a driveway leads up into the woods. A path is signposted heading uphill to the right, marked as “Strawberry Hill”. As the path crests the hill, clearances appear to the right, where rhodondendrons have been removed. Just as the route starts a steep descent, another track branches to the right, which skirts Strawberry Hill proper. After a couple of hundred yards, a very rough track angles off to the left, leading to a gate - this goes into the Marybank Quarry and is off-limits. Our track now hairpins downhill, to continue in the direction of the houses of Marybank, some distance ahead. It describes a long curve to the north, approaching the main road (from Tarbert), once more hairpinning down hill through an area of woodland, before finally ending up outside the Marybank Lodge.
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