Saline Hill is a small hill in Fife and it doesn't look much, but it is worth a visit as it commands excellent views of the surrounding countryside.
Having been a number of weeks since our last outing, I had decided that I wanted pictures of the Ochil Hills and my initial thoughts were finding a spot to camp near Powmill, where the views of the Ochil's are excellent. Looking at a map though, this plan was scuppered as the choice of camping spots seemed sparse, as this area is working farmland.
Looking further south to the hills surrounding Powmill, I eventually decided on a visit to Saline Hill, as this hill looked the most viable for the considerations of easy parking in the village of Saline and open space with woodland in which an undisturbed wild camping spot should be found.
It was an easy trip and we set off mid-afternoon for the short journey to Saline. We parked up and walked through the village before heading up a farm track towards the hill. We didn't go straight up but skirted around Saline Hill, following a path marked on the map that took us through a field of newborn lambs. As we negotiated the muddy terrain and gates and fences, I started to see the Ochil's clearly in the distance.
The Ochil HillsThe Ochil Hills from Saline Hill I realised that the viewpoint here diminished the Ochil's as they were a bit too far away for a dramatic picture, but we carried on regardless as it was a nice day and the wild camping is always something I enjoy, view or not. Eventually, after having to negotiate an electric fence (we jumped!), we reached the forest near the top of Saline hill and Andy eventually identified a good camping spot. The ground was very uneven and wet so I was glad that we found somewhere suitable.
It was time to pitch our tarpaulins, I had recently bought one for myself and I relied on instruction from Andy on how to pitch it to suit the current location.
Pitched Tarpaulins We pitched the tarpaulins like a tent, using our walking poles to hold them up. I am now a fan of a tarp (tarpaulin) as the options they give you means that you shelter in lots of different ways to suit the terrain and conditions, whilst with a tent, you only have the option that suits the design of the tent. The drawback of a tarp though is insects, where the highland midge will have free open access to feast on you, whilst tents at least have insect mesh. Insects were not to be a worry here though as it was still early spring with an overnight frost forecast.
After we had taken care of arrangements, it was time to eat a nice paneer cheese curry, which Andy cooked, then it was time for the obligatory drinks, that help make the adventure more fun. We sat on fallen tree trunks and stayed up quite late under the cold moonlit sky with streetlights of the surrounding towns glowing brightly below us.
Camping in the woods Andy woke me early morning pointing to the red sky and I'm glad that he did, as I had set my alarm for sunrise forgetting that the clocks had changed and my alarm would have been an hour late! I gathered my gear and headed to the top for some pictures of the golden sunlit landscape.
Early MorningEarly morning on Saline Hill Morning Glory After the sunrise, it was my turn to cook - a good Sunday morning fry-up. We then packed our stuff, leaving only flattened grass behind and we headed down the south of the hill, to walk back to Saline via a different route.
Saline Hill is a place I have driven past countless times with barely a glance. Now after a night of wild camping in a wood of remnant Scots pines, whilst taking in views of the Ochil Hills and Forth bridges, it is a hill worth visiting and the other hills in the area now have my attention.