Lazy SOTA Cycling in Scotland

Report on my blog: G4OBK Catterblog

73 Phil


Wow—that was quite a day of activating and a lot of miles too!

Phil, you were wrong to motor to the top of Greenlowther without permission and in defiance of the signs. Please read the GR, 3.7.3 Code of Conduct.

Thanks for the report Phil always come in handy for planning.
Green Lowther you were lucky they didn’t lock you in, happened to me twice and I was working on site.


HI Graeme and Brian

There were two staff members near the gate yesterday - chatting, having a smoke. The garage at the entrance with the emergency vehicle in was open, so I guess they were working in there. I drove slowly through and waved and this was acknowledged so I carried on. Strictly speaking I suppose I was in breach of the code of conduct - noted for future reference Brian.

73 Phil

I accompanied Geoff G3NAQ in an activation of that summit in the 1960’s (well before SOTA) and at that time we not only had to get permission from the MOD to drive to the summit transporting our heavy valve gear for 2 metres and 160 metres, we also had to do transmitting tests with the station personnel to make sure that we produced no harmful harmonics! The results were not stellar, if SOTA had been about I don’t think we would have qualified the activation! As I remember it we had to sign in and out with the guard on the gate, I guess that the radar was an important defence asset at the height of the Cold War.

Hi Phil

I wouldn’t be to bothered I have been there with work chatting to the guys at the shed with the snow vehicle, they normally allow people up in cars I have even seen them wave people through the barrier, but at winter they are bit more strict.
The site access track is owned by NATS along with the majority of the transmission towers on the land, but the site by the trig point is owned by ARQIVA this is open access land.
Thanks for the detailed reports on you blog Phil they are very helpful with my work travels finding easy to access summits.


That is not “open access” for vehicles though

Many places round here will lock you in, NTS for one and you have to wait until next working day for them. Many times we had people appearing at our work nearby asking if we had the key for the gates - that had rather large signs giving times gates are locked. Taxi!
Forestry Commission round these parts have a new man in charge and no permit - police are called. I have a key and the lock numbers but yet still need to apply now for a permit, date, vehicle details, purpose, etc. and that takes time now.
I had a note left on my windscreen once by a landowner, I parked just inside a gateway off the track to a forest road, requesting me not to park here again and to inform all my friends! Followed by “Hope you enjoyed your walk.”

So if you drive up a prohibited road, get locked in overnight, who you gonna call Gate Busters?

Also, Scottish Access rights do not extend to any motorised activities.

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Also to the point, the GR states that in a case of unauthorised access the MT can remove the activation and its points from the database and hints darkly at other penalties. Much of our access depends on goodwill.

Exactly, we have a Lord, yes a Lord near Girvan, he welcomes walkers and hikers on his uncultivated farmland and hills but not in his forest that covers about 5 Sq km, he has seats and sheds dotted around so it comes under extended “policies” of the house. We locals know where to go and where not. Visitors should enquire.

Here is a link for the Scottish Access incase anyone is interested, PDF, Mobi and eBook.

Personally I do my best to avoid access routes through conifer forests. I find them rather depressing places, dark, silent and airless, and the tracks never go where I want to go. Mixed woodland seems more alive, or the open patchy Scots pines.

So do I when possible.

This is what our local Lord keeps to himself, except the month of May - £1 a head.