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Electric Brae

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I first saw The Electric Brae when we went to Scotland on holiday in the 1950's. Dad stopped the car on the hill and sure enough it appeared to roll up it.

I never forgot the "amazing" childhood experience, and since then I've taken my own family to see it.

"The Electric Brae is a gravity hill in Ayrshire, Scotland, where cars appear to be drawn uphill by some mysterious attraction. The Lowland Scots word brae means a hill-slope or brow (with which it is cognate), and the "electric" name was given when electricity was a new technology associated with strange forces.

Though the road appears to be running uphill, a suitably free-running vehicle will slowly move off from a standstill. It was widely believed that vehicles were being propelled uphill by a mysterious magnetic force, but the road's apparently uphill slope is an optical illusion"


I always wondered if there were other such places with a similar illusion and I have, from time to time, come across places where a hill appears to be steeper than it actually is, but never the real thing.

Well I found one the day before yesterday.

Driving on Carr Lane towards Thornhill, Derbyshire, I was going up a slight rise in the road and reached a point where water was running off the field and along the side of the road. To my surprise, the water was running (what appeared to be) up over the brow before flowing down the other side.

Here it is on Streetview

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There is a spot on the River Allen in Northumberland where the river is clearly flowing uphill.

It isn't, of course: it is caused by the angle of the rock strata as they meet the river which causes a fine optical illusion, although it works a lot better if seen first hand rather than via a camera lens.

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It defies the laws of gravity and makes perpetual motion, along with an endless source of free energy possible. We are all saved!!!

Oh sorry, no were not, it's just an optical illusion

The laws of gravity still apply, the second law of thermodynamics is not broken and we are all doomed again!!

The 3 laws of thermodynamics in terms anyone can understand

When it comes to energy


You can only lose or at best break even.


You can only break even if part of the system is at absolute zero temperature (-273degC)


It is impossible to achieve absolute zero temperature

Put the 3 together and our fate is revealed, - we are all losers! :(

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There is a feeder stream that runs beside a foot path in Whiteley Woods, that has an illusion that it is running up hill, think it feeds Wire Mill Dam ?

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I mentioned a couple of places where there's not exactly a reversal of slope, but just the illusion of a slope being more or less steep than it actually is.

There is one that I found years ago on the Tissington Trail. Whilst a seemingly upwards incline is surprisingly easy to pedal up, when coming back down it is impossible to get much speed up when free-wheeling.

It is not far from Parsley Hay I think.

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When I was a little lad I remember exploring along the north side of Wisewood Forge Dam. The water side was heavily wooded but at one point there was a clear view of the water which seemed to be running uphill to the west. I'm not sure what caused the illusion because the far bank was more or less level. Something else that caught my attention was an old cast-iron water pump a few feet from the waters edge. You would think that any water drawn off would have come straight out of the dam. Why not just get a bucketfull out of the dam ?

I'm afraid that a return visit is out of the question nowadays unless I can fit tank tracks to my Hummer sorry Shoprider.

If anyones having a walk down there perhaps they could have a shuftie. It's immediately upstream from the Loxley Park complex.


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