Category Archives: Essential

The walks in the category should be on your “do before you die” list. Forget the tosh you read in those coffee-table books of this ilk: this is way better than swimming with dolphins or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro before all the ice melts. They really are the full-fat cream of this collection and only a few make the grade. You’d be an idiot to ignore this recommendation.

Fife Ness to St Andrews

Sunrise over the Forth

When we were treated to a beautiful sunrise it was clear the plan to do this walk today was inspired.  The start is back at Fife Ness but unlike last time we were instead walking north west to St Andrews which meant the sun was at our backs, so no squinting into the strong, low sun for us.  It is this attention to detail that raises our planning to an art-form.  And once again, weatherwise, the 2nd of January proved the best day of our holiday – you’ll remember similar conditions two years ago. Continue reading

Sligachen to Elgol

Small Isles from Camusunary

Small Isles from Camusunary

You might remember the Colvend Coast claimed to be the best coastal walk in Britain.  Now it certainly was great, but today’s walk easily beats it.  With a bit of logistic skill the Missus dropped us off at Sligachen on Skye for a walk through the mountains to the coast on the other side and then a coastal section to Elgol. It might have been that we had picked a beautiful day, but this walk was simply stunning. Continue reading

Mar Lodge to Forest Lodge

Looking down the River Tilt, 2

Looking down the River Tilt

I’ve been wanting to do this classic route through Glen Tilt for years and today the planets aligned.  It isn’t a difficult walk but there is one obstacle that can seriously ruin your day if the conditions are wrong: you have to ford the Geldie Burn. If it’s in spate you have to retrace your steps as it would be too dangerous.  The reason I managed to persuade the Missus to let me go (and on a work day too) was that it was being organised and led by the rangers of Atholl Estates: yes, Jazz and I would have to be sociable. Continue reading

Ardnave Point

Near Ardnave Point

Near Ardnave Point

An autumn break on Islay and while the Missus is off scaring geese with her hi-vis cycling attire, Jazz and I are off for a wander around Ardnave Point in the north-west of the island.  It is one of those walks where the expression “Why on Earth haven’t we been here before?” keeps being uttered because this walk is an absolute beauty. Continue reading

Lochranza to Corrie

Kev and Jazz shadow on sandstoneIt has been said that I don’t do enough planning for these walks.  Well not this one.  This was a coastal walk that would be simplified if it was low tide.  I therefore arranged for my Mother to give birth to me so that 52 years later the Moon’s position in its orbit would produce such a situation. I had also arranged with the Jet Stream to park a ridge of high pressure over Arran on the day so we would be treated to lovely autumnal weather.  All was therefore set for the annual birthday escape walk. Continue reading

Drumlanrig

Drumlanrig Castle with Lowther Hills

Drumlanrig Castle with Lowther Hills

Having spent a lot of time wandering around the Drumlanrig and Queensberry estate it seemed odd not to have visited Drumlanrig Castle and its grounds.  So with a beautiful autumn day forecast we headed down. The drive in was suitably impressive with the various cottages dotted around the grounds looking straight out of a Visit Scotland calendar. I had planned on a random wander around the grounds, but it turned out that there is a series of paths through the woods and, even better, they are well-maintained and signed footpaths with the cycling mob segregated to their own routes.  We bolted together three of the paths to give an easy 4-hour wander.  Even the ones marked as strenuous are easy with lots of well-placed seats where you need to regain your breath. Continue reading

Glen Rosa

Glen Rosa

Glen Rosa

In our relationship the Missus is the leader and visionary coming up with the big plans and delegating to the “staff” the actual implementation.  So this week Jazz and I were a little discomfited to hear that she would be joining us for a walk: the annual appraisal comes round so quickly. The brief was simple: it must involve a ferry; no early starts, insects or mountain climbing; and make sure the weather is good. As you see: she paints with a broad brush.  So a bit of planning came up with a circuit in Glen Rosa on Arran, and we like to think we came up with a beauty.  Glowing praise at the end from the Commander-in-Chief meant it looked as if we’d succeeded. Continue reading

Crinan Trail

Fishboxes outside the hotelYou may have been wondering what the Missus was up to yesterday while Jazz and I were having our antiquity-fest in Kilmartin Glen: it turns out she was exploring the Crinan Trail and she enjoyed it so much she wanted to share it with us today.  Unfortunately as we wolfed down breakfast in the hotel the rain gave everything a Scotch Mist grayness.  But then as we packed the car the blue skies developed over Jura and headed our way.  We took this as a very good omen and so headed off. Continue reading

Strathearn Saunters

Seat on Lady Mary's Walk

Seat on Lady Mary’s Walk

Something unusual today: a tale of two walks near Comrie with a lovely lunch in the middle.  Each walk is about 2 hours long and so with a leisurely lunch it makes for a pleasant day out.  The great thing is that the whole of Strathearn seems to be great walks: everywhere you go there are signs pointing out another attractive path. The local community realises just what a gem they have and are keen to tell visitors about it to boost tourist money: it is working because we’ve just decided that we are coming back in May instead of the Algarve. 1 Continue reading

Notes:

  1. OK, it won’t be as hot but Jazz can come with us and we don’t give any more money to the Ryanair git.

Ben Chonzie

Jazz waiting for lunch, Ben ChonzieIt’s been four months since we’ve been in Highland Perthshire, and that is clearly way too long: time for a long weekend and so the Crieff area got our tourist readies.  The Missus had a rush of blood to her head and offered to drop us off at the bottom of Ben Chonzie (with a silent “C”, Gaelic-fans) and pick us up at the end of the day: we jumped at the chance to bag another Munro.  So we headed up Glen Lednock to the car-park and as we did, the clouds dissipated to leave a clear blue sky and a beautiful morning.  As this web-site’s motto says: “Planning is all“. Continue reading