By adopting her great idea of the “Birthday Month”, I’d persuaded the Missus to let Jazz and I enjoy a bit of Munro-bagging while we were up in Highland Perthshire. This isn’t something we do much and so we were looking forward to stepping up a gear for walking in mountains rather than our usual Southern Upland hills. Clearly with terminal decrepitude only moments away we weren’t planning on doing anything silly and so Ben Lawers easily popped into mind. The route has the advantage of starting way up the hill, has a great path, and yet is the 10th highest hill in Scotland which makes it sound impressive. Continue reading
We are up in Kenmore in beautiful Highland Perthshire for a week celebrating my 50 years’ continuous service to the planet producing greenhouse gases (mostly CO2 but significant amounts of CH4 and SO2 too: see recipe). The Brat and her boyfriend in typical student manner sniffed out a free weekend and food+drink so joined us for the start of the festivities. All very enjoyable and abstemious (ahem). A no-presents rule had been universally ignored, and so I want to tell you about two in particular.
What better way to finish off my “forties” than a walk in the soaking wet to see a waterfall? We weren’t going to let a highland downpour put us off doing a rectangular circuit from Kenmore along the south bank of Loch Tay, up to the Falls of Acharn, then along the Queen's Drive to Kenmore Hill and then back down the road to Kenmore. And a good thing too, because this was a cracker, and only misses out on a coveted five star rating because the Missus doesn’t like walking on roads.
The Banvie Burn starts in the hills above Blair Atholl and in its 8km life passes through some gorgeous scenery before it joins the River Garry. Every time we are up in Blair Atholl we always have at least one walk along its banks and it must qualify for my prize of “most frequent riverine lunch-stop” award. Today the weather looked favourable for a decent saunter into the Atholl hills following part of the old Minigaig Pass with the goal of discovering the source of the Mighty Banvie Burn. Continue reading
The missus and I have been going on holiday to Blair Atholl for over 20 years and every time we go up the Killiecrankie by-pass we see Carn Liath towering ahead of us and I say “I really must do that someday” and then never do. Well, a bit of heavy rain gave me the chance. The original plan was to walk from Blair Atholl through Glen Tilt to Deeside. This was abandoned after I read I’d have to cross a ford that was dangerous with the river in spate: Carn Liath became the back-up plan. Continue reading
I don’t want to exaggerate here so let’s summarise this walk as: the best walk up the best glen in Scotland, beside the loveliest river, in sublime autumn weather, made even better by sharing it with the Missus. Honestly, if you saw this on one of those calendars-for-tourists you’d think the photographer had been at it in PhotoShop. It was ineffably beautiful. We’ve been coming here for a quarter-century and never seen it look so good. Continue reading
This is probably the hill I’ve climbed the most, in all weathers, in all seasons and at all times of the day. Back in 1990 Cathy and I took in the New Year on its summit watching the fireworks in Pitlochry. So what’s so special about this wee hill that no-one has ever heard of? Simple: it is easy to climb and gives the best views of the one of the best areas on the planet: Atholl in the heart of Scotland. Today, Cathy joined us and we were rewarded with one of the best hillwalks we’ve ever had. Continue reading