This easy walk (and cycle for those, suitably afflicted) is a great day out in the Trossachs. It also helps that the first third is on board a lovely old steam ship who isn’t coy about letting you look at her shiny engine: yes, the SS Sir Walter Scott. And it helps to pick a calm day, as we did, so that the reflections of the woods and hills in the water is stunning. Continue reading
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
I’ve always wanted to go to Raasay: it’s something about its love of repeated vowels, and the fact that it is a lovely place. A friend’s son spent most of his geography degree on the island so it obviously has nerd appeal too. And with yet another beautiful day forecast it was easy to tempt the Missus over: and I had a special cycling treat in store for her… Continue reading
This is one of those very rare posts where I describe actually finishing a long-distance walk. It is all the more incredible as looking back over these posts show that I started the Southern Upland Way over five years ago. I know I’m a slow walker but that really is glacial. Poor Jazz was barely out of puppy-hood when she started getting dragged along.
The official SUW distance is 212 miles but after 22 separate walks involving lots of circuits we took almost exactly 300 miles to complete it. And today was the last day from Longformacus to Cockburnspath and so something to savour. It’s such a pity that it was dire. Continue reading
This walk was a standard one when I was a lad (yes, more nostalgia) and so to give it a slight new spin we were going to start at Balerno on the “other” side of the Pentland Hills. Back in the 19th century 1 when I used to do this I had the place to myself: no longer. Today the hills were heaving and it also looked like everyone got a mountain bike for Christmas. I’m sure the Regional Park authorities spin this as a good thing: I’m not in their camp, but this is a website for misanthropes after all. Continue reading
- After reading an earlier draft of this nonsense, my Mother wishes it to be known that my birth was a temporal anomaly as she herself is a child of the mid-20th century and so obviously couldn’t have a son who went walking in the 19th. It looks like I need to check out a high-security nursing home… ↩
After the trauma of leaving my old hat at the top of Craignaw last week I obviously had to get an exact replacement. it turns out the new version is now Teflon coated which means it can be used as Jazz’s water bowl as well as its other functions. And we certainly needed it today because it was hot and dry. It seemed fitting that we try it out on a hill near where my old hat lives: a Donald called Larg Hill that we had to leave out due to lack of time when we were next door at Lamachan Hill and Curleywee. Continue reading
The last time we were in the Dungeon Hills we ran out of time to do Craignaw and so a return was needed: as this is a Donald we couldn’t leave it out. And contrary to your expectations, this did actually involve a modicum of planning. It needed to be:
- before the summer when the bracken in Glen Trool is awful;
- after a dry spell to avoid a mud bath;
- with a breeze to keep the insects at bay;
- on a decent day when I had a pass from my domestic servitude.
Well today was the confluence, and we had a great day, if a bit on the tough side. Continue reading
With this damp summer continuing we decided to stay low-level with lots of options to shelter from the showers that seem to pass through every twenty minutes. A plan was therefore hatched to do a circuit around Woodhall Loch and the banks of Loch Ken. We come to this part of the world most winters looking for the geese so this would be an interesting contrast with summer in full bloom. Continue reading
How cool is that name? This was a walk back in time: the last time I’d done it was with my Father the day before my Higher Geography exam. That was 33 years ago, and I’m now 6 years older than Bertie-boy was then. That messed with my head for a bit but on a positive side, I was using the same OS map and was feeling pretty smug that I’d got my £1.40 worth out of the Ordnance Survey. Luckily the Pentlands haven’t changed that much: a few extra wind farms in the distance being the obvious change. Continue reading
Today for inspiration I opened Nick Wiliams’ excellent Southern Uplands guide with the intention of walking where it opened (so long as it looked interesting and wasn’t too far away, obviously). So step up Heatherstane Law. However, don’t try to find this on an Ordnance Survey map because there it is called Hudderstone. Clearly when the OS surveyor asked a local for the name of yonder hill their accent was a little on the strong side and the literal transcription made it into the database. Whatever name you use, it was a nice day out, and a good example of how quickly a guide-book can go out-of-date.