Tag Archives: Wildlife

Dun Caan circuit, Raasay

Jazz sniffing a Mermaid

Jazz sniffing a Mermaid

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

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

Strathblane to Kilsyth

Canal near Kilsyth

Canal near Kilsyth

A bit of good luck today: the Missus wanted to cycle to see the Falkirk Wheel and offered us a drop-off and pick-up: this meant we could do another linear section of the John Muir Trail. So we were back in Strathblane heading east. It was a lovely summer’s day and the only grit in the oyster was the memory that last time we did a section of the Forth-Clyde Canal the cycling hordes were a pain. Surely I was just in a bad mood then; it’ll be better today. Nope.

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Gargunnock Hills

Gargunnock Hills

Gargunnock Hills

I’d spotted this ridge when we took a scenic route to Stirling and thought it looked worth a visit.  I keep forgetting that I can reach this part of the country faster than parts of south Ayrshire and so usually discount it: I’ll need to work on that. It is a lovely escarpment that jumps out of the upper Forth valley and apart from a steep first hour we were promised a longish but straightforward day.  Ah, the best-laid plans of man+dog… Continue reading

Two Cleughs in the Pentlands

Castlelaw Hill from Glencorse Reservoir

Castlelaw Hill from Glencorse Reservoir

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

Notes:

  1. 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…

Moorfoots in the Rain

Fisherman on Portmore Loch

I was brought up in the Esk Valley with the Pentland Hills on one side and the Moorfoot Hills on the other.  Probably because they are just round lumps the Moorfoots were somewhere I never walked.  Time to rectify that, and even bag three Donalds into the bargain with a nice circular walk from Portmore Loch.  It all started well, but then the rain set in and gave us a very soggy afternoon. Continue reading

Sóller to Coll de L’Ofre

Sóller

It’s back to Mallorca for a bit of spring-time sunshine, bird watching and walking with the Missus. This was our first foreign holiday without the brat and so we could do adult things like imbibing the occasional tincture and walking without having to deal with teenage sulks: all very enjoyable. In this post I’ll talk about the best walk we did: a part of the GR221 long-distance path from Sóller to the Coll de L'Ofre.  And I’ll throw in an anti-cyclist rant for free.

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Glenkens Circuit

Old Raleigh Bike Sign

Today we were down in St John's Town of Dalry to do a 12km stretch of the SUW that we’ve been leaving because it doesn’t offer the chance for a nice circuit, and is too short for the bother of arranging two cars.  And sadly public transport isn’t an option either: I think the bus goes on Tuesday and comes back on Thursday…  So we’d have to either retrace our steps or bash some tarmac. Continue reading

Portpatrick

Dunskey Castle

You might remember last year when we did the start of the SUW that I’d been very impressed by Portpatrick and thought it would be a good place for a long weekend break with the Missus.  Well, as Man+Dog of our word, we invited her down this weekend and it was great.  We’d even ordered beautiful weather and were not disappointed: always worth a bit of advanced planning.  In this post we’ll combine two of our walks to make it look like we had an active weekend and didn’t just spend our time in the (excellent) pub. Continue reading