After enjoying a Spring stravaig through the Sidlaw Hills earlier in the year I returned to this popular stomping ground for a more structured saunter, the summit of Auchterhouse Hill in my sights this time around.
Cairn Daunie, Glen Isla, Angus
To start the New Year (or indeed end the old one) on a high, there are few summits in this part of the country more prominent and accessible than East Lomond in Fife.
Rising above the 15th century stronghold of Castle Campbell, King’s Seat Hill is one of the high points of the Ochils, a range of peaks that stretches from Stirling, in the west, to the Firth of Tay, in the east.
Dug out in the 12th Century, Perth’s Town Lade began its working life as an offshoot of the River Almond, the water drawn off and funnelled down through bleachworks at Huntingtower and Ruthvenfield, a dye works at Tulloch and then the mills of Perth before flowing into the River Tay.
Running west from 18th century Newton Bridge, in the Sma’ Glen, near Amulree, to Ardtalnaig, above the shoreline of Loch Tay, the right of way through Glen Almond offers a long but pleasurable valley hike, part of the route now incorporated into the long-distance Rob Roy Way.
The Waterfront, Dundee
This hike through the Sidlaw Hills, to the north of Dundee, was born of a sunny Spring afternoon stravaig which, as any seasoned walker or scholar of the Scots tongue will tell you, is simply an aimless wander.
Opened a handful of summers ago, the Sleeping Giant Path was, at the time, described as the missing link between the communities of Fife and Perth & Kinross separated by the recumbent form of Benarty Hill.
This year marks the 140th anniversary of the collapse of the first Tay railway bridge, which, for a brief period, carried trains across the estuary from Wormit, in Fife, to Dundee, before succumbing to the ravages of a winter storm.