I always try and avoid spending too much time walking on roads, preferring the satisfying crunch of gravel or the soft yield of grassy slopes below my boots.
Take A Hike
Come rain or shine, the West Sands in St Andrews always draws visitors. In the height of summer, it is a popular spot with sun worshippers, holidaymakers, surfers, sand yachts and kite buggies. In the depths of winter, hardy walkers, runners and horse riders proliferate.
On a previous attempt to conquer Kindrogan Hill, I found my way blocked by windblown trees. As I quickly discovered, there are very few things more frustrating than attempting to clamber over and through fallen conifers.
While Scotland’s beloved bard Robert Burns traditionally enjoys the last word at Hogmanay with renditions of Auld Lang Syne celebrating friendship and the good old days, many of his other works were inspired by his travels.
Straddling the border between Angus and Perthshire, Mount Blair is one of my favourite wee hills. Well-defined slopes of grass and heather sweep up to the summit of what, for me, is a perfect mountain in miniature.
A walk along the north bank of the Tay Estuary at Errol offers a riverside stroll with a difference, for the river itself remains rather distant thanks to the shoreline’s vast tidal reed beds.
Fifty years ago, the landscape of Loch Ore in Fife was dramatically different to the scene that greets visitors today. There were seven coal mines in the area, including Mary Colliery. Opened in 1904 it was, for a time, the deepest pit in Scotland.
Hill of Alyth has long been a popular breathing space for local people, a plethora of paths weaving up to the summit.
With the first significant snowfalls of the season blanketing the hills of Highland Perthshire, I sought refuge from this early cold snap in the still autumnal arms of Laggan Wood.
Summer beach holidays may be an increasingly distant memory but, for me, the seductive lure of sea and sand remains as strong as ever.