A mini heatwave on the horizon, I could not think of a better place to stretch my legs – and possibly indulge in a spot of wild swimming – than in the countryside north of Dunkeld, a landscape of low hills, heather moor and woodland speckled with lovely little lochans.
Take A Hike
Logierait Hill occupies a prominent position above the meeting point of the rivers Tay and Tummel. The A9 and the railway north to Inverness skirt below its slopes.
Sands of St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire
Abernethy’s famous Round Tower is a striking landmark, believed to date from 1100. But, standing in its historic shadow, I planned to step much further back in time, to explore remnants of earlier settlement.
Queen Victoria was a regular visitor to the Grampian mountains. During holidays at Balmoral in the second half of the 19th century, she frequently traversed the upland routes linking Deeside and Angus.
These days we are all about preserving the past. Back in the 19th century, however, they took a rather more pragmatic view on abandoned rural castles and mansions. If slate and stone could be better used elsewhere, it was duly removed and recycled.
Craigluscar Hill may be a low peak but it boasts commanding views over the surrounding countryside, something that has been apparent to those who have wandered on to this escarpment since the Iron Age, when a hill fort was constructed here.
Stocked with trout, Ledcrieff Loch is popular with anglers. Walkers, however, will find themselves drawn to this peaceful corner of the Angus countryside by Lundie Craigs, a dramatic escarpment of volcanic rock that overshadows the tree-lined pool.
Pulling into Pitlochry in the pouring rain, my prospects seemed as gloomy as the sky above me. However, legs itching to go, I parked below Black Spout Waterfall and soon discovered just how important a steady flow of rain is.
The Forth Rail Bridge is an iconic Scottish landmark, a colossus of Victorian civil engineering, impressive from all angles. I have travelled across the structure, viewing it from the carriage window, and observed it from the neighbouring road bridge.