Walk: Toil & trouble beyond Shakespeare's Dunsinane

[View north to the snowy Highlands from King's Seat]

"Macbeth shall never vaquished be, until Great Birnam Wood to high Dunsinane hill shall come against him." So said William Shakespeare in Macbeth, in which the summit features as the title character's castle. There are indeed some impressive ramparts, but they're the remains of iron age hill forts, no doubt providing the inspiration for the playwright. A deep cleft separates Dunsinane from a broad ridge leading to Black Hill and King's Seat, with the latter reached by toiling across heather on only intermittent paths. If that seems too much like hard work, the first section to Dunsinane is a pleasant leg-stretcher on a good path. But you'd be missing out on some excellent views across the Sidlaw Hills and beyond.

[Black Hill from Dunsinane summit]

📌 Walk: Toil and trouble beyond Shakespeare's Dunsinane ☆☆☆
▶ 7 km / 4 miles | ▲ 380 metres | ⌚ Half day walk
Main summits: Dunsinane (310 metres); Black Hill (360 metres); King's Seat (377 metres, sub-2000')
Start / finish: Track junction on minor road (space for just a couple of cars without blocking access) just southeast of Collace, G.R.: NO 207321 ///tribes.tunes.envoy

Route: Start - Dunsinane - Black Hill - King's Seat - return by outward route, bypassing Dunsinane to north
Terrain: Good track then path to Dunsinane; narrow and intermittent paths through heather to King's Seat, occasionally wet.
Wildlife today: Grouse and roe deer (including one hiding in the heather until we were about to step on it).
Weather today: Cold and sunny with light winds, with a hard frost in areas untouched by the sun. -1°C on return to the car.

[Spectacular contrast between sun and shade on Black Hill]

Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)


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