Showing posts from December, 2013

Walk: Kinpurney - hill, hermit & tower

The cluttered summit area of this hill in the Sidlaws contains the derelict shell of an 18th century observatory. Scottish legend tells us that a young, local poacher was locked in the tower for seven years, all to win a £100 bet. As the story goes he was successful - but emerged mad, tragically frail and unable to utter a single word. £100 gained, but youth, mind and power of speech lost. Perhaps you can ponder over whether there's a moral to the tale while you climb the grassy slopes (with woodland and picturesque waterfalls lower down) - fortunately the door to the observatory is long gone so you can wander inside without fear of the same happening to you...

📌 Walk: Kinpurney - hill, hermit & tower ★★☆☆☆
▶ 6 km / 4 miles | ▲ 280 metres | ⌚ Short walk
Main summits: Kinpurney Hill (345 metres)
Points of interest: Kinpurney Tower
Start / finish: Car park in Newtyle, G.R.: NO 298415 ///payer.deciding.rucksack

Route: Car park - Denend - The Den - Kinpurney Hill - return by outward …


Okay, so this area is frequented more by dog walkers than intrepid explorers, but if you live in or around Aberdeen then the forest around Countesswells should be on your radar for a relaxed ramble. This former farmland is now owned by the Forestry Commission, who have created several overlapping, waymarked trails to follow depending on time constraints. A dusting of snow made our last visit particularly enjoyable, and we've spotted red squirrels here despite the proximity to the Granite City. The parking charge grates a little though, particularly as you're unlikely to spend a whole day here.

Location: Car park (with charge) off minor road 3 miles west of Mannofield, Aberdeen, G.R.: NJ 869045 ///
Anything else? Map of trails available here (no. 5).

Walk: Moo-ching around Craigowl Hill

The Sidlaws are Dundee's local hills, rising to the mast-topped summit of Craigowl Hill at 455 metres above sea level. Somehow the metal structures don't really detract from the views here, perhaps due to the proximity of urban streets anyway. Meanwhile, the numerous cows roaming the hill definitely enhance it! This is an excellent local stomping ground for Dundonians, but the hills are worth a visit from further afield too. If you have enough time, it's worthwhile adding in the two lower hills further along the undulating ridge to the west, which are free of manmade structures and slightly quieter.

📌 Walk: Moo-ching around Craigowl Hill ★★★☆☆
▶ 8 km / 5 miles | ▲ 330 metres | ⌚ Half day walk
Main summits: Auchterhouse Hill (424 metres); Balkello Hill (395 metres); Craigowl Hill (455 metres, sub-2000')
Start / finish: Car park at Balkello Woodland, off minor road 2 miles east of Kirkton of Auchterhouse, G.R.: NO 365385 ///salads.prove.frosted

Route: Car park - Auchterhou…