Showing posts from December, 2014

Glenrothes early history

Fife | Glenrothes | Stone circle & henge | ★

Glenrothes is Fife's third largest settlement, a new town built after the Second World War to help with housing demand around Edinburgh. Almost all its shops are housed in the Kingdom Shopping Centre, a useful but labyrinthal complex reminiscent of an airport terminal. It doesn't sound promising, but in Scotland history is never far away. The residential suburb of Balbarg has a 65 metres across, 6,000 year old henge and parts of a stone circle at its centre. There's a further stone circle just across the A92 which is a mere 4,000 years old.

📌 Balbirnie Stone Circle ★
Next to the northern access road (Tofthill) for Balbirnie House Hotel, 400 metres east of Balfarg suburb but on the other side of the A92, G.R.: NO 286030 ///beginning.miles.lonely
Always open | Free

Anything else: Nearest parking for Balbirnie Stone Circle is just to the south by houses - walk back to the circle along the minor road.

📌Balfarg Henge ★
The Henge, Ba…

Walk: Benarty Hill - surprise view from the Sleeping Giant

Fife | Ballingry | Short walk | ★★★★

This is surely one of lowland Scotland's best small hills. The trig point on lowly Benarty Hill - locally known as the Sleeping Giant - sits at the northern edge of a broad area of high ground. A short, steep ascent through trees soon leads to a straightforward amble across the plateau with great views south. But nothing compares to the surprise view of Loch Leven, only revealed upon arrival at the summit...

📌 Walk: Benarty Hill - surprise view from the Sleeping Giant ★★★★
▶ 4 km / 2 miles | ▲ 190 metres
Summits: Benarty Hill (356 metres, sub-2000') Start / finish: Layby on minor road half a mile west of Ballingry, G.R.: NT 159970 ///inversion.formed.fragments
Route: Layby - Benarty Hill - return by outward route Terrain: Decent dirt paths, steep at first but rarely muddy, with short section of forestry track Wildlife today: Birds in the forest - robins everywhere Weather today: Unbroken sunshine, a few degrees above freezing. Ground frozen with …


Perth & Kinross | Village | ★

Comrie sits at a triple confluence of the River Earn, Glen Artney and Glen Lednock, with sandbags by house doors standing guard against potential flooding. Nestling amongst lush, green hills, you can walk to the Deil's Caldron from here. But Comrie has another, perhaps unexpected claim to fame - it's the UK's earthquake capital! The clue lies in the geology (probably), with the Highland Boundary Fault passing close by. The "Earthquake House" stands testament to the fact that earth tremors have long been a feature of this area - hence the settlement's nickname: "The Shaky Toun".

📌 Comrie ★
Perth & Kinross, G.R.: NN 773220 ///month.advantage.bravery
Within walking distance
📌Earthquake House ★ Description: Tiny 1870s stone building housing one of the UK's earliest seismometers, visible through the window alongside more modern equipment.
10-min walk southwest of the village centre, G.R.: NN 765218 ///juggles.belt.en…

Walk: Comrie's devilish cauldron

Perth & Kinross | Comrie | Half day walk | ★★★

The foaming depths of the River Lednock upstream from Comrie soon show the passer-by why these rapids are called the "Deil's Caldron". The whole section of riverside here is usually a bubbling mass of white water, although good views from the path are at a premium. Lord Melville's Monument atop Dun More overlooks the rapids, giving a panorama of the surrounding hills on a clear day. Unfortunately we chose to visit during a snowstorm, which hampered visibility somewhat. We've heard reports that the autumn leaf colours are spectacular here.

📌 Walk: Comrie's devilish cauldron ★★★
▶ 8 km / 5 miles | ▲ 260 metres
Summits: Dun More (256 metres) | Features: Comrie; Deil's Caldron; Lord Melville's Monument
Start / finish: Car park on School Road, Comrie, G.R.: NN 772221 ///unlimited.dirt.mascots

Route: Car park & Comrie - Little Caldron - Deil's Caldron - Dun More - footbridge over River Lednock near Kin…