Showing posts from February, 2017

Walk: Abbey Craig - William Wallace wander

Stirling | Short walk | ★★★ [View over northern Stirling towards the West Highlands]  If you're visiting Stirling 's famous Wallace Monument, take an extra hour or so to explore Abbey Craig, the hill on which it stands. This rocky mound directly overlooks the neck of land in between meanders of the River Forth to the south, where Sir William Wallace and his Scottish army overwhelmed English forces as they piled across an old timber bridge over the tidal river. Behind is Stirling Castle atop its own rocky mound, with the West Highlands providing a distant backdrop to the city's northern suburbs. To the east the Ochil Hills are even nearer, but views in this direction are partially blocked by trees - the top of the monument is a better bet. Paths are steep in places, so you can probably justify a snack afterwards in the monument visitor centre's cafe. [Good woodland paths criss-cross the hill] 📌 Walk: Abbey Craig - William Wallace wander ★★★ Start / fini

National Wallace Monument

Stirling | Monument | ★★★ [National Wallace Monument] Out of dozens of monuments around Scotland dedicated to Sir William Wallace, the National Wallace Monument is by far the most popular, and an instantly recognisable landmark when passing Stirling on any of the main routes north or south. This 220-foot Victorian Gothic tower stands on the summit of Abbey Craig , a volcanic outcrop overlooking the site of Wallace's famous victory at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. Viewing the tower exterior is free, but the (fairly pricey) admission fee allows access to the interior with exhibition rooms on several levels, 246 spiral steps, and superb views from the top. [Ochil Hills from the top of the tower] Location & info 📌 National Wallace Monument ★★★ Off the B998 just north of the A9 junction, 3 mi north of Stirling centre, G.R.: NS 809957 ///tags.useful.intruders Open daily | £10.75 adult / £6.75 child 💬 The monument is a 10-min walk from the car park on a wide

Walk: Valentine's date with Duncolm

West Dunbartonshire | Kilpatrick Hills | Full day walk | ★★ [Duncolm seen from Middle Duncolm] Love is a strong word, especially when the Kilpatrick Hills are involved. This expansive plateau has a reputation for bog and featureless grassland; the interior feels a desolate place despite being just a stone's throw from Glasgow . But a scattering of reservoirs here and there add variety amongst the open hillsides, with a decent network of (soggy) paths trampled by centuries of Glaswegian day-trippers. Duncolm is the highest of the range, with great views of the Campsie Fells and Loch Lomond on a clear day; this circuit also takes in Greenside Reservoir and the summit of The Slacks, with a fine outlook over city and Clyde on descent. [Loch Humphrey] 📌 Walk: Valentine's Day date with Duncolm ★★ Start / finish at Kilpatrick Hills car park, off Mount Pleasant Drive, Old Kilpatrick, G.R.: NS 469729 ///shadows.canoe.pilots ▶ 14 km / 9 mi | ▲ 620 m | ⌚ Full day | ⬤


Argyll & Bute | Town | ★★★★ [Oban from the Isle of Kerrera] Oban is the most bewitchingly beautiful settlement in the West Highlands by a country mile. Set round a crescent bay backed by low hills, the smell of fish is in the air, and usually in the minds of tourists visiting for lunch: make sure you sample the fine local seafood while you're here. This is a wonderful place to stroll along the esplanade, with breathtaking sunsets in good weather. Ferries bound for islands up and down the western seaboard call at all times of day, which along with the railway terminus gives the town a importantly bustling feel. As a key transport hub, too many visitors use Oban solely as a stepping stone en route to destinations across the water. Don't make the same mistake - the attractions in the town centre alone (listed below) are enough to fill a day, with plenty else to do in the local area. [Oban & McCaig's Tower (26/5/17)] Location & info 📌 Oban ★★★★ Ar

Walk: Kerrera - jewel in the Firth of Lorne

Argyll & Bute | Kerrera | Full day walk | ★★★ [Gylen Castle with the Isle of Mull beyond] Protecting Oban from westerly gales, the island of Kerrera is described by the Scottish tourist board as "a jewel in the Firth of Lorne". Despite its proximity to a popular holiday resort, the island doesn't get overrun and is the perfect size for exploring in a day, with a handsomely restored castle and a monument to David Hutcheson (father to the CalMac ferry company) in addition to great natural beauty. If Kerrera is a jewel it's an unpolished one: tracks don't quite go all the way around the wonderfully varied coastline, which leaves a couple of boggy bits and a few inland detours to join the dots. Visiting in summer adds the possibility of refreshment in two seasonal cafes (one at each end of the island and both on the route) - look out for the random mugs and quirky signs pointing the way to the southern one. [The island's east coast has great view