More top stories
It was not the best of starts when Margaret queried why I was up at 7am. I had forgotten to adjust the alarm clock following the end of British Summer Time.
With twin objectives in mind, we met for coffee at Kilmahog. Jimbo and Joe wanted to investigate a route on the southern shores of Loch Venachar possibly suitable for the motorised scooters of the Forth & Tay Disabled Ramblers Group.
HIS fairly long route takes in all aspects of the Ochils. Beginning in the quiet Glen Devon, you climb up to start a wonderful circular walk on broad grass ridges, offering views along the length of the summits which plunge down to the Forth Valley.
A COMMON complaint I get is when I describe a walk that is special to someone. This happened with a friend in Dunblane when I said I was doing this walk for Spectrum. "Please don't," they said. "There'll be loads of people coming down to do it."
Dryburgh Abbey has suffered onslaughts from English armies as well as the big blow of the Reformation. But on this walk, its more recent past comes to light. In 1814, the 11th Earl of Buchan had a striking sandstone statue to William Wallace erected on a hillside above the abbey. It is worth a visit for the view alone; currently you can look out over the woodland along the banks of the River Tweed, creating a scarf of autumn colours for the Eildon Hills above.
DESPITE being within an hour of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Campsies are a remote treat, especially in spring when the birdsong is frantic with preparation and the lambs are bleating with their anxious mothers.
IN THE old days, when I was trying to climb hard all the time, we were always bouldering in Northumberland and trying to climb in Spain or in a winter sun destination. The hope was that when the cliffs of Scotland dried off in the spring, we would come out of the winter in tune with the rock and moving well.
THE Lomond hills of Fife offer a fantastic upland wilderness that is within easy reach of the Central Belt. Moorland tracks bounded by higgledy-piggledy walls crisscross the land, and standing above all else is West Lomond.
What a difference a week made after the visit to the Birks of Aberfeldy. Admittedly, on the drive to Beinn Achaladair the temperature dropped to -4.5C and it was still well below freezing on arrival at Achallader farm, but the forecast was for 8C, and with a 90 per cent chance of cloud-free summits. It promised to be a glorious day with sunshine making a mockery of the likely -2C at 3,000ft.
Thousands of people are addicted to searching for recently hidden treasure - and the bug is catching.
It's another weekend in the Slater household and the sounds of groans can be heard as the TV is switched off and orders are made to get coats and shoes on. "What are we doing? Where are we going?" ask our not-so- eager children. Then my dreaded words: "We're going for a walk."
In the last few days of February, one of the heaviest snowfalls seen for a while caused chaos: collapsed power lines, widespread railway disruption, and drivers stranded overnight in snowdrifts.
ABOUT ten years ago, I was told of a great boat trip to take the other half on, with the objective of seeing dolphins in the Moray Firth. We set off from the harbour, full of anticipation, and watched excitedly as we pootled along the Black Isle coast. Although the views were great – out to sea and inland to high mountains – after two hours of searching, dolphins were nowhere in sight.
Find your favourite walk, print it off and head for the hills.
Find a walk near you with our interactive map »
TAYSIDE AND CENTRAL SCOTLAND
A NEW long-distance walking route to rival the West Highland Way is to be created through Central Scotland, The Scotsman can reveal.
Starting from Perth, this week's walk goes over Kinnoull and Deuchny Hills, then a royal descent on the Coronation Road to Scone, a burn-side path to Quarrymill visitor centre by the A93 and an urban stroll back to the South Inch. Depending on the method of transport to Perth, it could be a carbon-friendly outing.
SO MONEY'S tight and you've cancelled the gym membership to the fancy place with the fancy machines that you didn't go to very often anyway. Christmas is looming, bringing the lure of the kids' selection boxes, Thorntons' chocolate Santa and the belly-busting Turkey dinner, all leading to straining waistbands and buttons that threaten to pop.
Rhona is bagging the mainland Marilyns (hills of any height, but with a drop of at least 150m all round) and in October 2008 we went to Carleatheran, the second highest point in the Fintry, Gargunnock and Touch Hills, south-west of Stirling, whose northern slopes lead to a spectacular eight-mile-long sharp basalt escarpment.