Monday, November 30, 2009

Ben Nevis from Glencoe Scotland

Ben Nevis from Glencoe, Scotland.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Classic Hill Runs and Races in Scotland

Classic Hill Runs and Races in Scotland.

Steven Fallon has been attracted to the Scottish Hills throughout his life. Bagging Munros became a virtual obsession, resulting in him completing 14 Munro rounds (the world record!) and qualifying as a mountain guide. Hill running was found to be the most enjoyable and quickest way to get round the Munros which in turn led him into competitive hill racing and mountain marathons.

Hill running is a great way to see more of our stunning countryside without the need for long days back-packing. With routes to introduce the hill-running novice to the activity, right up to long challenges for even the most experience runner, this guide seeks to select the finest routes and races throughout Scotland. This guide contains 35 hill-running and 35 hill-racing routes from all over Scotland. The routes are grouped into 7 regions similar to those in the Pocket Mountains hill walking books. In each region there are 10 routes. Each chapter begins with a couple of short, straightforward routes, then builds up through slightly tougher routes lasting an hour or two. The chapters are rounded off with long classic routes to challenge yourself on, each taking several hours to run over. Included with each route is a map showing the basic outline of the course along with some key details.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Walk Lochnagar Scotland

Walk Lochnagar, Scotland.

Lochnagar is certainly one of my favourite munros. In spite of it's fearsome appearance, it is a relatively easy walk from Spittal of Glenmuick. To get to the starting point though requires a lengthy drive, so we decided to approach this wonderful mountain from the Balmoral Estate near Crathie.

The great advantage that this approach has is that the whole mountain is in view for almost the whole walk in. We parked near Crathie Shop and Post Office and followed the metalled road on the West of the burn which led to a track climbing through the forest. A left fork took us on the road to Gelder Sheil stable, a well maintained bothy where a sandpiper sounded the alarm. No sign of a fireplace though!

Gelder Sheil Stable Bothy.

The Estate Landrover was keeping a close eye on a large herd of red deer which had congregated on a large grassy area, an oasis in a sea of heather. I couldn't help wondering if perhaps this had been an old camping spot created by the drovers of old.

Drovers halt near Balmoral?

The track headed in the direction of our first target, the top of Meall Coire na Saobhaide. The slightly boggy track gave way to short heather on firm ground and the top was soon reached. A large number of red grouse took to flight, possibly more than we've seen for a number of years. A short drop to the col and stiff climb pulled us past a mating pair of ptarmigan up to the summit of Cac Carn Beag with tremendous views over to the Stuic.

Cac Carn Beag, from Meall Coire na Saobhaide.

Ptarmigan on Lochnagar.

Views from Lochnagar to the Stuic.

We then circled the Corrie taking in the spectacular cornices and vertigo inducing views down into the Loch. The path down the 'ladder' has certainly been improved since we were last here, or maybe we just missed it last time! It's worth making sure that you find this well built stone staircase as it would make for a very efficient ascent.


A long way back down the Estate track followed, finishing in a leisurely 6 hours. Taking into account the long drive up to Loch Muick that we avoided, we reckoned that we had made the correct choice. This was proven as we had a short detour to the Royal Lochnagar Distillery!

Royal Lochnagar Distillery.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Skyspace Scotland By James Turrell

Skyspace Scotland By James Turrell.

An explanation to this wierd and wonderful structure in North Perthshire, Scotland!

This major artwork for Scotland was conceived by American artist James Turrell, famous for his work at Roden Crater and the Keilder Skyspace. Brennan & Wilson were commissioned to undertake the detail design and construction of this piece located in a remote glen. The skyspace allows the observer a unique progression of sensory experiences both aural and visual to the wooded burn and the spectacular elliptical aperture, open to the sky.

It certainly achieves its objectives! Quite a surprise to find it in a remote Highland Glen!

Duinish Bothy Loch Garry Scotland

Duinish Bothy, Loch Garry, Scotland.

I love visiting Duinish Bothy, Loch Garry, Scotland. It really is in the middle of nowhere and needs a five mile walk to arrive. The walk in from Loch Rannoch follows an easy gradient and views back to Schiehallion, 'Fairy hill of the Caledonians', are spectacular. If you're lucky enought to have a friendly driver, the leisurely walk out by Loch Garry to the A9 is very rewarding with the tree planting by Ron Greer and his enthusiastic group a joy to behold.

Schiehallion the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians

Loch Garry from Duinish Bothy, Scotland.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Star gazing in North Perthshire Scotland

Star gazing in North Perthshire, Scotland?

On a walk between Loch Rannoch and Duinish Bothy in North Perthshire, Scotland, we came upon this strange structure in the middle of nowhere. It had seating inside, with an open roof. There was no expense spared and our best guess was someone with too much money liked to come star gazing? Any other ideas?

Secret Chamber, North Perthshire, Scotland.

Strange building in North Perthshire?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Campsie Linn River Tay Perth Scotland

Campsie Linn, River Tay, Perth, Scotland.

Campsie Linn on 22nd November 2009. As the floodwater in Scotland subsides, The River Tay is still running high. Perth was one of the earliest places to install flood defences against the might of the River Tay, and this has proven a wise move.

Campsie Linn normally has a nice beach, and is popular in Summer, but for now the beach has disappeared under the strong current.

Campsie Linn River Tay Perthshire

Campsie Linn, River Tay.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Paglia Orba and Refuge Ciuttulu di Mori Corsica

Paglia Orba and Refuge Ciuttulu di Mori, Corsica.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Snow Bunting in the Cairngorms

Snow Bunting in the Cairngorms.

Very friendly snow bunting on Cairngorm in the Cairngorms National Park!

Ptarmigan on Suilven.

In May on Suilven, the ptarmigan seemed almost tame! Whilst you can normally get very close to them, this was exceptional to get within five feet!

Golden Eagle mobbed by buzzards.

In May this year we were treated to a dogfight between three buzzards and a Golden Eagle at Elphin, Sutherland, North West Scotland. A fair fight?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis

Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis.

The highest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis shows off its rugged cliffs from Glen Nevis. My favourite route up the mountain is by the Allt a' Mhuilinn burn, taking in the munro of Carn Mor Dearg.

Waterfall in Glen Nevis

Glen Nevis.

To search for a cottage in the Glen Nevis area of Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monument to Thomas Graham Lord Lynedoch

Monument to Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch.

Lovely short walk above the Lynedoch Golf Course, Murrayshall, Perthshire, to reach the 'Pinnacle', a monument to Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch. Excellent views of Perthshire are achieved for very little effort.

View to the Sidlaws from The Pinnacle.

Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, Perth, Scotland.

To search for a cottage in Perthshire, Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Walk Ben Loyal Scotland

Walk Ben Loyal, Scotland.

Three Scottish Hills in the North West of Scotland. Ben Loyal is a fantastic walk, providing marvellous views from mountain to sea-scapes.

Walk Cul Mor, Sutherland, Scotland.

Walk Ben Mor Assynt, Scotland.

To search for a cottage in this area of Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Old Man of Stoer West Coast of Scotland

Old Man of Stoer, West Coast of Scotland.

The magnificent Torridonian Sandstone sea stack, the Old Man of Stoer is a mecca for climbers on the West Coast of Scotland.

The Old Man of Stoer.

Lighthouse at Stoer Point, West Scotland.

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To search for a cottage in this area of Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sailing on Loch Lomond Scotland

Sailing on Loch Lomond, Scotland.

To search for a cottage in the Loch Lomond area of Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Heilan Coo at Ruthven Barracks

Heilan Coo at Ruthven Barracks.

An ideal way to mow the grass at Ruthven Barracks is employing a Heilan Coo! These docile animals are real Scottish Icons that just beg to be photographed!

Highland Cow at Ruthven Barracks.

Heilan Coo's, Scottish Icons.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ben Stack Sutherland Scotland

Ben Stack, Sutherland, Scotland.

One of my favourite Grahams in Scotland, Ben Stack rises gracefully above Loch Stack in the Region of Sutherland, North West Scotland. We chose a beautiful Summer day to traverse the hill from West to East, which I would recommend if transport allows!

Ben Stack and Loch Stack.

Ben Stack.

To search for a cottage in the Sutherland area of Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grave of unknown sailor Ulva Scotland

Grave of unknown sailor Ulva, Scotland.

Came across these graves on the island of Gometra, attached to Ulva, off the West Coast of Mull in Scotland. It was a sad moment to think of those who lost their lives during the Second World War, and who didn't have any family or friends to mourn at their funeral. And yet, these were only a few amongst the many in the same circumstances.

Gravestone to unknown sailor, Ulva.

Sailors gravestone on Ulva.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Celtic Cross Isle of Rum

Celtic Cross, Isle of Rum.

Not the easiest Celtic Cross to find on the Isle of Rum, it requires a bit of cross country walking to find this marvellous ancient carved Celtic Cross.

Celtic Cross on Rum

Celtic Cross on Isle of Rum

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Southern Upland Way

The Southern Upland Way.
To search for a cottage in this area of Scotland, click on the Cottages4you ad on the right under Cottages Scotland.

Urquart Castle Loch Ness

Urquart Castle, Loch Ness.