My usual dog walks from the hoose in Dunblane are as follows: oot to Hillside Farm, past Wanderwrang Cottage then along Tinkers Loan and back. Along to Anchorscross, into the big field, through the skinny woods and back. Over the bridge to the grass football pitches/Greenyards Farm and back.Great walks, nice and quiet. Maybe see the occasional bod.
And then lockdoon started! And aw these peepil started appearing on my walks! Bastards. ‘Fuck off oot o ma walks’ I wanted tae shout, especially at the start when folks were very nervous aboot social distancing.
So when we were allowed the 5 mile radius travel I started to drive a wee bitty then go for a walk. The golf course is brilliant, the dogs love it as theres so much space – until they ruined it aw and let golfers back on. The walk across the moor at Sherrifmuir is great too, a good path, tremendous views and you hear skylarks above. Out to Argaty and the old railway walk…too busy grrrr. Out to Kilbryde, lovely walk to the wee old church that turns out to be a mausoleum hiding under the 170 year old sycamore. Spooky even on a sunny day!
Further afield, Doune Castle is a brilliant wander down by the river. Always takes me back to pre season training when we flung Willie our trainer in the river. This year there were alot of folk wild swimming. I also ‘discovered’ Waltersmuir reservoir up Sherrifmuir. I think they dammed the Wharry Burn. Who knew? Its a braw spot though a bit of a hike to get there. Second time I visited I could hear shouts and splashing before I got there. Neds, I thought, turning round to head home. Last I heard its closed off due to vandalism. Typical. I’d just discovered it too.
Then theres The Ochils. Wanting to avoid the crowds I climbed Dumyat from the north side. Nice walk along a track towards Menstrie past a reservoir then climb steeply up to the summit before you know it. Sadly Ochils Mountain Rescue guys were filling bags with rubbish left by covidiots.
Finally, I climbed Blairdenon starting from above Greenloaning. Great walk with views west and north to at least 10 Munro peaks. Also saw the poignant memorial at the crash site of a Tiger Moth near the summit in 1957.
So, for all its been a torrid time for some and a boring time for others, COVID-19 has made us explore our own backyard as never before. I’ll certainly be going on these walks again in the future.
PS I forgot Gallows Hill at Park of Keir, the Laighills (how could I?) and the hill path up Glentye above Sherrifmuir Inn. And the Gathering Stone from Rylands Lodge, Ochlochy Park, walk across field to Ashfield…and so forth.