This lockdown, I’ve set myself daily targets for walking. January was 10km and now, as the days grow longer, February is 12km. The plan is to be ready for the hills in the spring, maybe a little camping too.
I’ve kept the walks local obviously and discovered some good ones. The Bannockburn Heritage Trail from Ladywell Park up to Mill Bridge and back was excellent (6km). Its a steep sided glen following the fast flowing Bannock Burn, past derelict tartan weaver mills (hence the name of the local pub, Tartan Arms).
Dunblane to Doune is a favourite, heading out on the Old Doune Road past Greenyards Farm before heading down to Argaty and continuing along the old railway line to Doune. Its all tarmac now but watch out as the railway track has a 1:50 incline down to Doune. So what seems an easy walk with little breeze actually becomes an uphill trudge into a cold easterly wind on the way back (11 km).
This happened to auld Jackie when he fae Doune tae Dunblane ane night did canter. It was late and upon leaving the Highland, he was glorious (o’er aw the ills o’ life victorious probably). Stopping halfway home to light a cigarette, he turned his back to the easterly. Satisfied he had lit his smoke, he walked on…straight back to Doune!
Anyway, I got fed up wi the local walks and decided to head up to the windfarm. It was built in 2007 and is very prominent on the hills to the north of Dunblane. I like them but some folks get raging about them, Trump included. And thats good enough for me.
So, I parked the car just after Buchany at Home Farm and headed up past a few farms and alot of sheep and then the forestry plantations. Once thru that we past Severie farmhouses and took the ancient track towards legendary Calziebohalzie (dont ask me to pronounce it). This track fords two burns and crosses moorlands with skylarks tweeting (no Trump jokes please) above in a huge sky.
The windfarm road crossed this ancient track (before we reached Calziebohalzie sadly) and we followed it up to the huge wind turbines. Theres about 34 in total. Standing underneath one and looking up is a bit of an unnerving , vertigo inducing experience.
I looked for The Bird Graveyard. In yet another infamous Trump ramble, he claimed there’s a Bird Graveyard at every windfarm, but it was nowhere to be found. I didn’t hang about and the walk back down past snowbanks was amazing as you are looking back across the lowlands to the Carse of Stirling with the Gargunnock Hills beyond. Dunblane stands out too, with Dumyat, Wallace Monument and Stirling Castle behind.
I followed the windfarm road all the way back thru forestry plantations to Home Farm, a total of 20km which left Shitzu puggled. Calziebohalzie will have to wait for another day !
Stay safe everyone, we are getting there!