Another wander through St Machan’s graveyard.
Magnificant views to Glasgow, Slackdhu and Strathblane on the way down from a late afternoon walk up Dumbreck on New Year’s Day.
We went out for a drive to Loch Lomond and a walk along the shore from Milarrochy Bay.
For a change, we decided to take a scenic drive through the Trossachs and up to Loch Katrine for a an afternoon wander along the loch shores.
Loch Katrine turned out to be extremely quiet, with only a handful of cars from walkers parked in the massive car park. Unlike to usual hustle and bustle with busloads of tourists, the firmly shut tourist shops, cafe’s and boats looking more like a recently abandoned ghost town than a tourist hot spot.
We wandered out and back along the slightly uninspiring tarmac road along the North shore of the loch on what turned out to be a very bleak day. The Scots pines on the South shore and the winter colours of steep slopes of Ben Venue providing some interest.
The SS Sir Walter Scott is a small steamship that was built in 1899 at Dumbarton that has provided pleasure cruises and ferry services on Loch Katrine for well over a century. The steamer is the only surviving screw steamer in regular passenger service in Scotland and is named after the writer Sir Walter Scott, who set his 1810 poem Lady of the Lake, and his 1818 novel Rob Roy around Loch Katrine.
I wholeheartedly agree with David Ritchie, who took the below photograph of the SS Sir Walter Scott back in 2006, that recent restorations have unfortunately ruined the steamer’s looks.
The SS Sir Walter Scott in 2006, courtesy of David Ritchie
We hardly go for a walk at Loch Ardinning these days as it is virtually impossible to park and extremely overcrowded due to the reserve being a top hotspot for walkers that is within Covid lockdown restrictions from the city.
On a late afternoon we decided to take a punt and headed up for a walk late afternoon after most people had left or were on their way back.
The walk up onto Muirhouse Muir was well worth it with the stunning views of the Slackdhu Craggs above Strathblane bedded in the warm evening sun.
A walk along the shores of Loch Lomond from Balmaha or Milarrochy Bay has fast become a regular afternoon outing for us during Covid lockdown. It is surprisingly quiet at Loch Lomond, especially in contrast to the extremely over crowded walking hot spots closer to home that are within about 5 miles of the city.
This is one of the big benefits of living in a remote corner of Stirlingshire that is more akin to the city, meaning we can head up to Loch Lomond and even as far as Crianlarich and Killin without breaking the lockdown rules.
After a refreshing walk along the East shore of Loch Lomond from Milarrochy Bay, we enjoyed the start of the sunset from the warmth of our car with a cup of tea/coffee. Just before the sun disappeared behind the horizon, we went out to admire a fabulous sunset and the amazing red glow on the bare trees along the shore.
The photo of the sunset with the silhouette of the famous oak tree is perhaps my best photo of the year.
With the car booked in for an MOT in Lennoxtown on a spectacular sunny day, I decided to take the morning off work, drop the car off at the garage and walk home along the stretch of the John Muir Way running from Lennoxtown to Strathblane that is locally also known as the railway path.
Not long into my walk along the railway path, I caught the first glimpse in the distance of Dunglass, a spectacular volcanic plug that is partly quarried and marks the point where I would need to leave the railway path to cross the fields for the last stretch home.
Dunglass darts in and out of my view along the route, but shortly after passing Craigend Farm, the view of Dunglass with a lead in of the meandering Pow Burn, a tributary to the River Endrick, was simply stunning.
I was so glad I made the decision to walk home and take my camera, as the weather and views were spectacular.
A browse through some of our 19th century books made us decide to take a drive to Airth to explore Airth Old Parish Church that stands in the grounds of Airth Castle. Disappointingly, our trip was in vain as the ruined church is entirely cordoned off with Heras fencing.
With no plan B, we decided on the spot to drive on, crossing the River Forth over the Clackmannanshire Bridge heading for Dollar with the intention to have another wander around Dollar Glen and one of our favourite castles, Castle Campbell.
The castle, also known as Castle Gloom, is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and stands imposingly at the top of Dollar Glen where the Burn of Sorrow and the Burn of Care join to form the Dollar Burn. Simply a stunning medieval castle in a stunning location.
After exploring the waterfalls on the Burn of Sorrow and admiring the views from above the castle, we headed back down when the sun started to set. A slight detour onto the hillside above the Born of Care rewarded us with a stunning sunset.
Tappoch Broch, also known as Torwood Broch lies in the woods above Torwood.