Local Lands & Hallowed Hangouts

Staying local in lock-down has given me a brand new appreciation for my local area. 

Although I genuinely do and have done I guess since childhood explored my local area regularly and I’d like to say I feel I know it well, I have in lock-down been going that little bit further afield, by foot, or that little bit deeper into the forest, staying off the beaten path to escape the masses whilst exploring and trying to find something new.

Not only has this allowed me to escape from people in general, its also been an escape from the confinements of being indoors, and more so an escape from the worry, stress and uncertainty that can sometimes fill my mind at these trying times.

I have certainly felt trapped since restrictions have been put in place but I have very much stuck to ‘the rules’ and stayed local throughout.

Its a natural human reaction to want what we cant have; so road trips, big adventures and escapes to the mountains are what I have craved the most. 

Here in Scotland restrictions are still very tight and it is recommended that only a 5 mile maximum distance be travelled by car.  I have therefore chosen not to use my car for leisure purposes, minimising temptation and choosing to travel by foot…always my first preferred choice of travel anyway of course!

So I have settled for a new routine.  Staying local and enjoying my daily outings whilst trying to forget about the mountains or overseas destinations I cannot get to.

I plan my routes with a vengeance, choosing times of the day or night when I think others might not venture out…my sole intention is aiming for solitude…or as quiet a walk as I can possibly get it to be…the challenge of planning my routes I’m finding is becoming enjoyable and quite methodical…what am I turning in to!!!

I am fortunate to live in an area surrounded by forests, fields, lochs and hills, so I can escape quite easily from the majority of people to find pockets of peace and tranquillity.

I have found myself going back to places we as kids used to walk and play in daily as a family, remembering past times and trying to find ‘new’ areas to visit, which I can then pass on to future generations.

Age dims ones memory, yet few ever forget their old childhood haunts – those much loved hangouts of the past that we frequented as children and teenagers and which continue to hold a special place in our hearts. 

I enjoy revisiting them and reliving old times.  Its here that my sisters, brothers and I grew up and spent many happy years.  We used to pass away endless hours in these forests, jumping burns, collecting tadpoles and conkers and generally getting dirty! 

We trawled these forests in search of jungle creatures whilst hiding from the enemy…our imaginations having no limits and of course highly encouraged and sometimes outdone by our parents surprisingly enough (or not)!

I have also found new ‘secret trails’, places I have never ventured to before surprisingly enough…these will remain secret of course!

So if there’s one silver lining to all of the chaos that surrounds me with this outbreak of Covid-19, its that I have found this new sense of appreciation for the simple things in life – like heading out your front door and going for a walk.

And as restrictions are slightly lifting here in Scotland as from tonight (Friday 3rd July) and we are soon able to go further afield I begin to wonder about where I will next wander…….so watch this space!

I hope you enjoy the photos from some of my hallowed hangouts and treasure-troves!

Blairadam Forest

It feels slightly like a scene from Lord of the Rings – mossy and very green – this part of the woods is pretty near Captain Adams House
New & Old Forests
‘The Baths’ or ‘Waterworks’ as we always call them
‘The Baths’ or ‘Waterworks’  – we were told people washed in them…the Miners? What were they really used for and why were they there??
Favourite Forests and Glorious Trees  – every single one of them!

Dowhill Castle

In all its glory!

St Ninians

Sunsets and Shadows In St Ninians

Benarty Hill

Benarty Hill view’s and captivating countrysides
Benarty Hill (drone view) – we used to jump up and down on this very hill trying to wake up the ‘sleeping giant!
Benarty Hill views overlooking Loch Leven  (drone view)
Parenwell Bridge – a little unassuming bridge that has historical significance.. The plaques tell the story of how Mary Queen of Scots evaded a trap that was set locally and fled capture by escaping over this bridge on her way to Perth (referred to as it’s historical name of St Johnstoun). 

Lochore Meadows

Standing atop the Bronze Age Fortress and viewing rhe remains of ancients settlements, trying to imagine how things must have looked back then.
Clune Craig or The Clune- This area is rich in archaeological features dating back to the Bronze Age; these include hut circles and animal enclosures.
Sunset on Lochore Meadows with Benarty Hill in the background – I will never tire of a beautiful sunset
Lochore Meadows early morning
Lochore Meadows and a simple but very beautiful tree late evening

Loch Glow

Loch Glow in glorious sunshine with Dumglow in the background to the right and Knockhill straight ahead

Cleish Hills

Cleish Hills – atop Dumglow – we can see Wallace’s Monument and the Ochil Hills from here, another childhood haunt
Views from the Cleish Hills towards Benarty Hill and Loch Leven
Views from the ‘Jackdaw Cliffs’ as we call them towards Cleish!

Lomond Hills

Views from the Lomand Hills towards Loch Leven
View from the Lomands summit

General Photos

Sunset on the Lomand Hills
A simple but stunning landscape scene
Farmers Field
A radiant red poppy
A massive fat frog
A cotton field
Fiery sunset trees and check out that full moon
Wondering Whilst Wandering
Stay Safe

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