Saturday, 13 February 2016

Waterfalls and walking, a Weekend in Angus

Every year we have a long weekend away in February before David's business gets busy and now that we have the nursery, that too. We try to make the most of the quieter times of year to have a holiday away and day trips here and there as you'll know if you regularly read the blog. . Usually we head south to Cumbria, the Lakes or Northumbria but this year we headed north to Angus, an area I've never really explored. It being February the weather can be a hit or a miss, but with a cosy cottage, a wood stove and good food, it doesn't really matter. We drove up on Friday afternoon stopping off for a very nice lunch in Dunkeld. Sadly the good antique shop that used to be there is gone, the river was still very high too with plenty signs of the recent floods. 

Coffee, biscuits, wood burning stove,

Saturday was a bit damp, drizzly, bit breezy, definitely Scotland then. After a luxurious long lie and one of David's excellent breakfasts we decided to go and find Reekie Linn Falls. If the nursery doesn't work out I should become a holiday / trip planner / guide. I love finding put places to go and making up itineraries, maybe I missed my vocation lol. Anyhoo, the falls were only 10 minutes from the cottage with a car park just off the road. There are plenty of signs warning you about the high cliffs and paths on the edge of the cliffs and they weren't kidding. Not for the faint hearted or those that don't like heights the path is along the edge of 150 foot high cliffs.

It's a long way down

Green roots, Reekie Linn

Reekie Linn Falls, so named for the mist that rises from the water like smoke

Bracken not so sure, Reekie Linn

Roots like fingers, Reekie Linn

David and Bracken, Reekie Linn
We followed the path past the falls and along the gorge for another 15 minutes or so. The path meanders along the top of the cliff through old beech woodland, the ground littered with beech leaves and nuts. The roots were covered with vivid green mosses and there were plenty lichen growing in the branches. At the base of the cliffs we could see the remains of the floods, wood and plant debris left high in the trees and shrubs or on the rocks of the cliff. The falls must have been amazing then.

Reekie Linn

Once back at the car park we tried to persuade Bracken to have a paddle in the river, but he wasn't up for it, too cold, so we headed to Peel farm just along the road for coffee and cake. They have a lovely gift shop, including local arts and crafts, some food and antiques. Their coffee and cake were good too.

Chocolate cake at Peel Farm

Another place of interest we had noticed was the Airlie monument just north of Kirrimuir. We reckoned we would have time to do the walk up through the forestry to the monument before the end of the day. It took less than half an hour to walk up to the monument, by now in low cloud, so there was no view to be had for our efforts. Built after the Boar War, you can read about it here. We headed back to the car and home to the cottage where we warmed up and got ready to go out for dinner. We had a lovely three course meal at the Losset Inn in Alyth just along the road. The food and service were great, good pub food in a cosy lounge area.

Airlie Monument in cloud

The door of the monument

Sunday was wet, very wet, so after a long lie we hummed and hawed about what to do, headed to Glen Prosen to do a walk we planed, but it was snowing! In the end we ended up heading to Brechin, but it was still very wet. We picked up food for dinner that evening and then headed over to the Scottish Antiques and Arts Centre at Abintyne. At least it was undercover and we could have a rake around and coffee and scones. I managed to find two french cafe chairs I've had on my list of "stuff to get" for the nursery.

On Monday, once we'd tidied the cottage and packed up we again headed to Glen Prosen as the forecast was perfect and indeed it was blue skies and sunshine all day. We parked at the church in Glenprosen village and headed up towards the hostel, following a gravel track up towards Glentairie. This is a gentle circular walk of about four miles, not my usual hill top yomp, but David's not that keen on big hill walks sadly. It was warm enough to lose a layer or two of coats and scarves and the views under the blue skies of Glen Clova and beyond were wonderful.

Cabin on the way up to Glentairie

The old shed at Glentairie

A tough herd of coos with Glen Clova behind

A panorama of Glen Clova from Glentairie

Mayer, my first munro 7 years ago

Together but apart, man and dog taking in the view

Dead heather

Enjoying being out in the hills on a glorious day

We came around the other side of Balnaboth hill and headed down through old birch woods and back into Glen Prosen where we followed the track past Balnaboth House. Here we were supposed to cross a foot bridge over the Prosen Water, but it was no more and we reckoned it had maybe been swept away in the recent floods. So we walked back out down the road into Balnaboth House and back into Glenprosen village. It was great to be out on the hills especially on such a wonderful day, it makes you feel better. 

Thuidium tamariscinum

Balnaboth House, this would be my ideal house, good old Scottish house, even down to the colour

Once back to the car we headed to Glen Clova, a bit of a trip back in time for me as this is where I did my first munros seven years ago. We stopped for lunch in the Glen Clova hotel, and very nice it was. I opted for the fish, there is nothing nicer than properly battered fish and good home made chips. We didn't eat for the rest of the day. From here we we drove up to the ranger and walkers car park at the end of the road, took in the views and then headed home. This was by far the best day, mainly because the weather was amazing. It was an easy drive home with a lovely sunset to finish the weekend off.

Lunch at the Glen Clova Hotel

Munros in Glen Clova

Glen Clova

Sunset over Perth

The cottage we stayed in at Littleton of Airlie was lovely. A one bedroom end terrace with bathroom, lounge and kitchen, there was plenty room for two and a dog. The row of cottages are situated along one side of a walled garden which must be beautiful in summer. There was still plenty of colour to be had even in February. I shall leave you some photos from the garden.


Hedera colchicum
Helleborus foetidus

Barn door

The gardens

Cut willow branches

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  1. Hey Rona,
    Your post today has increased my desire to visit Scotland. What a beautiful part of the country; in all weathers. The landscape looks breathtakingly beautiful. The picture of the blue hut is exquisite! Marc and I love camping in Betty with the kids, but we often talk about when we are able to explore places like this as an older, greyer couple. Having had Olly so late, it will be a while yet! I'm going to show this post to him, and try to persuade him that a road trip to Scotland is in order. That would be some holiday in a battered camper van I think.
    Have a great week.
    Leanne xx

  2. Hi Leanne, thank you for your lovely comment :) Scotland is perfect to tour with a camper or such as there is so much to see and lots of places to stop for the night. Imagine waking up in the morning with those views, it's glorious. One of my must do soon trips is along the north of Scotland and to the outer isles because I've never been yet. I want to take 3 to 4 weeks and tour up the east coast, along the north, part way down the west to Ullapool and then cross over and drive / camp all the way down the outer isles. One day. On my list is also to visit the two islands called Rona off the west and north coast of Scotland. Not so easy having the nursery now, but soon :) Do all the tourist bits cause they are amazing but go off the beaten track too :) xx