Friday, 4 January 2013

Simple Minds and the Castle of Gloom - Part 2

In my last post, I told you about Simple Minds and the Edinburgh Hogmanay concert. We went home full of anticipation, for the forecast for New Year's Day had been good for a week. This was shaping up to be the only decent, sunny day in the entire Christmas holiday. We were going to make the most of it with a walk in the Ochils!

Castle Campbell:

We parked in Dollar and headed up Dollar Glen, Castle Campbell perched on its eyrie high above. Before it became a Campbell property this used to be known as Castle Gloom, and the burns running down the ravines on either side and into Dollar Glen are still known as the Burn of Sorrow and the Burn of Care. These burn names are perhaps newer than the castle, named for glòm, abyss or chasm in Gaelic. Today this gorge was beautiful, full of families and dogs out for a Ne'erday walk. To head up the walkway through the gorge, past the waterfalls, and pop out at the castle is one of the finest short walks in the country. Today it was just the warm-up for the hill.

And what a day it was! The hills were unexpectedly snow-covered, adding drama and brightness to the day. We headed up King's Seat Hill and saw dozens of other folk, people glad to be out and about on the first decent day for a month. The lands of Mannan lay flat astride the Forth to the south.

Looking south:

But looking at the view north from near the summit of King's Seat, would you credit this is, officially, smack in the middle of the Lowlands?

North from King's Seat:

Suddenly the hill was empty: and we walked down in the last of the light, one sole fell runner passing us, the need to climb a hill satisfied.

Whitewisp Hill and distant Lomond Hills:

Happy New Year!


blueskyscotland said...

Snap.Just back from there. Did the horseshoe of hills above the castle. No snow now on that range at all. Best set of glens in the central belt.

Anonymous said...

Hi Craig,

a regular follower, but only occasional commentator...
Lowlands or Highlands, they have NO place in the Scottish landscape. When the vast majority of folk just don't care, how can we mobilise people to stop these obnoxious objects from seriously polluting our landscape - this is after all the 'Year of Natural Scotland'. You couldn't make it up.


Robert Craig said...

Hi David

You don't say what you are talking about, but I'm guessing wind turbines, rather than ruined castles?

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert, correct - b****y wind turbines. Ineffective, inefficient and a massive scar on the landscape. Just how have we allowed our planning laws to permit this kind of development?


Robert Craig said...

Have to say I don't mind them too much David, though I wouldn't want Scotland to go the way of mid-Wales. Offshore wind and tidal are where the real power sources are though, I would hope onshore wind would not expand much more.

I did a short course on micro power generation at the Ecology Centre at Kinghorn in Fife, the fellow taking the course was clear - if you have a source of hydro (e.g. a fast flowing stream), use that instead, as it is a lot less hassle than wind and much more reliable.

Most of us live in cities though, so micro generation isn't an option.