|Thursday 1 May 2003
Probably a very nice walk from Pitlochry itself (and the suspension bridge is definitely great fun!) due to time constraints John and I took the (slightly) easier option.
From Faskally, we headed onto the A9 south and took a small turn right after maybe a mile towards Middleton of Fonab farm. From memory, I think it had some sort of ‘forestry walks’ sign too.
Whatever, keep your eyes on your mirrors, as the turn is likely to sneak up on you and reasonably heavy braking will be necessary – the A9 is a pretty busy road and it’s single carriageway at this point.
We (slightly more cheekily than is normal for me) drove up the hill and parked at the farm. In my favour, the lanes and farmyard are very spacious! There was nobody about anyway.
Following the paths (rather than bridleways or tracks) up the hill the drizzle started to set in. John was already wearing his Clint Eastwood kit, consisting of oiled Gore-Tex type long coat (with wacky thigh straps) and an allegedly separately bought (but matching!) wide-brimmed oiled cowboy-style hat.
Don’t go thinking he wears that to try to look ‘cool’ by the way. It seems to make him pretty much impervious to precipitation. Git. DRY git. I stuck on the not-very-waterproof, allegedly-breathable-but-not and actually-fairly-sweaty ‘Regatta’ kag that I had in my camera bag.
(It does have to be said however, that John is tall and slim enough to vaguely carry off the ‘Clint kit’. I’d look a complete pillock in an equivalent. And I don’t need a costume to look a pillock….)
Luckily we didn’t have a GPS (see Scottish Megarak visit to this site) so we followed the maps and the paths and found it without a problem. It was well worth getting a bit damp for too, but as luck would have it the weather improved as we arrived.
Having had fairly low expectations of finding it in the forestry and as a result of the OS Landranger calling it ‘remains of’ we were pleasantly surprised on both counts. (Has to be said that much as I love OS maps, their use of ‘remains of’ in relation to circles is annoyingly inconsistent.)
So often using a Landranger something that looks right next to the path is 100 yards or more away, and particularly in dense forestry that cam be as good as 10 miles. Lucky that Clachan an Diridh sits in a clearing that runs as far as the forestry track.
There are only a few stones left in the circle, but they’re good ‘uns – blimey, I should write books with my grasp of all the technical jargon! What I’m actually getting at is that the remaining stones and the site of the circle manage to communicate pretty well what the site would probably have been like, at least if you’ve seen a few others.
The views would certainly have been stunning pre-forestry, but Mr Bigsweetie is right when he says elsewhere that the trees do give this circle a pleasant air of tranquillity and peace.
I’d missed out on this one up until this trip just because I’d never really had the time to tackle the hill. Glad we made the effort. The return journey to the car flew by, almost literally, as we crashed back down the hill, soggy but happy.
Posted by Moth
9th July 2003ce
Edited 9th July 2003ce