Over The Ochils

It’s sometimes easy to overlook what’s on our own doorstep and to think the grass is always greener elsewhere. Just ten minutes from home takes me to the green, rolling Ochils and to lots of fine rambles – long and short – and all without the need for a long drive to reach the start.

When I left the car at Castlehill Reservoir in Glendevon this morning, I was aiming for the top of Innerdownie, but soon changed my mind when I reached the gate to “Geordie’s Wood”.

Here, for a change, I joined the forestry track eventually taking me up on to the Commonedge Hill. Although starting up a forest road, the clearing is wide and light and there are plenty distant views to enjoy along the way.

Just the same, it’s great when you climb above the trees on to the open, grassy ridge. Suddenly, there are uninterrupted views right across the wide Forth Valley and over much of the county of Kinross-shire. Away beyond Loch Leven rises Fife’s West Lomond.

My return was at high level taking me across the top of Seamab – that prominent, steep-sided hill that rises above the village of Muckhart. There was a stiff breeze on the top today.

I thought I did well to resist the temptation to drop down to Muckhart for a ceffee, however, once I got back to the car, Mona’s tearoom was my first stop!

Willie Shand