To Ormiston Hill

Sometimes you don’t need to climb very high to find a good viewpoint and the top of Ormiston Hill above Newburgh is a perfect example. It’s only 744 feet high, but from the top we can look out over the Silvery Tay to the Carse of Gowrie, the Sidlaws and the Grampians in a wide sweep that stretches all the way from Perth to Dundee. Little wonder our ancestors chose this spot to build a fort.

It may be a small hill, but this morning it posed one or two challenges. As I neared the top, I spotted the head of a cow pop over the horizon a few hundred yards away – then there were two. Then five. Within seconds there were about thirty cows and young calves (never a good combination) heading my way! Having watched Crocodile Dundee, though, I knew exactly what to do – point two fingers at their eyes and hum. Or was that for buffalo?

Plan B was to loup the fence into the next field and seemed a much safer idea. The final climb to the large stone cairn placed another obstacle in my way – finding a way through the maze of jaggy whin bushes. Certainly not recommended for anyone wearing shorts!

Needless-to-say, the view over Newburgh and the Tay made it all worthwhile and, oddly enough, on the way back down the cattle had disappeared.


Willie Shand