Willie Shand heads to Perthshire for a walk to beautiful Loch Ordie . . .
It was an October day of heavy driving rain and thick mist in 1865 when Queen Victoria, Brown and the rest of her party rode their ponies to Loch Ordie. They arrived dripping wet and soaked to the skin. All they had to cheer them up was tea and whisky at Lochordie Lodge.
I didn’t bring tea or whisky with me, but I did pick a better day for the 12 mile hike to Loch Ordie from Dunkeld. On previous visits, I’ve followed the tracks in a clockwise circuit, but today I decided to do it anti-clockwise. Despite superstition, I would go out by the high route and return by Lochs Dowally, Rotmell and the Mill Dam.
The Forgotten Country
This is great walking country. The “forgotten country” as Tom Weir once described it, far from any 21st century intrusions. With an early start, I was hopeful of finding the place to myself. On the way, I had a kind of half-hearted notion to make a detour and climb to the 1670 feet high top of Deuchary hill. Alas the track was keeping itself well hidden and the prospect of climbing the steep slopes through deep heather kept my nose pointing for Loch Ordie.
I’m glad I did, for arriving at its shores I found the loch beautifully still. Another couple had beaten me to it. When their dog notices me it barks and the sound literally carries for miles.
The lochs on this circuit are well-known to anglers. In fact, there’s even a famous trout fly called the “Wee Loch Ordie”.
On the return, beyond Raor Lodge, I stopped to enjoy a half-hour rest in the sun on the shelving rocks above Rotmell Loch.
Sitting there I just thought to myself, where in the world would I rather be right now – and couldn’t think of anywhere.
For other walks in the area, visit the Walk Highlands page.