Sunday, 31 July 2011

Kinpurney Hill and Tower

It is a straightforward climb to the top of Kinpurney Hill, just follow the markers, although being a very humid day it was a little bit strenuous.  Very worthwhile making it the the top as the panoramic views are spectacular, you can see for miles.  I made a video which you can view on my You Tube Channel.  The tower was built in 1774 and eventually became ruinous but was restored again in 1974.

The Den at Newtyle

Bit behind with my blogging again, but I am continuing the Newtyle Path Network theme.  I went to the post office in Newtyle and purchased all the local path Network walk leaflets and very well done they are as well, full of information.  There is a car park just further down the road from the Post Office/Shop from where you can head off on whatever of the walks you choose. I was wanting to walk to the tower at the top of Kinpurney Hill after photographing it the day before.  It is a straightforward walk along a fairly quiet road until you come to Denhead Farm and up a track into the 'Den'.  There is an old mill pond which is fed by the burn coming down the hill and the path slowly winds it's way upwards through lush trees and vegetation and you will pass a seat if you need a wee rest.  You finally come to a gate at the top of the den where the landscape changes into grassland.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Newtyle Path Network

Today having had to do a quick run over to Newtyle the faithful hound and I decided to have a stroll.  I have often passed the signs indicating a railway walk, so today we (the dog and I) decided to investigate. It was easy to park in a large muddy lay-by beside the B954 right by the walk markers for 'Railway Walk' and 'Water Backie'.  I didn't have my trusty map with me so had no idea really where I was going, but we just followed the path through the woods and over a boardwalk that took you up some steps to an old railway line.  Quite by chance we met a man with a lovely puppy who was telling his puppy how he would grow up to be as lovely as my dog - sweet.  The man kindly told me where the paths all went.  If we went right at the top of the steps we would head back into Newtyle and left to continue on a circular walk, so we went left.  The track continued for a short way before heading back down towards the road, take care crossing as it is a busy fast road.  So we crossed over and continued along the line before coming to a road which we followed left as I guessed this would bring us back in a loop, there was a fantastic view of the tower on top of Kinpurney Hill.  We headed into some woods which I am sure must be full of red squirrels, we saw two buzzards and the path led us back to the main road and the car.  When we got home I did a quick google of the Newtyle Path Network, I have heard of it before but never investigated further.  Newtyle Village has a really informative website and there are 5 walking maps for the area that can be purchased from the Newtyle Post Office, all these fabulous walks and history to discover only a 15/20 minute drive from Blairgowrie.  Click here for link.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote

Gooseberries are perhaps not the most popular of summer fruit and I must admit I'm none too keen either, but turn them into a compote and you may just change your mind.  Today I was doing a bit of 'Pick Your Own' mainly raspberries and strawberries but I also got a few gooseberries.  It is pretty straight forward to turn them into a compote. I made some elderflower cordial the other week so this recipe was perfect.  I just made a small quantity, just to check they tasted ok!
1 lb gooseberries
2 tablespoons elderflower cordial mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 oz golden caster sugar

Wash and remove stalks from the gooseberries and place them in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with the sugar add the cordial mix then put in the oven at 180 C for about half and hour or until they are soft.  Then just puree them.  Okay it doesn't look the most attractive of dishes but they really do taste very nice.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cateran Trail Enochdhu to Kirkmichael - 2

Once you pass through the farm, where you can purchase eggs and jam, the landscape is a deep fertile green with great scenic views. You then enter into Kindrogan Wood which is a great walk and also pretty good for a bit of mountain biking. As usual time was against me and I had to head home, but I hope you got a little flavour of the Cateran Trail or just a nice wee walk in the countryside. That is one of the great things about the Cateran Trail is that you can do little snippets of it here and there.

Cateran Trail Enochdhu to Kirkmichael -1

After I had been at the garden visit I continued just a short way along the road to a car park on the left at Dirnanean Farm where you can pick up the Cateran Trail either heading back down to Kirkmichael or over the hills to the Spittal of Glenshee. I just did a part of the walk heading to Kirkmichael and the dog and I got rather soaked. It is a very gentle stroll along quiet tracks, crossing a bridge over the River Ardle and up to Dalreoch Farm.

Balvarran Garden

Open today under Scotland's Garden Scheme was a garden at Balvarran between Kirkmichael and Enochdhu, less than half an hour away from Blairgowrie. The A924 is always a fantastic road to drive and worth taking if you are heading over to Pitlochry. The garden is mainly a woodland garden with fantastic views over Strathardle. There was also a small lochan, a formal area and many statues dotted about the garden. They seemed to have a good turnout of visitors and I think this is their first year opening the garden under the scheme, well worth a visit if the owners open it again next year. Unfortunately it was one of those days where we had spells of torrential downpours in between blazing sun, but we can't control the weather!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Fresh Juicy Strawberries

We went to a 'pick your own' farm today in Perthshire to pick some strawberries. The place is on the Perth side of Balbeggie up a small country road. A perfect sunny hot day to spend some time outdoors doing something productive. The strawberries taste absolutely delicious. We picked quite a lot, but then I did promise some guests I would get them some to take home tomorrow.