Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Castle Campbell - Dollar

First week of the school holidays and the sun was shining and a place I haven't blogged about before, I think! I have always enjoyed showing the children what is around them and I think they appreciate it and will grow up with a love for their country wherever they end up. I have American guest's staying for 10 day's and they were away to Edinburgh quite sharp for a long day which will include an evening spooky graveyard tour. I was kindly invited along, would have loved it, but unfortunately my eldest daughter would probably end up screaming down the street's of Edinburgh if she got so much of a whiff of a ghost.  The house my parents lived in before my father's death was incredibly haunted, trust me it is true. Would love to tell you the stories but you would probably think I was making them up, I know what I felt and saw. Coincidentally the said house is just outside of Dollar, where I ventured today to the impressive Castle Campbell in the Dollar Glen, which is also great walking territory in the Ochils. Many a school sponsored walk was spent in these hills, I very much doubt 'Health and Safety' would allow it today. Actually they wouldn't allow a school full of children to tramp the hills without any supervision whatsoever, well we did and it didn't do us any harm.
Dollar is the 'posh' town of the Hillfoots and has changed dramatically since my school day's. Very upmarket now with many a new designer home going up here and there, with the obligatory Range Rover in the driveway. From my perspective a bit of a blot on the landscape is the Dollarbeg 'executive, luxury' and amazingly expensive housing estate in the grounds of the Dollarbeg estate above the town. Dollarbeg was a magnificent old castle, I was friends with the daughter of the owner when it was a bit of a crumbling wreck, but what a building. Lovely to see it come back to life but why oh why could the sprawling estate of new houses not be a bit less 'bling'. Oh well guess people want to 'live the dream' or feel they have to at any cost.
Well I am digressing now from the title of my post which is Castle Campbell. You reach the castle up a very narrow road or you could walk up from the town and do a circular. The castle is in a stunning setting and must have been a formidable sight in it's time. Lot's of nooks and crannies to investigate and a steep stone spiral staircase to the top. There is a very pleasant garden area and the type of place you could sit forever and just enjoy the views. It is approx. 50 minutes from Blairgowrie. Had a quick stop for a couple of photo's of Stanley Mill on the way home.

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