A nice, sunny day in prospect and we headed off to Perthshire for the day, as further west cloud was forecast to come in for the afternoon. We found the correct layby just outside Birnam at the second attempt (it's the one with an information board...) for a walk up Birnam Hill, also called King's Seat.
Air temperatures weren't notably high, but unbroken sunshine made us wish we'd taken shorts. The lower slopes of Birnam Hill showed off a beautiful array of lush plants and colours, ferns slowly uncoiling from piles of last season's brown remains. A number of flies weren't so welcome.
We detoured to a viewpoint at Stair Bridge, but the view is similar to (and slightly less extensive than) the one further up the hill path. Returning to the main route, the path swings round to a steeper section, zig-zagging with steps up to the flatter ground above. Eroded narrow paths turning off end up back on the main path, as in the photo below:
Views from the top of the steps back over the lower River Tay are wonderful:
The path deteriorates slightly with a few rocky patches as it meanders to the large summit cairn, which has steps onto the top. A large pole points north, but the views were impressive in all directions.
Dunkeld and Birnam:
There's something strange about this walk, in that the descent manages to feel both steeper and longer than the ascent, which is obviously impossible. Definitely best to do the walk in this direction! On the way down this fungus-infested tree caught my eye:
Heading past some pretty cottages on the outskirts of Birnam, the track runs back into woodland. The path branching off "after passing the houses" on the walk description turned out to be "well after passing the houses", eventually leading back to the start.
Afternoon: Loch of the Lowes: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=52874
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