Strutting and fretting for an hour or so on Birnam Hill

Route: Birnam Hill, Birnam

Sub 2000s: Birnam Hill - King's Seat

Date walked: 17/10/2015

Set off this morning from Perth in sunshine, once the early mist had cleared, and had high hopes for some photos of early autumn colours against the backdrop of a blue sky. Not to be! Once the train rounded the bend at Stanley, we turned into clouds, with a very visible weather front, and that pale blue backdrop rapidly receded into memory. Oh well - though it was still a very decent day out.

Walked this walkhighlands circular route more or less in reverse: from the train station, leaving by the little steps that take travellers to the Birnam-Dunkeld path underneath the big, bad A9; but turning right instead under the railway (and hugging the side of the underpath following the red and orange arrows), quickly reaching a junction with Birnam Hill helpfully signed to the left and to the right. Left takes you to the quarry car park described on the route, with the walk route then easily followed; right takes you up the short and sweet route: a lung-busting, artery-clearing, sweat-raising climb past denfinella's famous fungus tree up, to the crag which has absolutely super views of Dunkeld, Loch of the Lowes and Craiglush, and Deuchary Hill (an old friend) - which is Stage 5 on the official route.

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After that, it was pretty gentle sailing following the route, somewhat muddy in places, with a bit of climbing in one place, up to the summit cairn which lends lovely, if apparently de rigeur, views of mist over the upper Tay valley.

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And also across the windfarm - over to Schiehallion?

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And thence the long downhill slog (do ignore the rather optimistic signboard at the summit which talks about a 1.5 mile walk to the quarry car park!) via a clear path, down the steps, and then through woodland to the bottom.

The closest I got to the pictures I was hoping to get:

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With a choice of 20 minutes before the train to Perth or a 2 hr 20 wait, of course I wandered through Birnam via the Beatrix Potter garden, down to the Birnam Oak and the Tay shore and the out-turn of the Inchewan Burn before winding up at a busy Birnam Inn for a refreshing Lia Fail.

And the best autumn colours? Of course, they were in Birnam itself, around the hotel (and also reflected in the might Tay).

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Pretty happy with the walk in reverse - and in spite of the stiff climb - although this way seems to unload most of its treasures in the first sections: walking the 'official' route means they reveal themselves more slowly, perhaps giving you a better reward for efforts.

Wildlife watch: dozens of spider webs in the heather, glistening in the dew; pheasants; finch street (just up from Stair Bridge), with plenty of chaffinches, a greenfinch or two and, er, 'others'; a stonechat; two jays screeching close to the bottom of the walk, in close proximity to the call of a buzzard. Oh, and a fox (though only in the Beatrix Potter garden :D )

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Comments: 3

I found my thrill... on Deuchary Hill

Attachment(s) Sub 2000s: Deuchary Hill
Date walked: 26/07/2015
Distance: 23.5km
Views: 1802


Activity: Hill Bagger

Munros: 1
Corbetts: 1
Sub 2000: 5

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Trips: 2
Distance: 23.5 km
Sub2000s: 2

Joined: Jun 30, 2015
Last visited: Jul 25, 2016
Total posts: 3 | Search posts