The Knockie

The small Perthshire town of Blairgowrie sits among rolling hills and farmland in the Vale of Strathmore.

The streets of the town slope upwards towards the north-west, and if you continue walking in this direction beyond the limit of houses, you soon reach the top of a small grassy hill called The Knockie.

The Knockie, being only a few minutes’ trot from where I live, provides an easily accesible bit of fresh air and exercise for someone who spends far too much time sitting at a desk. I try to get out for a little walk most days of the week and yesterday, thinking it was too long since I last did it, I felt inspired to go and look at the views from The Knockie.

The track up the hill is often very muddy, but is apparently being upgraded and will soon be covered in stones. I think it has a nicely old-fashioned look, bounded by lovely dry stone walls covered in moss:

When you reach the top of the hill, you can read a ghost story on a board:

The story concerns a Lady Jean Drummond, who lived at nearby Newton Castle around the 13th century. She fell in love with a chap from a neighbouring castle, but the two families were at war with one another over land rights, and any sort of romance was out of the question. Heartbroken, Lady Jean is said to have wandered out into the marshes, never to return. Her ghost, dressed in green silk, currently divides her time betwen the two castles, ever pining for her lost love.

A wooden seat has been thoughtfully provided so that you can sit and contemplate this tragic tale:

Yesterday was not the brightest of days, but on the other side of the hill from Blairgowrie there are good views of the surrounding countryside, and the distant Grampian mountains:

The track on the other side of the hill has a much better surface, being covered in tarmac for some of the way, and there are more mossy walls:

We’ve had a fair bit of stormy weather here lately, and I passed some trees that had not only been uprooted, but had taken the ground with them. I thought it looked as if a giant had come along and lifted up the carpet:

As I rounded The Knockie, the setting sun broke through the clouds casting a warm glow on the hillside to the east:

Over towards the west, the sky seemed to be on fire:

The atmosphere was hazy, but the lighting created this silhouette of a horse on the horizon:

By the time I got home, I felt I’d earned a small snackerel:


46 thoughts on “The Knockie

  1. Hi Lorna, beautiful imagery and your photos at dusk look incredible. They’re certainly some of my favourite’s thus far! Your Snackerel looks mighty tasty and no doubt very much deserved after a day trekking about šŸ™‚

    • Thank you kindly Ally! I was amazed by the sky when I turned round to look back at it. I was intrigued by the uprooted tree and had a little rummage around the roots, it was like another tiny world under there.

  2. Lorna, those photos are amazing! (And I’m not just referring to the ones of your homecoming tea and cake.) Why is it that ghost ladies so often seem to be green? I think there’s a green lady that haunts Crathes Castle as well.

    I think I never left a comment on your Mimi’s post – partly lack of time and partly I was quite undone by those extremely inappropriate scantily clad drawings all over… šŸ™‚

  3. The light at this time of year is so amazing and you’ve captured it so well in these. The carpet tree is very topical with all these incredibly strong winds we’ve had today! – I was driving over Bodmin Moor today, not dissimilar to some of this terrain, especially the lovely mossy stones and it was pretty hairy. We took delivery of our bull today…very exciting, I will post about it soon.

    • Thank you kindly, it has been most interesting weather, although far too wet for many people. I’ve noticed a lot of unusual lighting effects recently, I don’t know if it’s just because I’m aware of it or if things are actually a bit different this autumn. Bodmin Moor is a place I would love to visit one day, and I can imagine it being very dramatic at this time of year. How exciting about your bull!

  4. What a lovely walk, and you describe it so well that I feel I am there too. I am captivated by the story of Lady Jean Drummon!. I love the first pic of the trees silhouetted against the setting sun – it reminds me of fireworks. By the way, I gave in to temptation – inspired by your previous post – and made a cake the other day. Pear and ginger loaf – turned out well!

    • Thank you Jo, it’s a good story isn’t it? And particularly interesting as both of the castles are still there and visible from The Knockie. I wonder if the current inhabitants ever see Lady Jean. Your cake sounds superb – pear and ginger loaf – an excellent combination for a cold autumn day!

  5. great pictures of your walk but my favorite is the last one. your orange teapot is so fantastic! love the cake too. it’s making me hungry. šŸ™‚

    • Thank you Alison, it’s a cute little teapot isn’t it? They’re called Stump teapots and the Blairgowrie Cookshop stocks a whole range of bright colours, I think they’re lovely and they pour really well.

  6. Beautiful photos! I can never quite manage to capture sunsets. They always seem to ‘overexpose’. How did you do it?

    • Thank you Trish, I often have problems with overexposure, too. I’ve got a new camera that tends to overexpose using the auto setting, unless in bright sunlight, but it allows me to use manual mode as well. From trying out different things I’ve discovered that if I manually change the exposure compensation the pictures come out more true to life. I’m no expert though, I just stumbled across something that seemed to work and I’ve saved it as an option on my camera. Can you change the exposure settings at all on your camera?

      • I think I just really need to change my whole camera for a better one! šŸ™‚ Or go back to using film. I do have an old-style camera I haven’t used in yonks. Digital is just so much easier now though.

        • I know, I sometimes miss my old film camera, but then I think of how easy and convenient digital cameras are. If I went back to film now, I think I would resent paying for photos I didn’t want to develop! I hope you find a good solution.

  7. What a magical place and you took some amazing photos. Thanks for sharing. I came home to a lovely surprise today. Your Tearoom Delights books arrived in the post! Thank you so much. I just love mine and my friend will be delighted with hers I just know. I also love the postcard and will use it as part of my Amanda in England display. Thanks for making my day. XO

    • Woohoo! I’m so glad they arrived safe and sound, and you’ve made my day with your comment, Darlene – thank you! I’m delighted that the postcard is going to add to your Amanda in England display. šŸ™‚ xo

  8. Hello Lorna, that’s a fine walk to have on your doorstep! You have some lovely countryside… with gradients. We don’t have those in Cambridgeshire.

    (PS How’s the novel going?)

    • Hi Finn, thank you, I do appreciate the hills up here. I remember how flat Cambridgeshire is, but very beautiful, too.

      (Not too bad, thanks, I had a discouraging slump for a week or so but have picked it up in the last day or two….getting there, slowly!)

  9. I would sit on that bench and see if the legend is true… Your pictures are gorgeous, especially the one with the silhouette of the horse. What a good way to take a break from writing!

  10. Love your post, enjoyed taking this journey with you in the snugness of my library…your photos are gorgeous, particularly love the uprooted trees and your apt description of the “giant”…very “Romeo and Juliet” ghost story too…you do live in a lovely area, once I was in the Yorkshire Dales…Grassington was the village…the walls reminded me a bit of your walls. Also….love the word “snackerel”, never heard it before.

    • What a lovely image…in the snugness of your library. šŸ™‚ Thank you Linda, you’re right about the walls, these dry stone ones are very prevalent in Yorkshire. Grassington is, I believe, a beautiful little place. The word snackerel is one I think you ought to adopt, since you are such a fan of the small nibblesome snacklet.

  11. What a lovely place to walk or ride, do they allow horses there? Silly question maybe but in Canada there are a lot of great places that would be great for riding but no horses allowed. The snackerel and tea, nice end to the day!

    • Yes, horses are allowed there. Why aren’t horses allowed in bits of Canada? I’m thinking of Canadian mounties and imagining that horses are a big thing with you. There’s nothing like a nice snackerel to come home to.

  12. How lucky that you have this beautiful (and haunted) place to take a walk right in your neighborhood. Even though I really like the convenience of living in a (small) city, I have to get in the car and drive a few miles to get to a woodsy area for some communing with nature. Being a bit of a country mouse at heart, I would love to have it just outside my door.

    • I know what you mean, and I do appreciate it. I was brought up in a city and when I first moved here I missed the convenience of shops, cinema, theatre, etc. but nowadays I’m happy to have this instead.

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