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: