the knock, crieff
- Circular walk about 3 miles, taking 1-1.5 hours
- Car parking – free
There are many ways up to the Knock and no one way is better than the other. Our favourite route is this one; start at lower Knock car park and turn right down towards the Hydro. Take the forestry track on the left at the top of the hill. Walk along this and to your right you see Crieff Golf Course. Keep walking and you will see a cairn. This cairn was built to commemorate the turn of the Millennium.
On your right you will see remains of Ferntower House. Dr Meikle, founder of Crieff Hydro Hotel once rented this. It was later purchased by Crieff Hydro Hotel. Sadly over time it was neglected and the building was blown up in the early 1960’s. The stable part with the servants accommodation survived and it was used by Crieff Hydro for staff quarters up until the 1990’s.
Continue on the track until you reach the elbow and from here you will start to see magnificent views over the Strathearn Valley.
Continue around the north side of the track, on the left side you are flanked by forestry and looking down on your right you will see a large castle – Monzie Castle. It is a private residence, home to the Crichton family.
When you reach the end of the straight forestry track take the second smaller track up to your left and at the top take the track to your right. Keep on this path and it will emerge out onto a small summit with benches and enough room to have a picnic and take in those views. The view is stunning across and if the visibility is good, you can spot Ben Vorlich to the west.
The summit indicator is a granite monument dedicated to Robert Rule. Rule was the son of a yarn merchant from Paisley who made his own fortune as a cloth manufacturer in Glasgow. It has directional indicators outlining the various surrounding peaks and their distances from the Knock on the top.
Looking south there is a small path that leads to the money tree. Coins are knocked into the tree trunk using stones by passers-by, who hope it will bring them good fortune.
Leaving the indicator take the path leading west and follow this down through the woods. Roughly half way down you will see a large rock on your right, this is called the Cradle Stone. It is formed of a different rock from The Knock and was brought to its resting place by an ancient glacier which left it when it melted.
Continue down the steep track and it will take you directly back to the car park.
janet's brae, peebles
- Circular walk about 7 miles, taking 3-4 hours
- Car parking – free
Janet’s Brae couldn’t be handier to get to. Just wander down to the end of Peebles Hydro driveway and follow the sign. Take the whole family for a jaunt around woodlands, glens and along the banks of the River Tweed. The seven mile track is completely free of traffic (except for the odd bike), so it’s just you and the peaceful Peebles countryside.
This popular nature walk has a little bit of history thrown in too. Discover how people lived in the Iron Age, Janet’s Brae is home to a prehistoric settlement. The little fort would’ve been used around the time of the Roman invasion.
After leaving Peebles Hydro, follow the track until you reach the roundhouse, this circular thatched hut is a nod to the history and heritage you will discover on the trail. Follow the path through the trees all the way to the Buzzards Nest parking area and just before the vehicle barrier, take the path down to your right. This path will eventually meet the beautiful Red Squirrel trail which you will follow down to Peel Cafe. Worked up an appetite? No doubt you’ll be ready for a break. Cosy up with a nice hot coffee and a slab of homemade cake.
Continue down the path, following the burn to the old quarry. From here it is a gentle stroll along the river Tweed back to Peebles Hydro.
Glencoe lochan, glencoe
- Circular walk about 3 miles, taking 1 - 1.5 hours
- Car parking – free
A firm family favourite with Instagram worthy views. If you're staying at Isles of Glencoe or Ballachulish Hotel, it's about a seven-minute drive to the carpark.
This gentle walk leads you through towering trees, winding tracks and around the lochan itself. Unlike many walks in Glencoe, it's great for walkers of all abilities and even for little legs if you have wee ones in tow. On a nice day, the reflection in the lochan shows off a gorgeous mirror image of the surrounding scenery (remember to bring your camera).
The three-mile track can take about an hour and a half to explore, with a variety of trails to choose from. The red trail is the easiest and is suitable for all ages and abilities, buggies and wheelchairs. If you want to get the best view take the blue trail which takes you uphill overlooking the lochan and offers fantastic views over Loch Leven, Beinn a’ Bheithir, and the Pap of Glencoe.
There are benches scattered around the lochside as well as picnic tables and pontoons, so plenty of places to have lunch, relax, take pictures, and enjoy this idyllic part of Glencoe. On a hot day, your furry friend can even cool off in the fresh loch water.