Winter walk west from Comrie

On the last day of January, three of us walked from Comrie around Aberuchill and Dunira estates to the west, to check a route for a Strathearn Ramblers walk I would be leading later in February. As tends to happen for recces, we chose a fine sunny day so the snow on the surrounding hills contrasted with the bare oaks and dark conifers of the woods on their lower slopes.

Red kites wheeled overhead and wily pheasants, who had escaped the guns, broke from cover beside the tracks. We found a sunny spot for lunch, with our backs to a drystone dyke that sheltered us from the cool westerly wind.

It was a satisfying 8-mile circuit around the River Earn National Scenic Area, with ever changing views and many points of interest, such as the abandoned gardens of long-ago demolished Dunira house, old estate graveyards and the Kindrochet chambered cairn.