Hiding Away Up A Scottish Glen

Scotland, UK, Cairngorms

Scotland has many hidden gems, beautiful views and magnificent walks that are less well-known than some of the more celebrated places. We took our little van up into north Angus this week. Just 35 miles from Dundee yet it felt a million miles separated us from the city to this dramatic scenery.

The sunset reflecting on the still Backwater Reservoir took our breath away on our first day up there. We had spent the afternoon watching waterfowl on Loch of Kinnordy, an RSPB reserve near Kirriemuir. A winter hotspot for Whooper Swans and many other winter migrants. A splendidly handsome male Smew {a small duck} was the draw and the highlight.

A drive up towards Backwater reservoir, which supplies Dundee with its drinking water, rewarded us with the beautiful sunset reflecting on its surface. We continued along the road across the dam and climbed up along the side of the artificial lake to a viewpoint overlooking the mountains to the north. A pair of White Tailed Eagles soaring together in the evening sky above us made a perfect end to the day.Scotland, UK, lake,

We found somewhere to camp near the entrance to Glen Clova for the night. In the morning we woke early to clear blue sky and sunshine. A scenic drive along a very narrow and winding lane took us up the glen to the Forestry Commission’s visitor centre at Glen Doll. The small visitor centre has a ranger, information and toilets as well as good parking and picnic benches dotted along the river. The picnic benches even have metal plates to sit your disposable BBQ on, how accommodating! There are a number of walks out from the centre for all abilities taking you up into the glens or the forest, and you can mountain bike or horse ride too if you prefer. The centre is a good base to go deeper into the mountains for the more adventurous.

There was a lot of frozen snow and ice along the trails so we kept to the lower paths as we didn’t have any proper ice-wear for our feet. It was a bit slippery in places for our walking boots but the views were more than worth it. We did two of the trails that day. We ended the evening sat in a hide at Loch of Kinnordy chatting to a local character telling us stories and filling us in on the loch’s wildlife before setting off to camp.

Glen Clova at night. So many stars.The sky was so clear that night I couldn’t resist braving the cold and setting up the tripod to take some star-filled photographs. It wasn’t perfectly dark, there was a glow to the sky to the south, Dundee lighting up the night sky beyond the Sidlaw hills.

Scotland, UK,

Another beautiful morning greeted us, we set off early and took a drive up a neighbouring glen, Glen Prosen then we had to make a detour to Forfar to pick up a part for the van. Forfar was an opportunity to grab some supplies from the supermarket and to get signal on our mobile phones. We arranged to meet a friend back at the Glen Doll visitor centre to do another walk, this time into the Corrie Fee.

What a spectacular walk this is. The Corrie Fee trail takes a good, fairly level path along the river then through some forest before opening out into the corrie. The corrie was formed during the ice age, a glacier hollowed out this rocky bowl. It is now an important national nature reserve and a remarkable place to wander.

The view back out of the corrie, as you walk further in, is equally fantastic. We sat on a rock and admired the scene spread out in front of us while sipping hot flask coffee and munching on a chocolate bar. We watched some more adventurous types, through our binoculars, with ice axes and crampons ascending a steep snow-filled crevice high up on the corrie walls. We walked back as the sun descended.

Scotland, UK, Cairngorms Scotland, UK, Cairngorms

On our drive back to Dundee we detoured out to the coast, to Montrose. A lovely wander through farmland to the edges of the Montrose Basin while Sky Larks sang above us and Pink Footed Geese honked as they flew into the tidal estuary.  

We stopped in at the visitor centre there, the friendly staff pointed wildlife out to us through scopes, stuff we wouldn’t have seen through our binoculars.

Scotland, UK, Scottish Wildlife Trust,This area is well worth a visit, be it for a day trip, a long weekend or even longer, we will definitely be back.

Try these posts:

Killiecrankie: a walk into some Scottish history a Jacobite rout and a leaping soldier!

Dundee’s First Instameet Was Amazing!Showcasing Scotland’s coolest little city with the world!

12 Ways Shetland Will Amaze You! Puffin gifs galore and a whole heap of Shetland wanderlust!

5 Beautiful Places in Dumfries and Galloway Don’t bypass the Borders, there’s beauty to be found!

5 Amazing Wildlife Experiences From white tailed sea eagles on Skye to tigers in India!

By Rachel A Davis   Follow on Bloglovin

No Responses

  1. Wow..your photos are stunning! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!

  2. Cheer’s Mimi, yes they are 🙂

  3. chef mimi says:

    Absolutely beautiful photos. Aren’t Scots just the friendliest people?!!!

  4. Dave says:

    Another lovely post! Looks like a great area for hiking. And of course loved your photos as always – my faves are the sunset photo, the b&w one, and the one with Juan looking out at the hills. How is Juan doing? Last I heard he was having some troubles…

    • Thanks Dave. I loved that sunset too. We had lots of lovely wanders. Juan is doing fine, passed his yearly roadworthy test after a teeny bit of work. Chris has finally fixed the heating so we can drive in warmth {after 3 yrs of none at all!}. Woohoo 🙂

  5. You put me to shame – must go out exploring!

  6. kerrycooks says:

    What a gorgeous place!