Today is supposed to be the finest day of the week meteorologically and we’ve planned to do a small hike. Yesterday evening I used the website https://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ to search for the best trail for our varied family group and used parameters like grade (meaning difficulty), ascent (meaning how many meters will you climb and descend) and – this one was new to me – bog factor (meaning ‘Walks with a bog factor 1 are often dry underfoot; 5 could need a snorkel!’) to come up with the best match. We pour all family members into two cars and we drive to Aberfoyle. It’s a tiny village with a few big parkings, obviously they’re prepared for a lot of visitors.
The trail from the walkhighlands website is also available as a track on Wikiloc so it’s easy to follow. It’s a perfect day for it, a few locals admit that it’s exceptionally sunny and warm, we see people in shorts and driving convertibles so it must be unseasonably warm to their standards. As to me, I’m wearing a skin layer of merino wool, a turtle neck woollen sweather, a down body warmer, jeans and light hiking shoes and it’s perfect. I even go so far as to put on sun screen!
The hike is pretty level on wide gravel roads and goes around Lochan Spling. There are a few works of art in the lake, reflecting beautifully in the quiet surface. We spend a while on the rocky shore, some of us enjoying the sun and quiet while the others try their hand at skipping stones across the water.
After a pub lunch and a quick stop in the Scottish Wool Center where a buy a few skeins of undyed sheep’s wool we do the short hop to the lake of Menteith, where we take the 12 person motorboat to the Inchmahome Priory. The ruins themselves are nice to see, but it’s the location on a small island in the lake that makes it such an attractive visit. We see two ospreys chasing each other, it looks like one of them has caught a fish and the other one is trying to take it away. There are supposed to be red squirrels on the island too, but these remain hidden.
We finish our day by visiting Doune Castle, it’s a bit smaller than what we’ve become used to on this holiday, but all the walls, stairs and floors are still standing so you can walk around in the rooms like they were at the time they were built. There is a huge fireplace in the kitchen, must be 15 m²! When you stand in it and look up, you can see the sky high above you, you could build a human pyramid in there if you had the skills. This castle was used to film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, though I must say I don’t remember the movie well enough to recognize it.
Grocery shopping, delivery chinese and a night of board games.