Bluebell Woodwalk proves to be a feast for the senses

Walking Group Photography by Allan Stewart and Helen Ritchie

Walking Group Photography by Allan Stewart and Helen Ritchie

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What can I say about our latest walk? It was a beautiful walk, a relatively easy walk, and a veritable feast for the senses!

Added to that, it was a lovely day: not too hot, not too cold, not too windy, and best of all.... dry!

Walking Group Photography by Allan Stewart and Helen Ritchie

Walking Group Photography by Allan Stewart and Helen Ritchie

Tuesday, May 26 was the day we travelled to Blairgowrie to do what we call the Bluebell Wood walk. Starting from the car-park near the Wellmeadow, 24 of us made our way along several streets to Perth Road, which we crossed, then set off up Newton Street. When we reached Newton Terrace on our right, we turned left along a track signposted 鄭rdblair Trail This part, called Gallowbank, was fairly straight until, at a bench, it turned 90 degrees to the left and downhill. At the bottom, we turned right along the Dunkeld road, the A923, then after a short distance, turned left on to a farm track.

An interesting sight along the way was a round stone building which would have been built to enclose a horse mill. The horse walked round and round the inside of the building and this powered a mill in the attached barn. Moving on, we passed through a little wooded area with lots of lovely little pink flowers growing at the edge of the path. No-one was able to tell me what they were and I was unable to find them in any of my wild flower books at home. They seemed to be plentiful in that area.

Soon we crossed another road, this time the B947, the Essendy road, and passed the Muirton House Care Home. Here the path divided but was sign-posted; we stopped following the Ardblair Trail and took the way to the Bluebell Woods. The wood is actually called Darroch Wood, darroch being the Gaelic for oak, but my impression was that the trees were mainly birch with some oaks and other trees. However what we were most taken with was the beautiful carpet of bluebells: a photograph can only give a one-dimensional idea of what it was like. There was a lovely smell not overpowering and the birds were singing in the trees. Where better to have a lunch break?

From the wood, we walked on a wide path through a field: it is a right of way but we were reminded that it is part of a working farm. Well over in the field stood a swan. It seemed strange to see it away from water. Water, however, was not very far away. We passed a corner of Fingask Loch, turned left then left again, across a wooden bridge then walked along the side of White Loch and it was here that we noted something else of interest: a beaver or beavers had been at work on one or two trees at the water’s edge. As we left the side of White Loch we crossed a small stream on stepping stones, and bore left in another small wood.

Walking Group Photography by Allan Stewart and Helen Ritchie

Walking Group Photography by Allan Stewart and Helen Ritchie

Soon we found ourselves back on Perth Road which we followed for a short distance before turning right along a path that took us past a school, through an area of housing and into another housing development where the street names were nearly all names of trees.

Then we found ourselves passing another round mill building and down a bank covered in wild garlic smells again and on to the Coupar Angus Road (A923). From there it was a short walk back to our starting point.

Although our walk was about 5 miles, it can be broken down into shorter bits if necessary. It was more or less flat, the steepest uphill part being the walk up Newton Street at the beginning. All along the way there was a big variety of wild flowers to be seen: all in all, a wonderful walk.

The next walk will be on Tuesday, June 9, to Finzean where there will be two routes available. Starting point will be the car-park at the Church. (The church is sign-posted from the road.) As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk
at 10am.