It was the shortest day, and to be honest, I wasn’t in the best of moods. A broken night’s sleep, a dark morning and a little too long reading the news headlines had left me lacking in seasonal cheer.
Start from the car park one mile north of the Kylesku Bridge. This is the starting point for several walks and was provided by the Duke of Westminster, who owns the estate.
This walk starts from the heritage centre car park next to the old Culter station platform on the Deeside Way.
Ben Dolphin: If it really is the thought that counts – then think about getting out for a walk with a smile on your face
The magic of Christmas dissipated a long time ago for me, or at least the side of it that venerates the acquisition of throwaway tat that we’ve neither asked for nor need.
It is a long drive up Glen Esk to the road end but I have never tired of this lovely Angus glen.
On a clear, crisp winter’s day, there is nothing better than wrapping up warm and escaping to the great outdoors.
There has definitely been a growth in the number of people experiencing the Outer Hebrides by bike since the Hebridean Way cycling route was launched, but the islands have a lot to offer in the way of shorter cycling adventures too – and the Callanish circular from Stornoway is a great one.
I’ve often walked the lower part of this route, but have been put off going further by forestry operations.
The drive to the foot of Ben More, Mull’s highest mountain, is a memorable experience.
Having moved to Aberdeen three years ago, I have always marvelled at just how quickly you can escape the city for the glorious countryside.
I had never climbed the complete Clisham horseshoe before – the whole Clisham ridge – and had been harbouring ambitions to do so for a while.
I’d never been THIS close to one before and, inches from my face, everything about it was fascinating – the yellow stripes along its side, the electric blue around its abdomen, the fur-like hair on its head.
There is many a stunning walking route on the rugged islands of Orkney, and this impressive coastal circuit is no exception.
A vehicle track leads east from the Mamore Lodge car park through woodland alive with wildflowers, bees and butterflies in spring and summer.
Through the fog we could see a cairn drifting past to our right, perhaps 100m away and on slightly higher ground than where we were. Was that the summit?
If you want to appreciate the beautiful beaches of Orkney and enjoy the thrill of a cliff-top walk, this route could well be for you.
Having found that the majority of country buses take bikes, I decided this time to get the bus out to Crathes for my onward journey to Ballater.
A couple of weeks ago, on a weirdly hot day, I took a group of walkers to the top of Ben Vorlich in Perthshire.
The Deeside Way is great when training for a longer run as you can get plenty of easy miles on the flat, even surface, giving you the confidence you’ll be able to tackle your forthcoming 10K, half marathon or any other distance.
A French hill walker filmed his epic journey on the Suilven mountain in Sutherland.
“It smells so clean!” he said excitedly.
Ballater has become a bit of a cycling hub with two bicycle shops (both hiring bikes), some good routes radiating out of it and some great coffee shops.
Glen Coe has an extraordinary atmosphere.
Caroline Hoole: Time to tear down the walls of paperwork standing between our children and outdoor school trips
Scotland’s education secretary recently admitted that a “culture of fear” is responsible for generating “pointless tasks” that create an excessive workload for teachers who are waiting, in anticipation, for a visit from the inspectorate.
I paused at the apex of the steep arch of Sluggan bridge, gazing into the waters below, and taking in the tranquillity of my surroundings.
I wake up suddenly and slowly realise that I’ve been rubbing my eye. I blink a few times but nothing seems out of the ordinary. I look at the clock: 04:21.
Have you ever wondered who maintains the parks and gardens of the Granite City? Philippa Gerrard put on her wellies and found out
Fresh out of school, 16-year-old Danny Shand was all set for life behind a desk.
As a busy ranger in the Cairngorms, when you’re working with the public in some of the most spectacular and beautiful landscapes in the country, the memorable moments come thick and fast.
Splashing through puddles as sideways-falling rain crept slowly into my hood, it’s fair to say it took me a while to fall in love with the West Highland Way.
Have you heard of Pitfichie?
Whatever your views of Munro bagging, it’s a fact that anyone who climbs all 282 will have come to know Scotland in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
With one dog nursing a poorly leg, I took the opportunity to take my fitter and somewhat more obedient spaniel for a long walk.