I’ve written about Glen Tilt on my old blog http://www.stravaigerjohn.wordpress.com (now just an archive of old pieces of outdoor writing).
I never tire of this long glen between Blair Atholl and Braemar, which is worth visiting at all seasons of the year and in all weathers.
And talking of the weather?
We had a short break of three days in Pitlochry.
The weather forecast was dreadful: Heavy rain they said, snow and hail they predicted; thunder and lightning they exclaimed. Enough to deter all but hardened walkers. And as usual, the weather people were wrong. How is that they can expound so forcefully on what the weather will be a century hence but still not get it correct for the day after tomorrow?
And I think they’ve got less accurate with the growth of modern forecasting technology.
If you’re reading this and are a weather forecaster perhaps you might like to explain.
Anyhow, back to Glen Tilt.
We didn’t go far from Blair Atholl this time, just up to Marble Lodge, an easy walk up good tracks with not very much ascent.
In Victorian times this ancient right of way was much disputed by the dukes of Atholl. I wrote an account of the row in my book “The Compleat Trespasser” if you want to read all about it.
Now the estate has a much more tolerant attitude towards public access.
We took the path up by the estate rifle range. By far the best way as it offers magnificent views up the glen.
And despite the forecast it was a wonderful sunny day with just the odd shower.
The light and the fresh colours on the trees were quite wonderful. Saw a red squirrel and cowslips on the side of the path.
We descended to Gilbert’s Bridge, a favourite spot of mine to linger with some beautiful beeches, looking at their Spring best.
Below the bridge the tilt tumbled furiously over the rocks, dark with the washings of peat.
High on the ridges there was still a considerable amount of snow lying. Every now and again the tops would vanish into cloud, then emerge into sunlight, wisps of vapour burning off like Highland ghosts.
On the way past Marble Lodge and up to Gaw’s Bridge we saw lapwings flying along the line of the Tilt river and dippers down on the rocks.
On the way back we heard our first cuckoo of the year.
A terrific walk in ideal weather.
My advice – learn to predict the mountain weather for yourself and take the published and broadcast forecasts with a pinch of salt!