Yesterday, our feet took us up Moncreiffe Hill.
It is a wooded ridge, south of Perth, managed by the Woodland Trust.
Its summit is 732ft and is classed as Marilyn and one which offers excellent 360° views of the Perthshire countryside.
There are two carparks and access points to the hill, we choose the southern one.
And there are five way marked Trails for you to follow.
We chose the Red Route, which is the longest at 5.2 miles & we took detours to visit the two forts.
From the carpark, we took the track which begins to rise up into this mixed woodland. Various Trees (Some grand tall Trees at that), Blossom, Wild Flowers, Birds Galore, Blue Skies, we had indeed picked the perfect day for it.
You keep climbing, convinced you are getting close to what must be the top, when all of a sudden you descend, then, it is straight back up again!
The track narrows on this ascent and is slightly rougher, but to be fair, the rest of the walk was on good wide smooth tracks. Here I was already puffing & panting, but there was a great point to stop and take in the view of the ‘Land of the Snaking River’ aka The River Earn.
Up we continued, noting the wild flowers etc, we had even seen a Hellebore, which turned out to be Stinking Hellebore and then we passed a small pond and still climbing, we reach the north end, which began to give us views of The Fair City.
Something caught our eye and there was a wooden Spider!
There are Wooden Sculptures waiting to surprise you all along this walk.
We then took a detour right to see Moncreiffe Hill Fort. We were unsure of what we were going to actually see and pretty much expected just a grassy mound and we were even discussing if there actually had been a Fort, as some sites on the internet suggested not.
We look ahead and there was a wee steep hill, I began to have Birnam Hill flashbacks lol, up we went and suddenly we see some people to our left.
On reaching the top of our grassy mound, we were in for a treat!
The people, were in fact members of the AOC Archaeology Group.
You can visit them on this link http://t.co/E8ZPSyGWkH
And follow @MoncreiffeDig on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MoncreiffeDig
Here we saw the Fort evidence for ourselves and learnt about the finds they had already made.
Respect to the volunteers here, especially to a 74 year old lady, who had climbed the hill, then proceeded to do a day of digging & searching!
It was here, way back in 728 AD, that a battle between two Pict Warlords took place.
Angus and Alphin were fighting for the control of the Pictish Throne.
This had been The Game of Thrones for real!
This is partly why both Forts here, are designated Scheduled Ancient Monuments!
And this is why I love Scottish History!
We continued the few yards to the Trig Point, took in the wonderful views and imagined how it had looked in 728 AD.
We headed back down to rejoin our Trail and soon came to the wee path taking us up to the Moredun Top Fort.
Moredun Top, is actually the true summit of Moncreiffe Hill and that is represented by a cairn, which we added our stones to.
We thought our last hill view was wonderful, well, this one was doubly so!
This is where you stand and get a full uninterrupted 360° view.
And it was here, that Barclay snatched the lead free from me and had a mad 5 minutes of running in circles around us.
Finally having caught the mad pup, we rejoined our trail and meandered our way back down. Woodpeckers, Deer, Wee Ponds with Ducks, Blackcaps, Wrens etc etc, keep your eyes alert and you will see them all and more.
We returned to the car, changed our walking boots for something softer and then headed to the nearby Brig Farm shop for a well earned drink & a Black Pudding Roll, delicious!
I learnt, that the ancient name for this hill, is ‘Monad Craiob’, which means Hill of the Tree.
And I will think of that every time I drive by it.