Wednesday 1 August 2012

Loaded for bear on the Shirra Muir

Time has weighed heavy on me since my application to be a touch judge at the Beach Volleyball was turned down. If I had known the hassle it would cause, I would never have signed that bloody Register in the first place.

So, nothing else for it. I went for a walk.

Sheriffmuir is the western scrag end of the Ochils, where they meld into Strathallan.It's bounded by Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, and Auchterarder, and used to provide a short cut for drovers and others from the North and East heading for the choke point of Stirling Bridge and the markets of the Central Valley.

I went up the steps by the  walnut tree and along the old coffin road to where Pathfoot village used to be.

Up through the ravine and out onto the moor. It's a steady pull uphill from here.

On a previous post i made a facetious reference to this car park and "d*****g" Boy did that bring in a lot of unexpected traffic and page views from people googling exotic outdoor activities.

The Heilandman's Well - cattle watering point for the drovers and now parking area for the easy approach to Dumyat.

When I was up here last year, they had just start extracting the timber. It's strange how disorientating it can be when forestry areas you have watched grow up suddenly disappear completely.

At this point I left the road to go cross-country as there was something I wanted to check on.

The white building in the distance is the Sheriffmuir Inn.I may take you up there sometime for a sarsaparilla. It used to be owned by a wrestler called Andy Robin who also owned Hercules the Bear.For those of you too young to remember Hercules, he featured in a series of TV commercials for toilet roll - The Big Softy ! He lived in a cage in the pub car-park where Andy would wrestle with him and feed him crisps and pints of beer for the amusements of the lieges. We made our own entertainment in those days.

This is what I was looking for. I'll put all the bits of the story together some time in a single post.

As  every Scottish school kid used to know, It fell aboot  the Lammastide, whem the muir men win their hay. Spooky.

I've been toiling a bit lately, particularly with uphill, so this  was a bit of a "push the envelope" (what a stupid expression!). The Walkhighlands GPS thing says 8 miles and 300 metres up.I'll settle for  that. Took me 5 hours which is about par for me these days.

Now, apparently we have been a bit raucous in the rock n roll department lately. There have been complaints from some of the old farts in the blogroll over to the right
So here's something soothing



  1. This is, I think, John James, old Welshman and very fine picker. Saw him a few times back in the 70s and 80s. He played as support for John Renbourn & Jacquie McShee at university when I was a student. He impressed me greatly; I preferred him to JR! Then met him some years later in Pontypool - of all bloody places - when he was stranded at the rail station outside town in the rain one winter's night; we gave him a lift into town for his gig. Recently had some emails from him and glad to see he's once again out gigging!

    1. John Renbourn on second guitar there. Echoes of "Bert and John" ?
      There doesn't seem to be much John James on YT. I may be forced to go out to the garage and search the mountains of vynil for Head in the Clouds.

  2. When was that weather? We've had nothing like that in Lanarkshire for about six months. Glad you got some good photies to commemorate the blue sky.

    They used to serve a mean hare dish in the Sheriffmuir Inn. (Not "used to" in the sense of when there was a Hercules connection, "used to" in the sense of last summer.)


    1. That was Tuesday, Scott. Yesterday was back to the full Scottish. Is it because we all lied when we were 17 ?
      The Inn has probably used up all the bear steaks in the freezer by now.