Loch Brandy Glen Clova Weekend

The area of Glen Clova was my very first introduction to the Scottish mountains. Situated just one hour away from Dundee, my school friends and I used to rattle up here in our beat up cars at the age of 17, to spend nights drinking cheap beer and sitting in wet tents pretty much oblivious to the beautiful surroundings. Whilst I’ve somewhat moved on from those days (thankfully), you can see that whilst time changes for us, it never does for the weather, as this recent loch brandy glen clova weekend with Lynne, Liam and Catherine demonstrates.

Loch Brandy Glen Clova Weekend

Our accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night was the Glen Clova hotel bunkhouse, situated to the rear of the hotel. The hotel itself was originally a drovers’ inn dating back to the 1850s. The bunkhouse buildings used to be barns, where the drovers cattle would be sheltered from the inclement weather. I remember them, prior to them being renovated to the current bunkhouse status as where the hotel would hold it’s annual beer festival. I also remember it was always freezing. 😉

1.View of back of Glen Clova Hotel

Lynne and I took a half day from work last Friday to travel the 4 hours by car from Glasgow to the bunkhouse. The weather was sunny and extremely warm. We also had a fantastic lunch here in Culross on the way, somewhere I’d been meaning to take Lynne for a while.

On arrival at our accommodation, the late afternoon / evening sky was filled with high fluffy clouds scattering beautiful shadows all over the glen in the fading sunlight.

2.Blue evening sky looking down the glen

Liam and Catherine arrived just a few minutes later, after us. For dinner, Liam had brought his delicious home-made red pepper soup and as I mentioned in this post I made a huge fresh pot of my chorizo and lentil stew, completely forgetting to take any photographs! The rest of the evening was spent catching up on our chat over a few glasses of wine. 🙂

3.Grey wet morning sky looking down the glen

Well, it was forecast and this was the view from opening the bunkhouse door on Saturday morning!

4.Neil and Catherine geared up and ready to go

After hearty bowls of porridge, several pots of Assam tea and our packed lunches made up, we all put on all our wet weather gear ready to brace the elements. Catherine and I are seen here modelling the gear and we are available for hire for future wet weather gear modelling assignments. 😉

Loch Brandy Route

The route we take up and around Loch Brandy is shown above here in this google map snippet and more specifically detailed in this website.

5.Lynne at start of Loch Brandy path

A lot of the hill climbing and walks we do around Scotland can involve further car travel to the start or access point from the nearest accommodation. Fortunately, this walk starts directly outside our bunkhouse door, and begins ascending through an old forest.

6.Catherine at start of Loch Brandy path

I’ve got to say the rain was pretty bad. Although I’ve walked in all weathers, so I’m less bothered by it, it can seriously put you off going out. It was at this point (and I think you can see that from her expression) that Catherine decided to call it a day, opting for a cosy bunkhouse room and her book instead.

7.Leaving the forestry commission line

Once we get through the forest we leave the tree line behind us to an even more exposed bleak scene. Now, not only are we dealing with rain, it’s horizonal lashing rain too!

8.Lynne trudging the wet path

But, as you can see with Lynne demonstrating here, there’s nothing for it but just to put your head down and keep on going.

9.Liam view back down the glen

The last time I did this walk (which was probably about 10 years ago) this man-made path didn’t exist. In fact, what used to be here was a pretty boggy, hard to walk on sheep track. Due to the amount of walkers now doing this route the path has been upgraded which makes the ascent to the loch a lot easier.

10.Liam view behind of Loch Brandy

Liam, seen above still in good spirits despite the soaking!

11.View behind of Loch Brandy rain cleared

I didn’t stop too often to take pictures, like I normally would. Preferring to keep my hands dry and warm within my waterproof. So I missed a shot of the loch, before we started this climb up the right shoulder, but you get the general idea eh?

12.Group Selfie

Selfie at the top! 😀

13.View looking back down to path

This is the view looking down from the left shoulder, having navigated in near zero visibility conditions (don’t do this without a map and compass!) all the way round. You can see the path we walked that comes up to the foot of the Loch. The man-made path stops at that point. So this is what the original path used to look like, that I mentioned earlier.

14.Liam and Neil descending path

Of course, as forecast, the rain actually begins to ease off in the afternoon, during our descent, down the same path we came up on! Wet and looking forward to a hot shower and cup of tea, we pretty much run down the path back to base.

I’m pretty sure all three of us enjoyed the walk. At least, we got out and we completed what we came here to do, albeit in extremely wet conditions. But as I’ve said before, our weather is that unpredictable that you just need to put a brave face on (and some waterproofs) and get on with it. Otherwise you would never get out there.

There was one last thing that we definitely came here to do. And that was to eat in the Glen Clova hotel, well known for it’s excellent fare! I can say that we earned every mouthful of our delicious food.

15.Rack of lamb in red berry jus

When I’m out at a restaurant I like to go for something I eat rarely now at home, probably red meat. I also like to make sure I eat local produce, if it’s available. See above the amazing local rack of lamb with red berry jus and seasonal vegetables. You can bet it tasted every bit as delicious as it looks!

16.Venison burger with chunky fries

Lynne had the venison burger, also locally produced and freshly made in the hotel kitchen. I’m not one who is big on chips / french fries, but check out these bad boys served up above. I couldn’t resist in having a few myself!

Looking forward to August, we’ve a weekend planned to climb Ben Nevis, the U.K’s highest mountain at 1344m (4408ft). We left it a bit late to book accommodation in a bunk house that we could all stay in, so we’re doing our own thing regarding where we are staying. Lynne and I will be taking the tent and camping at the Glen Nevis campsite, just at the foot of the mountain. It’s probably a brave decision to take, going by the weather I’ve shown you here, but hey, it’s always a challenge isn’t it?

And as always on a Thursday I encourage you to pop on over to Amanda’s blog, Running with Spoons,  to check out what’s going on over there, and I’ll see all you folks next week for a new recipe! Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. 😀

Comments

  1. It’s so beautiful there! But it also looks pretty cold. I would love to go to Scotland someday.
    Debbie recently posted…Poise, LBL, and DIY.My Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Hi Debbie, thanks so much for your comment! 😀

      Yeah, that’s the thing with Scotland, it can be cold (and it was when we got to the top here and had to put on extra fleece layers) but then again, yesterday it was 21 degrees C!

      We can get 4 seasons in a day frequently, you get used to it. 😉

      But it is an amazingly beautiful country.

  2. I keep telling Luke I want to do a hill walk or hike soon! Plus, we go to Dundee enough that there’s no excuse for venturing a bit further! Despite the rain you took some great photos! I don’t know of I would keep going in the rain, but I think I’d certainly have to give it a try. I find myself saying here, “if you don’t get used to the rain you’ll never make any plans or actually do anything” lol That food looks mighty delightful that you had there, I LOVE the food here. Everything tastes magical.
    Erin@BeetsPerMinute recently posted…Living in a Grey WorldMy Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Hey Erin, 🙂 you could maybe get Luke to take you up Ben Lomond, our nearest Munro to Glasgow, it’s a pretty decent one, path all the way up and down, and only 1 hours drive away from us. Lynne hadn’t done any major hillwalking or hiking until she did that one last year, I wrote about it here https://neilshealthymeals.com/ben-lomond-lynne/ 😀

  3. you guys are troopers! what an adventure. But i’d do that for the lamb —> UM YES!
    lindsay recently posted…Gluten Free Greek Tacos with Slow Cooked LambMy Profile

  4. you know me and being out in the rain. I definitely was not built for Scotland! Well, not the weather, anyway. But I actually do love to hike and get out for day long treks. Which I don’t think that anyone would peg me as a lover of. But those camping trips that I went on as a kid and teen I actually really loved. There is just something about giving yourself over for a whole day to the beauty of the wild.
    And then to return to a meal like that…. not half bad!
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Thinking Out Loud : Colonoscopy Prep Edition (Procedure Results and Updates)My Profile

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com says:

      Don’t you find it funny walking in the rain though Susie? I mean what happens to me is that I disappear into my own little world (as long as I’m dry under my waterproofs that is!) and then suddenly find I’ve walked miles, oblivious to the conditions!

      Hope to get some great camping pictures from living in our tent for a few days when we do Ben Nevis at the end of August. Bet that’ll bring back lots of good memories of your camping when you were a kid and a teen. 🙂

      Yeah, the meal. Double Delicious! 😀

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