Craggy Country

By Colin Hogarth

The Sidlaw Hills stretch round the back of Dundee like a protective barrier, sandwiching the urban sprawl between a low wall of upland and the estuary of the River Tay. The more prominent peaks to the north of the city are adorned with clusters of satellite dishes, tall aerials and communication antenna. The craggy uplands above Tullybaccart, however, remain largely unspoiled by this technical invasion. Riding the rough edge of Lundie Craigs makes for an exhilarating walk while, in contrast, the quiet woodland around Ledcrieff Loch below is an altogether more relaxing experience.

Cross the A923 and head up the track to Tullybaccart Farm. Follow the route round the right hand side of the outbuildings and it curves left, rising gently to a gate behind the steading. Go through and continue past an overgrown quarry on the right. Beyond this the way curves right through gorse bushes towards woodland.

Before the trees are reached, head right, climbing a grassy hillside past a small cluster of caravans and huts. Follow the edge of the woodland to the top corner. Turn left, cross the fence and a narrow path strikes out over moorland, following a post and wire fence and rundown stone wall. Pass above Smithton Loch, a site of special scientific interest, and head north east on to the summit of Ardgarth Hill, bearing away from the edge of the forest when it drops left.

From the top, descend into the narrow glen below Lundie Craigs, clearly visible opposite. Walk north east along the floor of the valley below overhead cables to a fence. Cross and the path curves left to a patch of grassy hillside dotted with gorse bushes and rabbit warrens.

Bear left and a path climbs round the hillside towards overhead cables. Turn left and follow the cables up the hill until a trig point, just short of a tall aerial, looms into view. Head straight across the heather to the white pillar.

The path heads west along the top of Lundie Craigs, nestling between woodland on the right and a long drop to the left. Keep an eye on children and pets here! The cliff top path continues until it reaches a point where the forestry and a fence blocks the way. Cross the wire fence on the right here, heading into the trees, and, in a few yards, a break runs to the left. It continues straight on then turns left, a path descending to Ledcrieff Loch.

Turn left when you reach the water and a path runs clockwise round the loch. Popular with fishermen throughout the year, it sometimes freezes over completely in winter, attracting hardy ice-skaters. Once round, carry straight on along a wide forest track skirting the edge of Pitcur Wood. It curves into the trees to emerge just below the makeshift colony of huts. Retrace steps to the start.


Distance 5 miles/8km.
Map OS Landranger sheet 53.
Start/parking Tullybaccart Farm on A923. GR: NO 263360. There's parking in a large layby here.
Grading Path and track with some fairly stiff ascent. Suitable for all reasonably fit adults and children. No dogs, at farmer's request.