Tripping over the Cat!

By Andrew Jarret

The view north from Kirriemuir is dominated by a shapely hill which, when you also take in its smaller outlying peak, is somewhat reminiscent of a curled up feline.

This slumbering form is aptly called Cat Law and a traverse along its spine provides a fine short summer stroll.

I parked up near the farm buildings at Easter Ledathnie on the road leading into Glen Prosen from Kirriemuir. There are a number of small spaces cut into the verge for one or two vehicles at various points along this road, just make sure you are not encroaching on a gate or an obvious turning point because the area is widely used by hill farmers who won't be chuffed if you block them in/out!

After negotiating the roadside fence, make you way steadily up the gently rising slopes of Long Goat, the hill's eastern summit which tops out at 571 metres above sea level.

There is a well-defined landrover track to the left of a fence which leads you all the way up the Goat's north eastern face. Turning round at this point and looking towards the east gives you an elevated view of the Airlie Memorial Tower which proudly sits atop Tulloch Hill (see photo above).

After the initial climb up Long Goat, which took its toll on my out of condition lungs and legs, the way flattens out and although boggy in places affords a pleasant meander towards the peak of Cat Law which sits just over 100m higher at 678 metres.

Here there were dozens of arctic hares, easily spotted due to the fact that they were still wearing their pure white winter coats despite all the snow having disappeared.

The track steepens as you make the final haul towards the summit which was shrouded in a heavy mixture of mist and cloud on my day out in early February. This was a shame because the lower slopes of Long Goat were free of such cover and offered an unobscured view into the heart of Angus.

I deviated from the path along the fence to make the customary caress of the summit triangulation pillar before backtracking a few dozen metres and settling into one of the three crude stone shelters which are a feature of this hill top. Why you need three shelters is beyond me but I picked the biggest one and settled down for a spot of lunch.

At this point you can simply follow the same route home but I opted to continue on from the summit and add a couple of extra miles to the day by dropping down the Cat's southern flank and picking a suitable route across Long Goat's shoulder.

On a clear day it will be no problem finding the track which leads south from the summit but in poor visibility you will want to check your map. It is very tempting to follow the line of the fence but this will take you too far west.

Continue along the path and eventually a plethora of wooden shooting galleries will appear to your right. After passing these the track begins to lose height dramatically and care must be taken in the wet with loose rocks underfoot.

At the bottom of the track head north east using the Airlie Tower as a beacon and you will soon intercept the path which comes down from Long Goat. Pass through a gate into a field, which will likely be full of sheep, and continue along the path which takes you past a small tree plantation before exiting over a metal gate opposite the farm at Muir of Pearsie. From here follow the Glen Prosen road to the spot where you left your car.


Distance 5 miles/8km.
Map OS Landranger 44 (also 53 and 54 if you opt for the southern route down).
Start/parking Small lay-bys on the Glen Prosen road near Easter Ledathnie.
Grading A fairly stiff initial climb which flattens out allowing the final 100m or so to be tackled comfortably. An easy summer route but in harsh winter weather or low cloud some navigational skill may be required due to the multitude of paths which criss-cross the hill.