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The Knock (278m / 912ft), Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland

Second Story - a return visit in the summer

 

A family walk in the sunshine from the hotel

Direct ascent of the Knock from the upper road

Enjoying the views from the hilltop

Descending around the side of the hill

Another route encircling the Knock - ideal for runners!

 

Panoramic views from the hilltop

< Back to the Knock first (winter) story

< Back to Scotland page with links to other walks

< Back to Crieff and Strathearn intro page

The Hosh walk >

Lady Mary's Walk >

Glen Lednock Circular Walk >

Ben Vorlich and Stuic a Chroin >

 

 

A family walk in the sunshine from the hotel

 

Six months after the original story of the Knock at Crieff, seven of us were setting out in warm summer sunshine to try and reach the summit.  Two members of the group hadn’t featured before in a Walking Story: Owen’s girlfriend Alison had joined us, and Catriona was taking her 6-week-old baby Ailsa up her first hill!  As usual, Frances wasn’t sure she really wanted to go for a hillwalk, despite encouragement from Maggie and me. 

 

It was around 11.00 a.m. when we set off.  Another section of our extended family had started earlier with a similar objective, and we thought we might join up with them along the way.  However there is a complicated network of paths on the hill, and it turned out later that they had walked all the way round and reached the northern (higher) summit in the forest without being able to enjoy the view from the southern top.  They all made up for this later during our long weekend stay at Crieff Hydro Hotel.

 

After the previous visit, I knew that we could join the climb up the hill from the front door of the hotel, either by walking up through the holiday lodges beyond the tennis courts, or by taking the roadway to the left behind the little stone belfry then turning right up through a field.  We chose the field, and climbed up slowly over the uneven surface churned up by the hooves of horses.  After rain, this could be bit messy, but it was dry now after weeks of mostly fine summer weather.  Pausing on the way up, we already had a fine view of the houses and spires of Crieff set between trees below us.

 

 Return to the top

Direct ascent of the Knock from the upper road

 

The path passed through a gate onto the surfaced roadway past several holiday lodges, then reached the upper road with a car park nearby. 

Information panels at the start of the route

Across the road in the trees was the large footpaths information panels described in the previous walk, and we were faced with a choice of routes to the top.  We chose the direct ascent, but were feeling the heat and took our time over it.  The tracks leading round the flank of the hill headed off to the left and right.  When we reached the wooden bench looking down over a clearing, we found the ashes of a fire someone had lit, with the charred remains of a large branch.

 

It was a good spot for a rest and a drink of water, before we continued uphill.  Frances was lagging a  bit, but that was fine as I was taking photos as usual.  Then we hurried to catch the others as the path emerged from the thicker woodland onto the area of moorland, heather and scattered trees around the southern summit.

 

 Return to the top

Enjoying the views from the hilltop

 

Before we had the time to get exhausted in the heat, we were there, with another wooden bench to rest on.  A family was sitting at the viewpoint indicator having fun, and an older couple sat on another bench looking west over Strathern towards the hills. 

 

Now I was able to take the kind of colourful photos that had been impossible on a grey winter’s afternoon in January, looking towards Ochtertyre, Monzievaird and the hills around Loch Turret (but the loch itself was hidden).  Down in the valley was Hosh, which I would visit two days later. It was all very tranquil and scenic – a rich reward for an easy climb.  In a few more weeks, I thought, the heather would be at its purple best, but we had been fortunate to get a view like this in July.  However, given the spell of warm summer weather we were enjoying, perhaps it would have been ill-luck if we had hit a wet day (as with the Ben Vorlich climb a week earlier).

 

 Return to the top

Descending around the side of the hill

 

Everyone was taking photos now, of the view and each other, and then we set off again.  We continued north-east towards the forested northern summit, down into the dip between the two, and found the circular path leading off to the right.  Then it was simply a matter of following this around the eastern flank of the hill, passing just below the summit, and gaining some fine views down over one of the golf courses and then the town of Crieff itself.

 

Bench with pine tree behind, marking the route to the hilltop viewpoint

We passed the wooden bench pictured here with the pine tree behind, which is the landmark to look out for if you are climbing the hill via this track along the flank.  The viewpoint is just beyond.

The path was narrow, with a slope down to the left, but still safe enough with no sense of exposure.  It passed into the thicker trees and started descending, bending one way then the other.  The sunlight cut through and illuminated the leaves hanging down around us.  Then the path divided, one branch going ahead then to the left, the other turning to the right.  We could see we were already getting closer to the lodges, and the right-hand turning would lead us back to the point with the information panels where we had started the main climb.

 

From there we returned to the hotel, this time walking between the lodges where some of the residents were out enjoying lunch on their balconies and verandas.  The path turned to the right and continued down, between the tennis courts, straight towards the main entrance to the hotel.  After just an hour and a half out walking, we were back in time for a light lunch and a game of tennis afterwards!

Another route encircling the Knock - ideal for runners!

A couple of days later, my brother Richard and I set out for a run before breakfast, and decided to run the lower-level circuit of the Knock.  It follows a good forest road leading off from the top road mentioned in this story, and simply leads around the lower slopes of the hill. 

We went out along the south-eastern side, with fine views through trees over one of Crieff's golf courses and then passed an area where there had been a lot of tree clearance.  Not quite as attractive, but in a few years it should have recovered.  Then the track climbed and bent left around the end of the hill, with a narrow path leading left up into the trees (this was the track which I had run down at the end of my January visit - see the 1st story). 

Keeping to the main forest road, the next section was pretty uninteresting, with high banks and tall trees blocking any views.  We passed another track led to the left, up to the main hilltop through the trees.  And then the views opened up to the right, across Culcrieff and the hills to the west, as we approached the Knock car park beside the upper road.  After that it was back to the hotel for a shower and a good breakfast.  It must be about 2.5 miles / 4 km for the circuit, just right for a short training run without taking on anything too ambitious.

 Return to the top

 

< Back to the Knock first (winter) story

< Back to Scotland page with links to other walks

< Back to Crieff and Strathearn intro page

The Hosh walk >

Lady Mary's Walk >

Glen Lednock Circular Walk >

Ben Vorlich and Stuic a Chroin >

 

 Contributed by Andrew Llanwarne

 

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View of Crieff from the field next to Crieff Hydro hotel

View of Crieff from the field

next to Crieff Hydro hotel

The trail through the woods

The trail through the woods

Heading towards the sunlit hilltop

Heading towards the sunlit hilltop

On the final stretch

On the final stretch

Resting at the top

Resting at the top (see panoramic views below)

Looking south over Crieff on the way down

Looking south over Crieff on the way down

Attractive section of the path through birch trees

Attractive section of the path through birch trees

Nearly back to the upper road

Nearly back to the upper road

This way to the hotel!

This way to the hotel!

Running around the Knock

Running around the Knock

And the view over the golf course to the east

And the view over the golf course to the east

 

Composite panoramic view from the top of the Knock, towards Glen Turret and Ben Chonzie - the summer version

The same view from another vantage point

The same view from another vantage point

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