A Relaxed Ramble//Lomond Hills Park

Taking our time and enjoying the moors of Lomond.

It might sound implausible, but Scotland’s first ever Regional Park wasn’t carved out until 1986.

Although it only covers 25 square miles, it’s still a large enough space to get truly lost in and with a huge network of paths, you can easily spend a day wandering through some stunning moorland without needing to consult a map even once. That was exactly our aim, when a small group of us packed a few small bags and set out for a day of relaxed rambling around Fife’s gorgeous hills.

There’s something truly liberating about going out for a day’s hike with just a small 10 litre bag. You’d be surprised what you can fit in such a small space. Six of us set out for the day with just the basic hiking essentials packed in our day-packs. Thanks to the development of super compact pack-away waterproofs, it’s not difficult to cram all that you need for a day of relaxed walking into just one bag. Randy had the first aid kit on him, I carried a survival bag and we divvied the rest of the emergency gear between the rest of the walkers.

The Lomond Hills are incredibly accessible as a walking destination. In addition to there being plenty of places to park a car, there are also a tonne of events that take place each year in and around the area, making it a great destination for families or outdoorsy types. Despite the relatively small space that the moorland has to offer, there’s still a wealth of wildlife that calls the Lomond Hills home – park rangers organise nature walks regularly, which are a great opportunity to get know the area a little better and receive some helpful tips from someone who really knows their stuff!

With the sun shining, our group had clearly decided to forgo wearing traditional hiking gear. Practical trousers were still a must but, suddenly liberated without their large packs, many of our walkers had decided to wear jackets that were a little more…ostentatious shall we say. The most eye-catching of all of these was a rather fetching embroidered bomber jacket, a recent purchase that our Angie was clearly rather proud of. Although I could tell she got a little worried when dark clouds began to gather on the horizon, we were lucky enough to not feel any rain on us throughout the whole day.

The highlight of the day has to be reaching Ballo Reservoir, a huge body of water that made for a perfect place to stop for lunch. With the sun bouncing of the calm water and our mouths full of food, we sat for a good hour, taking our time and idly skipping stones on the water. As much as we enjoy the long distance treks and the truly backbreaking hikes, it’s always pleasant to change the pace and take some time to simply enjoy the wonderful countryside that we’re surrounded by.

By the time we’d finished our day of walking we were all more than ready for a pint or two back in Aberdeen.

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