Loch Brandy Glen Clova Weekend

Loch Brandy Glen Clova weekend. A summary of our walk up to Loch Brandy which is easily reached from the Glen Clova Hotel car park.

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.

We spent 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 from this Loch Brandy Glen Clova weekend recap see that unfortunately the weather hadn’t moved on!

Lynne and I spent this weekend with the same friends, Liam and Catherine that joined us in our previous Glen Doll – Jocks Road to Davy’s Bourach trip.

Standing outside the Glen Clova Hotel Bunkhouse looking towards the Glen Clova Hotel car park.

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!

Lynne and I took a half day from work last Friday 4th July to travel the 4 hours by car from Glasgow to the bunkhouse. The weather was sunny and extremely warm.

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.

Picture of the blue evening sky and fluffy clouds looking down Glen Clova.

Liam and Catherine arrived just a few minutes after us.

For dinner Liam had brought his delicious home-made red pepper soup.

I had made a huge fresh pot of my chorizo and lentil stew. Both dishes went down extremely well!

The rest of the evening was spent catching up on our chat over a few glasses of wine. πŸ™‚

3.Grey wet morning sky looking down the glen

What a change of scene when we opened our bunkhouse door on Saturday morning!

Well, it was forecast!

So fortunately we had planned ahead. ALL of our waterproofs had been packed!

Neil and Catherine in our our waterproofs inside the Glen Clova Hotel Bunkhouse.

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 above modelling the waterproof gear.

We are available for hire for future wet weather gear modelling assignments if required!

Loch Brandy Glen Clova Weekend Map 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.

Lynne looking back from the start of the path to Loch Brandy.

A lot of the hill climbing and walks we do around Scotland can involve further car travel to the start or access point from our accommodation.

Fortunately this walk starts directly outside our bunkhouse door.

We just turned left from our front door and began our climb through an old forest.

Catherine looking rather wet at the start of the 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.

View of tree line coming out of the forest at the start of the Loch Brandy path and leaving the Forestry Commission area.

Once we got through the forest we left the tree line behind. And the shelter from the trees.

We were now even more exposed.

Not only were we dealing with rain, but it now came lashing at us horizonally in the face!

Lynne trudging up the wet Loch Brandy path.

With Lynne demonstrating here above there was nothing for it but just to put our heads down and keep on going!

Looking back down the Loch Brandy path with Liam on the path.

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 made the ascent to the loch a lot easier.

Liam standing with a view of the Glen Clova hills from the Loch Brandy path.

Liam above with a view of Loch Brandy at the left.

He was still in good spirits despite the soaking!

View of Loch Brandy from the hill path.

I didn’t stop too often to take pictures like I normally would.

It was preferable to keep my hands dry and warm inside my waterproof.

I missed getting a shot of the loch before we started this climb up the right shoulder.

This one was taken further up.

Neil, Liam and Lynne at the top of Green Hill, Loch Brandy Glen Clova.

The highest point is Green Hill at 870m.

That’s where this selfie was taken.

There was no other view from here as we were completely shrouded in the clouds.

Looking back down the right shoulder of the circular walk around Loch Brandy after the summit of Green Hill.

This was the view looking down from the left shoulder having navigated around from the right shoulder in near zero visibility conditions (don’t do this without a map and compass!).

You can see the path we walked that comes up to the foot of the Loch. We then turned along the path to the left.

The man-made path stops at that point. So this is what the original path used to look like, that I mentioned earlier.

Neil and Liam descending the Loch Brandy Glen Clova path.

Of course as forecast the rain actually began to ease off in the afternoon during our descent down the same path we came up on!

We were pretty wet through by then and looking forward to a hot shower and cup of tea.

In order to get there quicker we pretty much ran back down the path to the bunkhouse.

I’m pretty sure all three of us enjoyed the walk.

At least we got out and completed what we came here to do, albeit in extremely wet conditions.

As I’ve said before, Scotlands weather is that unpredictable that you just need to put a brave face on (and some waterproofs) and get on with it. Otherwise you’ll never get out there.

Rack of lamb in red berry jus. Glen Clova Hotel.

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.

When I’m out at a restaurant I like to go for something I eat less at home.

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 above? You can bet it tasted every bit as delicious as it looked!

Venison burger with chunky fries. Glen Clova Hotel.

Lynne had the venison burger (above) also locally produced and freshly made in the hotel kitchen.

I’m not one who is big on chips / french fries, but check out those 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?

8 Comments

  1. Debbie

    It’s so beautiful there! But it also looks pretty cold. I would love to go to Scotland someday.

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      Hi Debbie, thanks so much for your comment! πŸ˜€

      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. πŸ˜‰

      But it is an amazingly beautiful country.

  2. Erin@BeetsPerMinute

    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.

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      Hey Erin, πŸ™‚ 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/ πŸ˜€

  3. lindsay

    you guys are troopers! what an adventure. But i’d do that for the lamb —> UM YES!

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      I knew you would love that lamb dish Lindsay! πŸ˜€

  4. Susie @ SuzLyfe

    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!

    • neil@neilshealthymeals.com

      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. πŸ™‚

      Yeah, the meal. Double Delicious! πŸ˜€

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