Chillin’ In Killin

Now, I’m not asking for sympathy, but I was ready for this week’s holiday. Being a year six teacher, school has been mildly stressful since Christmas, with the run up to SATs seeming to occupy nearly every waking moment. But, the dreaded SATs happened in the middle of May and a huge sigh of relief followed in the couple of weeks after. There was nothing more I could do now, other than switch off and look forward to the Spring Bank holiday.

Killin caravan site had been booked for a while, primarily to enable Geoff and his mate Hamish to go off cycle touring with tents for four days. The doggies and I would be back up back at base, keeping an eye on Hamish’s van as well.


And of course, once they’d departed on their adventure, the dogs and I could do whatever we wanted for a few days.


We were very decadent. Each morning, after taking the dogs out for their ablutions, a cup of tea was made and taken back to bed, where we all watched the news for an hour or so. A leisurely breakfast then followed, before a pleasant wander in the local area.


Nothing major was undertaken, but each day I made up a 7 or 8 mile easy route starting from the village.


For anyone who doesn’t yet know, a couple of months ago Tilly was in absolute agony with a slipped disc/trapped nerve and has undergone a 6 week period of treatment with both a cocktail of drugs and vastly reduced exercise.

She is, however, now pretty much back to normal – thank goodness. A bit of fitness still needs to be built back up again though, and I’m still a touch wary of pushing her too hard yet, but things are looking good.


The first couple of days were actually a bit rainy and I didn’t even take my camera out with me, but things did improve after that and the weather turned quite sunny and pleasant.


We also did decadent things in the afternoons, like sit in the sunshine and eat cake.



All too soon though, the wanderers were back from their cycling adventure, full of stories about steep hills, beautiful camping spots and midges. I suggested that the next day, they joined me and the doggies for a walk.



Dixie seemed to particularly enjoy herself this day.



And somehow, on this afternoon, we seemed to end up in a pub on the way back through Killin.


Unfortunately, Hamish had to return home the next day, but the weather was absolutely glorious and we had another nice wander before we too had to set off back the day after.




Dixie found a nice stick today.

Anyway, Saturday dawned, and it was time for us to start wending our way home. We often go away on holiday in one day’s worth of driving, but find that we like to take it more slowly going home. Seems to make the trip feel longer somehow. So, after breakfast, we packed up and headed off down to Coquetdale, in Northumbria.


This top end of the valley is part of the MOD training grounds in the Cheviots and we spent a very peaceful night wild van camping here. There was no ‘shooting’ going on, but there was some activity in the form of various soldiers creeping down the road from time to time, carrying guns and looking rather purposeful. The site of our van and the sound of our doggies woofing, did seem to make them smile, though. In fact, I even heard some of them saying ‘woof, woof,’ back……

And what a glorious, sunny morning Sunday was, too.


Far too nice not to take advantage of.


So, a couple of hours wander around the Pennine Way, set us up nicely for the rest of the journey home.



And anyone who fancies finding out exactly what Geoff and Hamish got up to on their bikepacking trip, can click here.

30 thoughts on “Chillin’ In Killin

  1. Your Coquetdale campsite looks idyllic – not been there… We’ve just passed Lix Toll/Killin Road End today and Friday – were you there then or had you left for Northumbria by then?

    Glad Tilly’s on the mend 🙂


    1. Hi Carol, we were still there on the Friday!

      Coquetdale is a lovely spot. I think it’s a bit of a secret, actually, only frequented by people ‘in the know’. You could spend a week in the valley and do a different walk each day. We have been there when various shooting activities have been going on, but have still never been disturbed; even when things have continued overnight it hasn’t been a problem.

      Some of the roads there aren’t even marked on road maps, so you have to know about them to find them!


    1. Hi, thanks very much for popping over and leaving a comment 🙂 We’d love to visit Finland. A couple of years ago we spent 6 weeks exploring the southern parts of Norway and Sweden, but didn’t have the time to get as far as Finland. It is still on our ‘to do’ list though!


      1. Thank You answering so nicely. Finland offers great opportunities for hiking. If You did my previous post, not the latest, then You can get the idea. Have a wonderful start of new week.


  2. Another absolutely delightful posting Chrissie; the “mushing” and Dixie expressing joy (on her back) were priceless. It sounds like a much-needed holiday and your descriptions sounded so lovely. Great big virtual hug and chop kisses for Dixie and Tilly from Karen and Wyatt Earp the Boxer. :^)


    1. Hi Karen 🙂 Yes, taking the pair of them out together on your own, is definitely like having your own sled dog team! Each time even I watch that video of Dixie on her back it makes me laugh – especially the bit at the end where she’s obviously trying to get up and can’t…..

      They send Wyatt Earp some extra Jumbones 🙂


  3. The family friend we stayed with in Kingussie, is a retired teacher. Even she says teaching isn’t what it used to be and she’s more than glad to have retired when she did.

    It looks like you had similar weather to what we had in the Highlands.

    I could have done with another week there.


    1. The weather wasn’t too bad that week, was it? I wouldn’t have minded another week there, too!

      I have a plan with teaching now, anyway. I am now officially old enough to access my pension, so I am doing at the end of this term 🙂 7 weeks to go……..


  4. I am much embarrassed. 😳 I thought you hadn’t posted in ages then last night I discovered a random selection of blogs had been “removed” from my following list. No idea how or why. Admittedly I hadn’t been active for a while but nonetheless I did tend to keep an eye on my round up programme. Oh well…no wonder nobody was speaking to me 😆 .

    Killin was one of my old stomping grounds (work as well as walking) I supervised the construction of a radio mast access in Glen Ogle, one at Auchessan, new section of road at the foot of Ben More and a road and bridge project just south of Tyndrum. Most of the early hillwalking I did was on the Lawers range.

    I see Dixie is still not allowed off the lead (I have a “bolter” as well in young Lottie) and that “choccy paws” is still able to carry around the odd tree trunk – by the look of the photo. 😀


  5. I thought you’d just gone off me, Ken!

    It was really pleasant a-wandering around that area for the week. We didn’t do Ben Lawers as we weren’t convinced Tilly was up to that yet, and in fact she has taken a bit of a turn for the worse again since we’ve got home. I’m waiting for a return call from the orthopaedic surgeon as I type…..

    The biggest problem with Dixie off the lead these days, is not so much that she won’t come back, but that she’s now totally deaf and can’t hear me to call her back! She just trots off into the distance in her own little world, no idea what she’s heading towards 🙂


    1. Being a confirmed sociopath I’m “off” people most of the time so please don’t feel persecuted. 😆

      Having gone through the whole vet/hospital situation with Maisie 2 years ago I know what a strain it can be. Fingers crossed for Tilly…and for you all.

      I had forgotten about Dixie’s deafness. I used to have a hill climbing Labrador that exhibited similar behaviour…and she had her full faculties! This resulted in her being hitched up at strategic moments – ie near big “droppy-off” bits of the trail!

      You will have gleaned from my recent post that my hillwalking days are over. This is a bit of a b****r as the great 2 year plan was to have “Reservoir Dugz” as the lead in to what would become (to all intents and purposes) “Where The Fatdog Walks 2” when the pups were big enough to tackle the hills, As this has scuppered my devious scheme for global hillwalking blog domination I will now have to revert to Plan B.

      Having also discovered that young dogs have no newsworthy attributes (other than possibly driving me to post a collection of sweary words on a regular basis) “Reservoir Dugz” is a bit of a lame duck. As a result I have cleared out the old posts from what was to have been MY (not doggie based) blog “Falling Out The Ugly Tree” and will, in the next day or so, be re-opening for “business”. What the “business” will be – I’m not entirely sure yet…but it’s not as if I’ve never made things up in the past. 😀

      Anyway hope things are ok with choccy paws. Take care



      1. Hi again Ken, I’ve just this minute come off the phone with the doggy surgeon. For some time now, mention has been made about an operation on Tilly’s spine, although we’ve decided not to go down this route just yet, as none of it’s straightforward or guaranteed to make a huge difference anyway. So, we’ve now decided to increase choccy paws’ daily pain medication to both Metacam and Gabapentin, keep exercising her, and see if this will give her the quality of life that she needs whilst keeping up with what we do as well. If this works and it means that she’s on pain killers for the rest of her life, that’s absolutely fine – both by us and the surgeon – so fingers crossed!

        We’re off to the Austrian Alps with the doggies for 6 weeks in the summer, so the surgeon said that all being well, we’ll review how she’s doing when we come back in September.

        I’ll hop over and look at your ugly tree website then. Does this mean that Reservoir Dugz is closing down?


        1. That sounds like good news Chrissie 😀 . Wow 6 weeks in the Alps – we’re having a week in Ireland 😦 😆

          Our 2 thugs will be in the ugly tree but Dugz was supposed to be about them growing up…I had just forgotten how little there is to write about dogs that age without it being banned for too much swearing and suggestions of animal cruelty. 😀 It just didn’t work out so I think it best left behind so I can start with a clean sheet and not feel I have to explain constantly why some things are not happening.


  6. That sounds very relaxing. Will you be taking the van to the Alps? I can imagine that will be pretty chilled too. After our trip to the Alps in Feb our holiday plans are a bit uncertain for the summer.


    1. Hi Mark 🙂 Yes, we’re going to the Alps in the van. The plan is to go to Austria, but we do tend to be rather laid back on our travels these days, and it’s perfectly possible we might waylaid in Bavaria or somewhere on the way!


      1. I’m envious. Unplanned trips which allow for discoveries and surprises and the spontaneous are the best as far as I’m concerned. Lots of great places to visit in Bavaria. Which way will you go down? (Or haven’t you fixed that either?)


        1. We do have a bit of a route planned. We’re booked on the Dover/Dunkerque ferry, then (since we always seem to travel through France and fancied a change) the idea is to go through Belgium, Luxembourg and down through Germany. These are all places we don’t really know at all, so it should be all new and exciting!


          1. I’ve done exactly that before, traveling to see an eclipse, intending to go as far as Bavaria, but I didn’t get that far south! I went to the Ardennes for a day or two (worth a look) and then sort of followed the French/German border where there seemed to be an abundance of Castles (mostly ruined and neglected) and lots of forested hills.


            1. Yes, last summer we fully intended to get as far as Chamonix and then maybe into Switzerland, but somehow managed to get stuck in the Jura on the way! Excellent walking there, mind.

              I personally, have never been to Luxembourg at all, and the only bit of Germany I’ve done is driving north via Hamburg on the way to Norway. Looking forward to it!


Sadly, I've felt the need to reinstate comment moderation. Please be patient, your comment may not appear immediately but you shouldn't have to wait too long! Chrissie

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s