Summer Holiday 2020: Day 11

Soldier's Leap And Tulach Hill

It was forecast to be a nice day so we planned to spend it outdoors again. You would have thought by now that the girls would have been bored of woods, rivers and the like wouldn’t you?

The morning’s activities were a short drive out to Killiecrankie, parking at the visitor’s centre to make our way down the short trail to the view over Soldier’s Leap.

Soldier’s Leap is a spot on the River Garry at the northern end of the Pass of Killiecrankie which marks the spot on the narrow wooded gorge where, it is said, Donald MacBean, a government soldier, avoided certain capture or death by jumping 5.5m (18.5 feet) across the river after the Battle of Killiecrankie on 27th July 1689.

The view was a nice one and as we were about to leave to go down the trail further Eleni said “can we go down this path?” to which I said “what path?” and went to investigate. She’d found a path (of sorts) leading down to the riverside so how could we not go and investigate?

I went first, in case it was a bit slippery so I could help the others down, and it wasn’t long before we were all looking over the river and getting a much better view of the gorge. It really was a lovely spot.

If that was good enough, it was pretty clear that it’d be pretty easy to climb up to the Soldier’s Leap spot on the rocks…so I did, swiftly followed by Eleni. Looking out over the gorge – even though the drop to the water wasn’t that dar – we both agreed that trying to jump from one side to the other was just plain stupid!

Riverside done we made our back up to the main trail and walk along the bottom of the Killiecrankie Viaduct before Shelli, Asri and Eleni headed down to the river again for a little paddle. Alice, Elisa and I stayed in the shade of the trees as it really was beginning to heat up a lot.

Once we were all back together we did a little more exploring of the trail before heading back to the camper for our lunch in the shade of a tree.

We went back to the caravan and chilled out for a bit before it was time to attack Tulach Hill properly! This was completely voluntary as it really is a steep climb, so Shelli, Asri, Eleni and I grabbed our gear and headed out the door, retracing the path I’d take a few days earlier. Alice and Elisa decided to give this a miss, chilling out and doing some of the jigsaw.

When we reached the point in the wall I thought we could get through we had a little chat to see if we wanted to go any further. The views were already spectacular and it’d been a slow slog up the hill. Everyone agreed it’d be good to get a bit further up the hill so over the wall we went and made our way through the ferns and heather, finally reaching 450m of the 469m – the views were now absolutely stunning and we all felt pretty chuffed with ourselves.

We looked at the peak and, from where we were, it would probably be another 30 or 40 minutes of walking to get there, and as we were all feeling the climb up we thought this was good enough so we rested there for a bit – taking photos – before making our way back down again.

So proud of Shelli and girls for doing that as it wasn’t an easy climb by any stretch of the imagination, especially having to make our own path through the long grass, ferns, and heather, all the while dodging little streams and trying not to twist an ankle or something. Awesome effort!


The Good Camera

Darren’s iPhone

Shelli’s iPhone

Alice’s Camera