My intention was to walk a bit of the Loch Leven Heritage Trail, which is the fancy name for the path around Loch Leven near my home in Kinross. It’s a wee gem, wee if 13 miles can be described as small, however I was only going to do a few miles starting at Burleigh Sands, which one of the four main access points to the trail.
Burleigh Sands may sound like a holiday destination, but it’s hardly the Costa del Kinross y ken. The Sands however are kind of special being wooded with Scots Pines and other conifers, so why then did I turn away from them and head in the opposite direction?
I don’t know, it just seemed like the right thing to do.
Across the road from the car park is a small wood with a path that links Burleigh Sands to the Railway line path, which forms an alternative route to National Cycle Route 1, Lands End to John o’ Groats. Turning left with a short photo opportunity, I guessed the exposure and it worked out just fine, then walking the short distance to the connecting path for the castle.
I saw the seat by the path and started to frame up the shot with the snow clad West Lomond hill in the background and realised that I needed some human interest and low and behold a lady jogger appeared coming down the path. So with the shot all framed up and focused and the exposure checked all I had to do was wait and press the shutter as she passed by the seat.
One shot is all you get, I kind of like the sniper like mentality of the street photographer. None of this Continuous Shooting , spray and pray stuff. No just one shot, it’s challenging and fun to do and a bit on the retro side as that’s what we used to do before digital came along.
A farm track forms the short walk up to the castle, passing by some converted farm steadings on the way. The castle is slightly unusual in a way as the road comes very close to the outer wall and tower. The grounds are open and access is free. You can walk through the old entrance but the entry inside is restricted from April to September, the key being obtained from a nearby house.
There’s a nice wee bit of community woodland beside the castle with the odd piece of community dog crap to go along with it. I was going to take more pictures here but the weather started to turn nasty with rain with a spot of hail and a dash of dreich. The community woodland path came to a sort of cross roads and I took the left, mainly because it went into a string of trees giving me a break from the wind and rain.
This path came out at the far end of the trees, which eventually joined back onto the railway line path.
I hung around here for a little while to see if the sun would light up West Lomond, it did and the result was disappointing so I turned right and headed back towards Milnathort and Burleigh Sands, where I got this picture as the path rises up to cross the road.
If you live in Kinross and the county long enough then you will eventually become infected with a kind of neurosis. Kinross was a county in its own right, the second smallest in Scotland before the local government reorganisation. It’s not part of The Kingdom of Fife but it has a Kirkcaldy postmark, Kinross-shire amalgamated with Perthshire and Angus when the mighty Tayside Region was formed then became a poor relation after the divorce when Perth & Kinross local authority was formed.
So to say that Kinross folk carry a massive chip on their shoulders is an understatement!
Crossing the Stirling – St. Andrews Road and a short distance later will bring you back to the path to Burleigh Sands.
All done the walk took about an hour, much less if you do not need any photo-therapy along the way. However I’m a photo-therapy junkie, the more the merrier, so I ended up at the Sands to see what could be seen (and photographed.)
I’ve done this place to death and yet I still find something more to photograph. This old tree for instance.
A walk along the shore heading for Kinross gave me this photo.
A little further on from the last photo is a bird watching hide, with a rather unusual flag, not as one would expect of a bird but of a bloody great big moth. I got all arty-farty trying a fast shutter speed to freeze the action of the flag, giving me the unintentional benefit of blurring the rest of the details in the hide. Looks like a spy camera photo, I kind of like it. Could be the gang-hut for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Kinross, except they have never told me where or when they meet….
One last photo on the way back to the car park and other guessed exposure led to perhaps the best of the day. The toning and conversion was made with Nik Silver Effects Pro, with a lot of control points being dropped in to get it the way that I wanted it to look like.
I forgot to mention at the start. There are no kebabs at Burleigh Sands. A “donner” is a word we use for a walk, particularly a leisurely stroll.
All good things must come to an end and I headed back to the car park and a spot of lunch followed by an afternoons worth of editing but there’s one thing for sure….