Being out in the countryside with my dogs gives me time to think. I’ve learnt the pleasure of solitude without being lonely, and that’s a good feeling for me.

Welcome to "Man with two dogs" - the family website for dog owners and dog walkers.

This is my countryside diary which appears each Saturday in the Dundee Courier newspaper.

…. distance lends enchantment to the view

September 4th, 2010

PATHFINDING IS a family tradition – taking off down a road we've never been down before, to see what's at the end of it.

The Doyenne wanted to go to Primrose Hill Studio, just outside Alyth   Avenues of naturally-seeded woodland border both sides of the narrow, twisting unclassified road out of the village and sunshine filtered through the leafy canopy which met over the middle.

A finger post directs you down a side road to St Fink   I've been down that road once, a long time ago, but I never found out what saintly things the worthy Fink did to merit canonisation   The studio is two and a half miles out of the village and after we'd had a cup of coffee, and the Doyenne had spent the pension, we decided to explore a bit of countryside we hadn't seen before.

Turning left out of the studio instead of going back to Alyth, we followed the road round the foot of Alyth Hill   The woods stopped and we broke into open country with views over distant hills which I've had to look up on the map in order to identify them.

We saw signposts to weel kent places and before we knew it we'd crossed Craigisla Bridge, past the Reekie Linn cascades and on to Lintrathen Loch, where Father and I used to fish   We drove round the west side of the loch, crossed the B951 and headed for Balintore.

Balintore Castle stands high above the road and has spectacular views across the River Tay and far into Fife   I looked round it thirty years ago and hardly dared go inside at the time, for the central core of the building had collapsed   It looks like it's being restored – it's a severe looking building, but how good to see it brought back to life.

The road winds down a long, steep hill to Auldallan Farm at the foot   Father, who was born in Kirriemuir, called it the Hill of a Hundred Horses because it was said that a hundred horses burst their hearts hauling the stone for the castle up that wearisome brae.

We never saw another soul, and it was so peaceful that the car had to be almost alongside the buzzards sitting on the fencing posts before their confidence failed them and they took flight   A young weasel, pencil thin, dashed across the road in front of us, intent on some mischief or other   There were still wild raspberries for the picking, and the rowans are ready for boiling into jelly.

Past Pearsie (pronounced Percy), through Kirriemuir and out the road to Tannadice, where we turned back on ourselves and took the high road by Fern to Edzell – and home in fine time for lunch.

Take a peep into   www.primrosehillstudio.co.uk     and you'll see why the Doyenne looks forward to going there.

Written on Saturday, September 4th, 2010 at 9:04 am for Weekly.