THIS column is dedicated to walking and ramblers' groups from across Scotland, where they can suggest the best routes to enjoy from their areas and further afield.

Balmashanner Hill Circular, Forfar, Angus

Christine Ferguson, Forfar and District Ramblers

Start: Myre car park, Forfar

Distance: 4 miles/6.4 kilometres

Time: 2.5 hours

Terrain: A paved, woodland trail. One gentle incline.

Level: Easy with one elevation.

Access: By car, take the A90 from Dundee turning off at a sign for Arbroath just before Forfar. Follow the road down to traffic lights, carry straight on, then take the first right into the Myre car park. By public transport, the No 20 bus from Dundee bus station takes you into the town centre.

What makes it special: Points of historical interest along the route and panoramic views of Forfar and the surrounding hills.

BALMASHANNER Hill, known locally as Bummie, rises from the southern edges of Forfar, the county town of Angus. Fine views of the town can be enjoyed from its summit.

This walk takes you through the historic town centre into a well-loved public park, up Balmashanner Hill, then downwards to finish at Forfar Loch, where swans, herons and geese can be seen all year round.

Route: Walk from the Myre car park towards the town centre, in the opposite direction from the way you drove in. Take a few minutes to visit the well-kept Forfar Botanists' Garden adjacent to the car park. Tended by volunteers, it is dedicated to five local men who rose from poverty to achieve fame for their contributions to botany.

Opposite the garden there is an information board which gives historical details of the town and highlights nearby places of interest. If time allows, Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret, is only a 10-minute drive away and well worth a visit. If you can stay in the area for a few days, the Angus Glens offer a wealth of walking opportunities.

Walking on into town you will see the old Council Buildings on your right, which house public toilets. Cross the High Street, walk through the Pend and on up the Vennel, passing the Osnaburg Bar, which takes its name from a type of coarse linen manufactured in Forfar throughout the 18th century.

Cross St James' Road and turn round to view street art depicting the former textile factory which stood on this spot. Walk up Lour Road then along Hillside Road into the Reid Park, where you will see an ornate bandstand and a statue to Peter Reid, a major benefactor to the town.

Climb steadily upwards from the far-right side of the park to the top of Balmashanner Hill, turn left here and continue along to a shelter, which affords good views and information about the surrounding hills and the Angus Glens.

From here carry on back along the path to the distinctive Balmashanner War Memorial, built in 1921 and now a listed building.

Continue on past a disused quarry and turn at a sign for Slatefield. Cross the main road and head down Westfield Loan. Turn right and walk towards the town, cross Glamis Road and go down Lochview Terrace towards the cricket pitch.

Pass the cricket clubhouse and follow a track towards the loch. Walking on, you will pass a caravan site then a children's play park. Follow the road to the right as far as the entrance to the caravan site, then left to Craig o' Loch Road and back over to the car park.

Don't miss: If you feel like some refreshments after your walk, Tiffins tearoom on West High Street in Forfar should fit the bill. The Meffan Institute, also on West High Street, houses a museum and art gallery and is well worth a visit.

Useful information: For details of Forfar and District Ramblers walks, visit

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