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FREE CLICK & COLLECT | EDINBURGH & HIGHLANDS

OCHIL

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Ochil inspired artwork from ANTA
Pronounced “Oh-chil”, “ch” as in “Loch,” derived from uchel an old word meaning high ground.
I remember as a child visiting the Ochil Hills with my grandparents. We would go past Bridge of Allan and up the road up to Sheriffmuir. I remember the woods and forests in the autumn have fiery bursts of colour, and when in winter everything seemed desaturated and dormant. At that time of year the sounds of the falls and the pools would echo, the crackling burns and gurgling ponds were loud and spooky without the sounds of spring birds. They are wild and mysterious hills, full of tales of ghosts and fairies, witches and warlocks. My grandfather would tell us stories of Tod Lowrie the Red Bonnet Fairy and ghosts haunting the Old Logie Kirk yard. We would reenact the battles, clan wars and tribal gatherings, pretending to be William Wallace. 
The Ochils run across Scotland’s central belt. Positioned between the Highlands and Lowlands, they were a meeting place for different cultures. Historically Celtic and Pictish tribes roamed the slopes. When snow lies faint outlines of animal pens and homes from communities bustling hundreds of years before. More recent communities have been abandoned too, can see silver mines that shimmer with a forgotten glory, an industry lost over time.  
In a couple of weeks time you will be able to see pink blossom and new green leaves bursting from dormant plants. Animals and birds will begin to nest and Spring will give us new life. 
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