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Rannoch Moor

We set of to Scotland, in particular the west highlands, rugged hills, majestic forests and unspoiled wilderness to explore. Going north from Glasgow we found our way to a place called Rannoch Moor, 50 square miles of some of the most beautiful scenery this part of the world has to offer. Rocky outcroppings dot the hills and valleys that are covered with a blanket bog where streams and waterfalls seem to appear out of nowhere. It is a walker’s paradise with everything from well-trod paths for the casual hiker to slabby rocks to scramble up for the more adventurous.

Rannoch Moor

The River Swells

The landscape was formed as glaciers moved over the area during the last ice age over 10,000 years ago, and it doesn’t appear to have changed much since. One of the many things that stunned us was that we could turn a full 360o and not see any evidence of man, no fences, no telegraph polls, not even any footpaths from where we were, it was the perfect wilderness!

The midges, the midges, am no gonna kid yeez!

If you have encountered these wonders of nature before you will know that midges are *!%£?& annoying! They will drive you mad without doing you any real harm (unless you count hundreds of itchy red bites all over face and arms) which makes them a perfect addition to any GM’s toolkit. These creatures are perfect for tormenting the players with (for the purposes of the dramatic tension, of course!) whilst out in the wilderness. In game terms they can give penalties to skills such as stealth and hunting (with all the flapping of arms they’ll be doing chasing these wee beasties away), it can cause tempers to fray amongst the player and the NPCs or simply provide further motivation to complete the quest and get back to civilisation. Maybe there are some magical potions or spells they can purchase to get rid of the little blighters, a rare herb to rub on their body, or perhaps an offering to the right god or spirit will ensure they leave the players alone, for a little while at least!

Perfect Wilderness

We half hoped to see a red deer whilst we were there; we never imagined we would be treated to a whole herd grazing on the hill opposite it us while we had our evening meal.

Our Campsite

Another, less welcome group of locals were the midges, in summer they are out and they bite! We walk through a cloud of them near a stream on the way back to camp, they followed us and were quite the pest so be warned.

Another thing to be aware of is the rain, even on a summer’s day the odd cloud can drift over the hills and soak you in minutes. Waterproof footwear is a must as the blanket bog acts as a sponge holding a huge amount of water so socks can be ruined in a single step. If you are thinking of camping be sure to have a tent that can handle a good downpour as it is likely to be tested out here, cheap festivals tents just won’t keep you dry.

The Clouds Descend

This shouldn’t spoil such an amazing place to visit; the scenery and wildlife are breath-taking.

Rannoch moor can be reached by car or by train as there is a station on the moor serviced by the famous West Highland Railway.

Visitors can find an excellent meal at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel nearby which is most welcome after a long day trekking in the outdoors.

This a great place to visit for anyone wishing to experience the highlands of Scotland in all their glory.

For more information visit the Perthshire website here http://www.perthshire.co.uk/index.asp?pg=356

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