Walks Blog – Aug 2018

Walk (021) Strichen White Horse-Waughton Hill Loop (Aberdeenshire)
A good walking excursion offering historical interest and fine views. The most obvious feature of the walk is the very large representation of a white horse laid out on a hillside in quartz stones. Also of interest is the ruin of the Hunter’s Lodge, dating to 1779. From the summit of Waughton Hill there are panoramic views, as far as the Cairngorms, and also down to Fraserburgh and the nearby coastline … 
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LHNLnE , 30th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply Sheep …!
There’s no mistaking the huge white horse – made of local quartz stone – that dominates the landscape when walking near Strichen. The local sheep take it all in their stride, of course … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2NBsVbs , 30th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bright Morning …!
A colourful morning in Seaton park … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2NFejI8 , 29th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk (020) Boddam Castle-Stirling Hill Quarries Walk (Aberdeenshire)
This is an exhilarating coastal walk along a visually stunning coastline. There are wonderful views, and a wealth of history to absorb – Stone Age flint mines, a medieval castle, two railway lines, eleven granite quarries, and the convict labour that built Peterhead’s Harbour of Refuge … 
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Nn09eq , 27th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 


Rock On …!

We were walking in quarrying countryside yesterday. Albeit very pretty quarrying countryside … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2MSINsM , 26th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Buchan …
Just a few of my favourite photos from yesterday’s walk with friends Sara and John at Boddam Castle and the Stirling Hill quarries yesterday … 
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Lrap3A , 26th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 


Not Working 9 to 5 …!

Guess what – Alison is a working woman again …  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk (019) Deer Abbey-Pitfour Lake Ramble (Aberdeenshire)
This easy and pleasant walk in open countryside, and on woodland and lakeside paths, holds lots of historical interest along the way. There are open outlooks from the old railway line; then the fascinating ruins of Deer Abbey to explore; and finally, the picturesque beauty of Pitfour Lake to enjoy … 
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Ni76gG , 24th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Travelling …!
We were dotting about the centuries today on our walk. The first section of our route was on the track of the old railway line from Maud to Peterhead. The line was opened in the mid 19th Century but closed to passenger traffic in the Beeching cuts of the 20th Century. Mid-way, we stopped off at the ruins of Deer Abbey, built in the 13th Century, but abandoned after the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century. The Book of Deer, associated with the Abbey, with the first written examples of the Gaelic language, was created in the 10th Century and deposited for safe-keeping in the library of the University of Cambridge at the beginning of the 18th Century. Finally, we walked around the beautiful Pitfour Lake, covering more than 50 acres. With its four islands and three stone bridges, it was created in the mid 19th Century as the grand centre-piece of an opulent Scottish landed estate. Thankfully, it survives into the 21st Century …!  
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/G5Tcae  , 23rd August, 2018

 

The Ruins of Deer Abbey …
Our route earlier today took us past Deer Abbey with its interesting history and heritage. A first visit for me. #BookofDeer
Alison’s Facebook post:  https://goo.gl/QaUsyx , 23rd August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lakeland Life …
Walking a 7 km circular from Mintlaw today we encountered Pitfour Lake for the first time. It was wildlife galore …!  
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/gT4tNy , 23rd August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk (018) Tap o’ Noth Circular (Aberdeenshire)
This is a fine walk in the remote countryside near the village of Rhynie. This circular route climbs from the east, with superb views. It is difficult to imagine the effort that our distant ancestors must have put into building the amazing vitrified stone fort on the wind-blown summit … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/1t2MTk , 19th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Around the Purple Heather …!
We had our climbing legs back on yesterday for an unusual route up and over Tap o’ Noth. It’s bonny purple heather season, for sure … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/xkaHCr , 19th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Top of the Tap …!
Today, our walk was in wilder, more remote countryside, where hill-farming and forestry meet moorland. The Tap o’ Noth is one of those “stand-out” hills in this part of the world, its distinctive shape seen in the distance from all sorts of vantage points, and with great views, itself, from the top. There is a vitrified stone fort on the summit, dating back to the Bronze/Iron Age … and, to our surprise, we came across a team of young archaeologists from Aberdeen University scraping away the topsoil of centuries in the search for clues to the past … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/2jdf7s , 18th August, 2018

 

Walk (017) Castle Fraser Ramble (Aberdeenshire)
This is an easy walk through mature woodland and farmland around a very grand and imposing Scottish baronial castle. There are some impressive vistas along the way, a beautiful pond, a walled garden, and some interesting historical structures to check out … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/U6hNee , 17th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Finds …!
My favourites from a walk at Castle Fraser earlier in the week. On one of the trails, kids – young and old – try to find the “dragonfly” and other beasties. What a great idea … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/x8txJz , 17th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 


Walking Around and About Old Aberdeen …

Scenes on our doorstep in Old Aberdeen …  #happytobehome
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/16k6E5 , 16th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Castle Country …
Some of Alison’s photos from a gentle ramble around and about Castle Fraser yesterday … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/gniNbg , 16th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk (016) Hill of Dunnydeer Circular (Aberdeenshire)
The Hill of Dunnydeer, with its distinctive ruined castle on top, dominates the landscape around the village of Insch. This walk takes a gentle and unconventional route to the top, avoiding a short but steep initial climb. From the top of the hill the views are outstanding in all directions. On the slopes of the hill, the route takes a short detour to the impressive remains of Dunnydeer Stone Circle … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/2JEcjB , 13th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Table at Topolabamba
We doubled the average age in here tonight but, whatever, it’s good, hot and spicy Mexican food … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/TVs3ra , 12th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Bullocks …!
These cheeky and inquisitive young guys (“stirks” in this part of the world …  ) were up for a photo shoot this afternoon … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/xkbw8z , 11th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ll Walk in Fields of Gold …
The green fields and the golden fields of the Insch countryside. Walking a different and longer route up and over Dunnydeer hillfort from Insch today … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/nzRJTa , 11th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking in Ancient Footsteps …
Today, on our walk to the Hill of Dunnydeer, we came across the remains of a recumbent stone circle, partly hidden in a copse of trees. Looking at the map, there are many stone circles around and about the village of Insch, and almost 100 in the Grampian area as a whole. Dating back to the Bronze Age, recumbent stone circles are amongst the oldest surviving structures in Britain and are unique to the north-east of Scotland. They get their name because one large stone in the circle is laid on its side. It is thought that ancient peoples might have used these circles to record and celebrate the passing of the seasons by observing the movements of the sun and the moon and other “heavenly bodies”. However, they may have developed different purposes over time, such as hosting cremation ceremonies. For us, when we come across one, it is always a special moment … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/rXR9dW , 11th August, 2018

 

The Hidden City …!
Once upon a time the River Don powered industrial mills along this stretch. The mills are long gone, and the river banks are a haven for wildlife again. Thankfully, the busy city, all around, hardly intrudes … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/ZEqzMt , 11th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk (015) Findhorn Ramble (Moray)
This scenic circular walk heads out from the old piers in Findhorn to a wonderful viewpoint in all directions, at the mouth of the Bay. It then proceeds along the sweeping shoreline of Burghead Bay to a fantastic stretch of natural sand dunes untouched by man since the last Ice Age. The walk then heads inland through the dunes to reach pine woods occupied by the mostly wooden eco-buildings of the world-famous Findhorn Foundation community, before returning to the delightful village of Findhorn itself … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/Upn8kP , 9th August, 2018

 

 

Rising High …
Cityscapes and the third Don crossing … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/oaaZba , 8th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine Times in Forres …
We had a wee visit to John’s home town while we were up in Moray at the weekend, and a catch up with his auntie and uncle, Willie and Ivy. 90 and 87 this year, and both looking well and doing fine. Anderson Primary school in the photos here was Forres Academy when J did his schooling there back in the day … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/TmqBua , 7th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk (014) Newburgh Beach & Golf Course Ramble (Aberdeenshire)
This is a short but interesting coastal walk. Initially, the route heads out into the dunes on a boardwalk to a fine viewpoint before making for the beach at the mouth of the River Ythan where you are likely to see many seals basking on the opposite side. From the beach, the route then takes us around the perimeter of the old 9-hole golf course, and into the village of Newburgh-on-Ythan … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/HPKHhX , 7th August, 2018

 

 

 

Sasha’s Crew …!
A great time was had by all and sea dog, Sasha, was the star of the show. Thanks, Captain Rob, for the smooth crossing and thanks, Barrie, for getting your feet wet on our behalf … 
Alison’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/z4usQs , 5th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Searching Out Shallahead Fishing Station – the Culbin Forest …
My first time back in almost 50 years to the isolated beach on a forest shore where we launched our coble to fish for salmon using “bag nets”, held in place by huge anchors on the sea bed … I don’t think I appreciated what a lucky young man I was at the time … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/8rkqBB , 5th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

Storm Over Seal Beach …
We enjoyed a great little walk over the sand dunes, beach, and old golf course at Newburgh yesterday afternoon. The pace quickened as storm clouds tumbled down the river estuary, but we escaped the worst of the deluge. I don’t suppose the fresh water rinse bothered the regiments of seals basking on the beach too much … 
John’s Facebook post: https://goo.gl/R4xQvm , 4th August, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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