Walks Blog – Jul 2019

Walk (077) Craigievar Castle Ramble (Aberdeenshire)
This is a memorable walk in the grounds of Craigievar Castle and surrounding woods and farmland. With its eye-catching pink lime harling, the castle is a well-preserved and impressive example of early Scottish Baronial architecture. In modern times, the castle is reputed to have been one of the inspirations for Walt Disney’s castle motif. The Castle sits on a protected position on Craigievar Hill and there are marvellous views in all directions …😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2SYfA0m , 31st July, 2019








Beautiful Birse …!
Checking out the Forest of Birse on Tuesday. Breathtaking beauty all around us …💙 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/JwOl , 1st August, 2019








Finding Finzean Water Mills …
We stopped for a history lesson in beautiful surroundings today at the Finzean Water Mills on our way to check out a nearby walk at the remote Forest of Birse, south of Aboyne. Three mills survive out of almost 40 that once operated on a small stretch of the River Feugh. In recent years the Sawmill provided oak floor boards for the Scottish Parliament. The Turning Mill once majored on making bungs for herring barrels, whilst the Bucket Mill specialised in buckets made with Scots Pine staves …😃
John’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/kn1J , 30th July, 2019



Climbing Craigievar Hill …
Sunday, and a visit to the fairytale castle before a tough-ish climb to the top of Craigievar Hill. Made tougher by the heat and humidity ..! 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/A3OD , 30th July, 2019








Waypointing With Style …!
Even in the rain, route sign-posting’s so much fun with the inimitable @SaraReid88 and @JohnReidCIO and @TheMackTrails #walking #hiking #CraigievarCastle #CastleTrails … 😁💙
Alison’s Tweet: https://is.gd/VcCNBN, 28th July, 2019








Rock Garden Renewal at Leith Hall …
More from Leith Hall and the newly planted rock garden … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/vtVEIq , 28th July, 2019









A Rural Recce …!
A quick stop off at Lumsden to check out a possible future walk route turned into a 7km hike this morning. With scenery like this, how could we not … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2YrJ9MY , 27th July, 2019









Our Special Place …!
The gardens at Leith Hall are special, and a delight at any time of year. But on a warm summers’s day in late July … just wow …! 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2SMCpUr , 27th July, 2019








Walk (076) Dinnet-Loch Kinord-Burn O’Vat Circular (Aberdeenshire)
This walk takes a gentle circuit around the forested banks of Loch Kinord on Deeside, with a memorable diversion to the impressive Burn O’Vat gorge. The route is within the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve, part of the Cairngorms National Park. This area has also been an important place of human habitation since the ice sheets melted. During the circuit of the loch the route passes an island where an Iron Age crannog housed a small community … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2SEy99r , 25th July, 2019









Naturally a Favourite …!
Muir of Dinnet national nature reserve has to be one of our favourite walking places – and it’s not entirely all about lochs and water … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Ypw6eW , 24th July, 2019







Waterside Wonders …
Walking by the water at Loch Kinord and Loch Clarack yesterday, we were treated to captivating scenes at every turn … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/XpiHgE , 24th July, 2019








Loving Loch Kinord …!
Walking near Dinnet today. 11 kms, hundreds of northern blue damselflies, 25 degrees C and a cooling breeze. Summer’s here … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LCvZXg , 23rd July, 2019







Home Comforts …
Back home in the Aberdeenshire countryside this afternoon and the wildflowers are a-blooming …! 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LxtSnH , 21st July, 2019








Open Air Living – Scotland Style …!
It’s always risky planning a BBQ in Scotland in July! But great company, good food, a wee drop of alcohol…. and a gas heater… and we’re sorted. Thanks Denis and Ann Ewen for a great day … 😁 #sweepdivvyup#newseasonstartssoon
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2SzQ8hu , 20th July, 2019








Silver City Slickers …!
Briefly, back in the big city …😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Sx9uDJ ,19th July, 2019








Walking Shorts Weather …!
There were signs of snow, still, over on Ben Avon today! Happily, though, it was shorts weather on Creag Choinnich and in nearby Braemar … 😊
Alison’s Facebook page: https://bit.ly/2Jzr07n , 16th July, 2019








Walk (074) Fife Keith-Strathisla-Mill of Towie Loop (Moray)
This is an enjoyable rural walk in the valley of the River Isla to the south-west of Keith. Much of the route is on the flanks of the low hills that surround the “strath” so there are often wide-open countryside views to appreciate. The walk takes in places of historical interest, and follows an old turnpike road for some of the route …😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/30C7cX0 , 15th July, 2019








Fyvie Loch at its Best …
Tranquil Fyvie Loch was certainly looking at its best today in all its verdant Summer finery. I’m sure the ducks and swans thought so too! Images caught, as ever, by Alison on her trusty iPad … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2jQuMiP , 14th July, 2019








A Wonderful Walled Garden …
Exploring the glorious garden at Fyvie Castle today … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/30vG7o7 , 14th July, 2019








A Moray Ramble …
Walking near Keith, or to be precise, Fife-Keith, today. The skies were mostly cloudy but it was warm and dry and beautiful. And green, so very green …! 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/30BRc7l , 14th July, 2019








Walk (073) Crawton Bay-RSPB Fowlsheugh Circuit (Aberdeenshire)
This is a short cliff-top walk that will provide an exhilarating experience at any time of year. During the seabird breeding season, the sights, sounds (and smells) provided by a diverse mass of sea-birds can be intoxicating! The spectacular 60 m high cliffs at Fowlsheugh are packed with more than 130,000 breeding seabirds during the spring and summer months. These include guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, herring gulls, shags, fulmars and even some puffins. Grey seals and dolphins are sometimes spotted offshore, too. In the summer months the cliff-top grassland is a carpet of wild flowers and billowing grasses, home to linnets, meadow pipets and skylarks …😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/30w6lqB , 11th July, 2019


A Clifftop Flower Garden …
So many seabirds to be found at RSPB Fowlsheugh right now – but the wild flowers are pretty special, too … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LL27Hr , 10th July, 2019








Watch the Birdie(s) …!
Seabirds galore and some special coastal scenery at RSPB Fowlsheugh and Crawton today … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/M0P2sd , 10th July, 2019








Puffin Parade …!
At last, our first sighting of puffins today! So exciting! I’ve added a couple of professional photos here … just in case my photo isn’t clear enough … 😂😂😂
Alison’s Facebook post:  , 10th July, 2019








Walk (072) Ballater Bridges-Knock Castle Circuit (Aberdeenshire)
This is a gentle walk in the scenic upper Dee Valley. The route follows the established Seven Bridges walk from the village of Ballater, with a diversion to visit the impressive remains of Knock Castle, a fine example of a 16th C 4-storey Scottish tower house. Nowadays, the Castle is a peaceful spot, but it wasn’t always such a tranquil place … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/r1p0cK , 10th July, 2019








Knock’s Gory Story …
We enjoyed a little picnic under the walls of ruined Knock Castle on Deeside today. It’s a peaceful and very scenic spot overlooking the upper Dee Valley. However, the 4-storey tower house wasn’t always a tranquil place. It is said that one day, around the turn of the 16th C, Alexander Gordon, the 3rd Laird of Knock, sent his seven sons out to cut peat for the winter. Apparently, the brothers may have strayed onto the land of their Forbes neighbours, with whom they had a blood feud. A violent battle resulted in all the brothers being killed and their severed heads were impaled on their peat spades. Upon hearing the news, Alexander Gordon collapsed at the top of the Castle’s spiral stair and tumbled to his death … 😲
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LH8H1J , 6th July, 2019


Ice Cream Incentive Scheme …!
The route leader guiding us back to our walk start and end point in Ballater … via a very welcome wee ice cream shop … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/CZMyOj , 6th July, 2019








Simply Deeside …!
The first time I walked a version of this route I bumped into the Queen Mother out strolling with her corgis near Birkhall. So, yes … a fair few years ago! No royals today but Deeside was looking as good as ever … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/MA2NTV , 6th July, 2019








Floribunda …!
Walking at Dess and Kincardine o’ Neil today the wild, and not so wild, flowers were everywhere … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LEUF0G , 5th July, 2019








Walk (071) Fyrish Monument Jubilee Walk (Highland)
This is a justifiably popular walk in the Easter Ross area. A fairly straightforward, but relentless, climb through pine forest is rewarded by increasingly splendid views of the Cromarty Firth, Black Isle, and Sutors of Cromarty. On a good day you can also see hilltops on the southern side of the Moray Firth. The last section of the climb provides a stunning finale, as the stirring and evocative Fryish Monument gradually comes into view. It is a huge stone structure with an interesting history … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LDzAn6 , 4th July, 2019









Bloomin’ Heather …!
We took a wee trip west to Aboyne yesterday. The purple heather’s already in full bloom over in Glen Tanar …😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LvufhH , 2nd July, 2019








Walk (070) Glen Affric-Dog Falls-Coire Loch Circuit (Highland)
Often described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland, Glen Affric contains the third largest area of ancient Caledonian pinewoods in Scotland. Walking alongside the Glen Affric river makes for a very scenic start to the walk, where the route also visits the impressive Dog Falls gorge. The route then passes Coire Loch, a beautiful little highland lochan where rare dragon-flies and damsel-flies may be spotted. At the highest point is the Glen Affric viewpoint where there is a information board identifying the breath-taking array of hills you can see ahead of you … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/tJ5GoZ , 2nd July, 2019

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