Walks Blog – Jun 2019

Reflecting on the Fyrish Monument …
Another walk with wide open views today … this time over the Cromarty Firth … and just before an extended thunderstorm drenched the North of Scotland! Our lofty destination today was the Fyrish Monument, a huge structure of three central arches and four flanking towers. It was built in 1783 by Sir Hector Munro – the local laird. He had been commander of British Forces in India, and defeated the Dutch at the Battle of Negapatam. On his return to the Highlands the Clearances were underway and many people were starving. After the fashion of the time, famine relief was provided only in return for work – it being feared that feeding the starving would make them lazy – and the construction of the monument was one of the tasks given to the local destitute. It is a replica of the gates of Negapatam, to enhance Munro’s self-regarding glory … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/XuDoHd , 29th June, 2019



Loch Watching At St Ninian’s Church in Glen Urquhart …
Loch Meiklie in Glen Urquhart – another great Glen … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/D06rsj , 28th June, 2019









The Glory of Glen Affric…!
It’s said Glen Affric is Scotland’s most beautiful glen. Today, in full on sun and temperatures hitting the mid twenties, there was no argument … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/FSAXtT , 28th June, 2019









Bonnie Beauly …
Basking in Mediterranean temperatures, the river Beauly and the priory are more beautiful than ever today … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LptwPb , 27th June, 2019









A Stop Off in Sunny Nairn …
A quick stop off in sunny Nairn earlier, on our way north for the weekend … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/wb1haR , 27th June, 2019









Walk (069) Terpersie-Manabattock-Lord Arthur’s Hill (Aberdeenshire)
The route starts in an enchanting “hidden valley” near the pink-walled 16th C Terpersie Castle, close to Tullynessle. Fantastic views feature throughout this varied hill-walk, and the steady ascent is rewarded by extensive views of all the main hilltops in the NE of Scotland. On the return from the summit, the route follows the “Fouchie Shank” – an old right of way through the Correen Hills, passing the site of a Bronze Age hut circle … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2x7M4Ls , 24th June, 2019









Lord Arthur’s Viewpoint …
Walking in the Correen Hills near Alford yesterday – the views from the top of Lord Arthur’s Hill were fantastic – so many tops near and far to identify … 😀
John’s Twitter post: https://twitter.com/TheMackTrails/status/1142702374533943296 , 23rd June, 2019









A Walk Down Memory Lane [The Fouchie Shank] …!
It’s a fair few years since we last climbed Lord Arthur’s Hill. It’s on our doorstep now and a return visit today reminded us just how breathtaking the views from the top are. And, how steep at times the climb is ..! 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2xauE0G , 22nd June, 2019









Catching the Sun …
We packed all our rain gear in the rucksack, but were fortunate to dodge the showers on Tuesday’s walk near to home at Muir of Alford. In fact, the sun put in a welcome appearance, and Alison grabbed some nice photos along the way …😎
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2x7P8ah , 21st June, 2019









Walk (068) Muir of Alford-Breda-River Don Circuit (Aberdeenshire
This is a very gentle and pleasant rural walk in the Howe of Alford, with a particularly scenic section along the River Don, where the steep sides of heather-clad Lord Arthur’s Hill dominate on the north side of the river, and the forested mass of Coiliochbar Hill on the south side. There are also fine views east towards the Bennachie and Menaway Hills. Along the way, historical interest is provided by the Auld West Kirk, Breda House, and the Breda Mausoleum … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/3GdQyD , 20th June, 2019









Our First Visit to Gordon Castle Walled Garden …

Beautiful blooms indoors and out at Gordon Castle Walled Garden yesterday. It was our first visit to this remarkable place – I doubt it’ll be our last … 💙😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2RozEbs , 17th June, 2019








Walk (067) Hill of Tillymorgan (Aberdeenshire)

This walk through farmland, conifer forest and on open grassy hillside, provides wonderful views from the summit of Hill of Tillymorgan, especially of the Bennachie range. Once again the walk takes us on a history lesson – an ecclesiastical uprising at the Old Kirk, a forgotten network of toll roads, and a vanished slate-quarrying industry … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Km2vwg , 17th June, 2019










Turbulent Skies and Turning Turbines …!
On yesterday’s walk Alison caught some evocative images of the Culsalmond wind turbines, framed by the swirling clouds above us … 








Tillymorgan Highlights …
High up on the Hill of Tillymorgan yesterday, we explored the incredible slate quarries, closed now for over a hundred years. It was a tough climb in parts but worth every step … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2KmC3me , 16th June, 2019









An Afternoon Trip to Inverurie …
After so much rain, a dry and sunny walk up by Danny Gordon’s Widdie this afternoon was very welcome. The ladybirds were out enjoying the better weather too … 💙😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2RhtUAf , 14th June, 2019








Walk (066) Tarland-Knockargerty Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)
Get your kicks on Route 66! 
😁This is a pleasant walk in a mixed woodland and upland farming environment. The Tarland area is peppered with prehistoric sites, and the focal point on this walk is the marvellous viewpoint at the summit of Knockargerty Hill where there are the remains of an ancient earthwork for a prehistoric fort … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2KfGm2F , 13th June, 2019









We’ll Be Back …!
Despite the low cloud and scudding showers, the views of Deeside on yesterday’s walk to Knockargerty Hill weren’t so shoddy! Around the summit there are the barely discernible remains of a large oval earthen rampart, protection for a prehistoric hill fort. In the horizontal lashing rain we didn’t hang around to investigate! Instead, the walk went onto our “we’ll come back in better weather” list. A list that’s growing as the cool and wet “summer” weather continues … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2MIkSxw , 12th June, 2019








Bonnie Scotland …!
Morven‘s rounded top shrouded in cloud, 9 degrees C, three sets of jackets, waterproof trousers, and “enough with the rain” faces on. Sometimes that’s just what walking in Scotland in June is about. 😂  Bonny, though … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2MFSZpQ , 11th June, 2019








Brose and Tatties Tonight …!
We’re back to “auld claes, brose and tatties” tonight after our weekend trip to Broughty Ferry – taste-buds still tingling after the terrific tapas at Sol y Sombra Tapas Bar … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2K6d6ey , 9th June, 2019








Beautiful Barnhill …
A stop over in Broughty Ferry wouldn’t be complete without a visit to beautiful Barnhill Rock Garden … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2MAx9nr , 7th June, 2019








Dee-lightful …!
Walking by a sparkling River Dee over in Ballater earlier today … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://is.gd/IJdfGL , 4th June, 2019








Walk (065) Craigshannoch-Old Turnpike Road Circular (Aberdeenshire)
The granite top of Craigshannoch Hill provides spectacular views of the rolling Garioch countryside below, and of the dramatic outlines of its sister peaks on the Bennachie range. Throughout the walk, there are echoes of the history and myths associated with these iconic hills that stand out in the landscape, and hold a special place in the hearts of folk from the North East of Scotland … 😃
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2QJ0WIV , 3rd June, 2019








Blooming Lovely …!
Some of the bonny blooms we’ve spotted when out and about this week … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2QC9m57 ,1st June, 2019









Passing Time on the Slopes of Bennachie …
There were echoes of history and myth throughout our hill walk today. On the initial climb onto the Bennachie plateau we joined the Maiden’s Causeway, an ancient footpath to the Iron-Age fort on the Mither Tap with devilish connotations. Just off the path we took a rest at Hosie’s Well, where the spring waters are said to represent the tears of a soldier at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, who died on the hill lamenting lost love. Then, we passed the two granite tors that make up “Little” John’s Length, a hammock-like stretch of moorland where the giant, Jock o’Bennachie, took his rest. From there to the peak of Craigshannoch, under which is a cave where, in 1640, John Leith, Laird of Harthill, hid as he watched his home, Harthill Castle, burn, having set fire to it himself to spite his creditors. After visiting the granite lintel quarry on Little Oxen Craig, abandoned after a huge storm in 1891, we descended to follow a stretch of the Old Turnpike Road, where coaches and horses once rattled and rolled on the way from Aberdeen to Inverness, with a glimpse of an old Nuffield tractor peeking out of a farm steading as an added bonus along the way … 😊
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2QB8Kwy , 1st June, 2019


Back on Bennachie …
Bennachie’s where I caught the walking bug, (with my trusty sidekick, pupster Stuart💙) many years ago, so it’s very familiar territory. However, today’s route, taking in Craigshannoch and Little Oxen Craig, was a new one. A new one, a long one and a good one … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2QAXjF2 , 1st June, 2019

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