Walks Blog – Sep 2019

Walk (090) Water of Tanar-Knockie Hill-Queen’s Road (Aberdeenshire)
This is an excellent walk through the wonderful natural environment at the Glen Tanar Estate, near Aboyne. Glen Tanar lies within the Cairngorms National Park and is a National Nature Reserve. After ascending on a section of the old Firmouth droving road, the Knockie Viewpoint is undoubtedly the visual focal point on a route that is consistently scenic throughout. Here, the bracken-covered hillside overlooks the third largest area of Caledonian Forest old pines in Scotland … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2n2ewgg , 30th September, 2019



A Circular Route Around Six Stone Circles …
Today, we took a road-trip around the local area to check out some of the “recumbent” stone circles that are fairly unique to this area of Scotland. These ancient megaliths, all framing the southern sky, date back 4 to 5 thousand years and always invoke in us a sense of wonder at their purpose and creation. Four of the six were completely new to us. In order, we visited : Tomnagorn, Midmar, Sunhoney, Balgorkar, Corriemuir, and Old Keig. Unsurprisingly, the circle in Midmar Churchyard was the easiest to find and access. Some of the others less so – map in sweaty hand, struggling through overgrown forest fire breaks, jumping over burns in spate, negotiating rusty barbed-wire fences – all came into play. It’s just as well that Alison has an adventurous spirit …! 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2oguELg , 29th September, 2019


Funky Fungi …!
The rainy day brought the funky fungi out. And, leftover flowers from a wedding here last week decorated the path to St Lesmo’s chapel … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2mFCBct , 28th September, 2019










Wet and Wonderful …!
Autumn colours over on the Glen Tanar Estate at Aboyne today. And, rain. Lots of it … 😀
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2o3N3eb , 28th September, 2019








This Lady Is No Tramp …!
It was great to catch up with best-dog, Lady Lou, today again. Och, and her mum and dad, Vera and Sandy, too, I guess. 😀She sure is a different pupster to the frightened wee rescue girl we first met 4 years ago … 💙😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/gjjr6 , 26th September, 2019







Walk (089) Buckie-Portgordon-Gollachy Circuit (Moray)
This pleasant walk at the seaside provides for a gentle ramble along the coastline west of the busy maritime centre at Buckie to reach the quiet coastal village of Portgordon. This area of the Moray Firth coast tends to enjoy a favourable micro-climate, sheltered by the Grampian Mountains to the south. On the route, near to the former fishing village of Portgordon, are a series of rock and shingle beaches where large numbers of Grey and Common seals haul out to rest and socialise … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2nejo1L , 25th September, 2019








A Seaside Stroll in Moray …
Up in Moray today, walking near Buckie and Portgordon. A dull day weather-wise, but the seals, seabirds and…..Charles Rennie Macintosh paintwork…..brightened things up …! 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2mTRLdW , 24th September, 2019








Walk (088) Ben Newe (from the East) (Aberdeenshire)
This is a short but steep walk to the summit of Ben Newe in Strathdon. The walking environment is mostly composed of mature conifers and there is a long section with a marvellous open perspective, overlooking upland pasture in Glenbuchat. The views all around from the granite tor at the summit are tremendous and there is a particularly stunning picture-postcard view down to Glenbuchat, with the ruin of its Castle just visible, guarding the entrance to the glen … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2OfB48A , 22nd September, 2019








Newe Horizons …!
Up on Ben Newe this afternoon. Higher than Bennachie, it’s not an easy one but, once at the top – with glorious views of Strathdon and Lochnagar and the Cairngorms – you soon forget the climb … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2OhUCJl , 21st September, 2019








Classic Deeside Scenes …
After our walk, a stop off for another wee recce and some more classic scenes. This time, most definitely, classic Deeside … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/qqPGn , 20th September, 2019








Indian Summer Sunshine …
Checking out a future walk this afternoon in classic Aberdeenshire countryside. With glorious sunshine blue skies and temperatures in the low twenties, it seems summer’s not quite over yet … 😊😘
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/DgND3 , 20th September, 2019








Walk (087) Meikle Tap (Hill of Fare) Circular (Aberdeenshire)
Starting and ending in mature conifer forest, this is a short but invigorating hill-walk. The woodland environment is very pleasant and reasonably open, followed by a sweeping steady ascent through heather moorland which affords some marvellous views along the way. The 360° panoramic views on reaching the trig point at the summit are fabulous … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LCXRth , 18th September, 2019








Approaching Autumn …
Hazelnuts, brambles, crazy leaves and funky fungi. Yip, autumn’s on its way … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LD09sq , 17th September, 2019







On One of the Big Tops on Hill of Fare …
Up on Meikle Tap this morning, what a vista … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/32Mat6X , 17th September, 2019








Walk (086) Fyvie-Den Wood Circular (Aberdeenshire)
This is an enjoyable woodland walk around the Den of Rothie where the Fordoun Burn runs through a mature woodland landscape, including some large North American conifers planted in the 19thC. In season, there are numerous opportunities to identify mushrooms, and other fungi, along the way … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/WZjWk , 16th September, 2019









Fyvie’s Finest …!
Aberdeenshire’s open doors; a tiffany stained glass window; crazy route signposting; myriad ‘shrooms and a 10km hike with the inimitable Reids. It’s what Saturday’s are for … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Lw3zgt , 14th September, 2019








A Lovely Walk at Linn o’Dee …
It was west to Braemar for us today. Walking at Linn o’ Dee it seemed way busier than usual. Perhaps because it’s Deeside, it’s September and the Queen’s at Balmoral…..
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LtLvDv , 12th September, 2019









(085) St Ninian’s Isle Circuit (Shetland)
This is an iconic coastal walk in the Shetland Isles. The route includes traversing a stunning double-sided beach known as a “tombolo” then walking around the connected “island”. The tombolo beach is the longest beach of its kind in the UK. St Ninian’s Isle illustrates, in miniature, many of the features of coastal walking in the Shetland Isles, with towering cliffs populated by many seabirds, rugged offshore stacks and rocky islets, long distance views up and down the wild coast, and low heather hills as a mainland backdrop. Grazing sheep are also a feature of these walks, and St Ninian’s Isle is no exception. The flock are from Bigton Farm, which recently featured in the BBC TV series, “This Farming Life” … 😀
John’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/bzrzZ , 12th September, 2019


It’s Not The Leaving of Lerwick …!
Heading home after a brilliant week here. We’ll be back, though – there’s another 299 islands to visit … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/vdqNg , 9th September, 2019








Ascending Sumburgh Head …
Earlier last week, Sumburgh Head. The southernmost point of the Shetland Isles: home to a huge colony of sea birds; the Fair Isle’s closest neighbour; and scenic location of the islands’ busy main airport. Quite a place … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Nf6UTl , 9th September, 2019









Today’s Past Times Agenda …
On today’s past times agenda: old water mills at Loch of Fladdabister; abandoned crofting townships; the Broch of Burraland (and its much more intact sister on Moussa across the Sound); and an old poster referencing an historic legal dispute (the “Hoswick Whale Case”) in the late 19th C, when crofter/fishermen finally triumphed over the big landowners who claimed a share of their catch … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/xy2Jq , 8th September, 2019











Sea … And Be Seen …!
I read before we arrived that, in Shetland, you’re never more than 3 miles from the sea and that there are only a handful of places from where the sea cannot be seen. It’s true – I get it now – the sea is always, always, there … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2HWtKe5 , 8th September, 2019








Bonny at Burra …!
Beautiful Burra was today’s destination, for a clifftop walk around Kettla Ness. Another stunner … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2HRplck , 7th September, 2019








Today’s History Lesson …
Yesterday’s little tour of “Da Westside” of the Shetland Mainland certainly wasn’t short of historical interest. The 12th C chapel at Sands overlooks a white sand beach where, for centuries, whales were driven ashore by local fishermen, and where a ship from the Spanish Armada may have taken refuge. A little inland, at Stanydale, are the ruins of an ancient village hall and a farm-house that date from 4,500 years ago, when Neolithic farmers first arrived in Shetland. At Huxter, on the west-most point of the island, looking over to the windswept isle of Papa Stour, we came across ancient “Norse” water mills, possibly from the 15th C. As bad weather began to close in on us, we hurried by the site of a mysterious Bronze Age “Burnt Mound” and another loch-side broch from the Iron Age … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2HRXCIj , 7th September, 2019



Da Wastside …!
We headed west this morning. As far west as we could go, in fact, with Greenland being the nearest neighbour … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/JDV7B , 6th September, 2019








Sharing Sheep Island …!
Yesterday we crossed the stunning two-sided “tombolo” beach to St Ninian’s Isle and completed a circuit of this wild and rugged place – justifiably one of the classic walks in the Shetland Isles. Near the end of the route we came upon the ruins of the 12th C chapel. This was also a sacred place from much earlier times – a hoard of 8th C Pictish silver has been found here – and also burial cists from pre-Christian times …🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2HQUY5H , 6th September, 2019









Bumming About on Beaches …
The sunny weather we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy plays its part, of course, but, my, the beaches are beautiful. This is St Ninian’s beach at Bigton and Meal beach on Burra. Seals were around and about on both … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/mDWwm , 5th September, 2019








Scalloway and Burra Before the Rain …!
Exploring the central and west mainland today, colourful Scalloway and Hamnavoe were a delight … 😁
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2Lo4akd , 5th September, 2019








Sumburgh Head Ascent …
Yesterday, Sumburgh Head … 💙 #walking #hiking #Sumburgh #Shetland #visitScotland
Alison’s Tweet: https://bit.ly/2ZQM26o , 4th September, 2019









A Special Time at Northmavine …!
Northmavine is the wild and rugged north west mainland. It’s special and it has well and truly stolen a piece of my heart … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/bAPMA , 4th September, 2019









Ancient Stones at Esha Ness …
On our cliff-top walk at Esha Ness today we diverted a few hundred yards inland to check out the remains of a fortified Iron Age structure – the Loch of Houlland Broch. From a distance, the rounded shape of the broch seemed to be no more than a ruckle of stones, set amongst grassy tussocks by the shallow water’s edge. Although the structure has collapsed in on itself over the millennia, remnants of an impressive outer wall are evident, demonstrating the skills and organisation of our ancestors. Nowadays it’s a quiet spot, perfect for a reflective moment sitting in the warm and unexpected sunshine … before a band of rain swept in from the North Atlantic … 🤔
John’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/nzBX8 , 4th September, 2019



60° North …!
We took a wee detour on the way back from our hike around Sumburgh Head to check out the start-point for the St. Ninian’s Isle walk we’re planning to do later this week. While this weather window lasts, it’s hard to believe we’re 60° North, approximately twice as far away from the Equator as from the North Pole … 😲
John’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LfFE4C , 3rd September, 2019









Late Summer Sun in Shetland …
Exploring the south mainland today. We weren’t expecting weather like this on a September visit to Shetland – and we’re making the most of it … 😊💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LksVhk , 3rd September, 2019








Lerwick Explorer …!
2000 year old Brochs; viking long boats; Jimmy Perez’s hoose (for Shetland tv series fans!); a 13 km walk and seascapes all around. A good day … 😁💙
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/0Jd2j , 2nd September, 2019








Keep Calm and Watch the Birds …
We were up with the larks, well seabirds, this morning as we headed into port. Calm seas by this point…..decidedly less so in the middle of the night … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://bit.ly/2LflKqn , 2nd September, 2019









Shetland Bound …
Leaving for “Lerrick” on the MV Hrossey. Shetland here we come … 😊
Alison’s Facebook post: https://t.ly/PZdLV , 1st Sep, 2019

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