Walk: Solitude's overrated but the North Esk isn't...
|[River North Esk at Gannochy bridge]|
The Rocks of Solitude is the evocative name given to a picturesque stretch of the River Esk as it passes through a narrow cleft on the fringes of the Cairngorms. You could park here, but this spot's beauty is equalled by several other rocky defiles between here and Edzell village, a few miles downstream. Instead, tracing the bank all the way from the village gives a rewarding tour of the various gorge sections interspersed with verdant forest and farmland, culminating in the Rocks of Solitude themselves. This is basically a there-and-back walk, but a maze of paths at the far end means you can vary the beginning of the return route, as well as south of Gannochy Bridge where you can head back on the opposite bank to the outward leg.
|[Rocks of Solitude]|
Name: Walk: Solitude's overrated but the North Esk isn't... ★★★☆☆
Length: 11 km / 7 miles
Ascent: 70 metres
Points of interest: River North Esk; Rocks of Solitude gorge
Start / finish: Street parking at Edzell post office, G.R.: NO 601689 ///coins.explores.flickers
Route: Start - track between post office & garage to River North Esk - Gannochy & B966 by west bank - Rocks of Solitude by east bank - return to Gannochy - return to start by east bank
Terrain: Clear paths with a little mud, occasionally rough. Short section on return near Edzell can flood if the river level's high.
Wildlife today: A couple of red squirrels by the path north of Gannochy.
Weather today: Rain shower and rainbows towards the start, then brightening up although staying quite cool.
Anything else? Don't miss the Dalhousie Arch spanning the road when driving into the village from the south. It commemorates the 13th Earl of Dalhousie along with his wife: they died within 24 hours of each other in 1887.
|[River North Esk near Gannochy]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)