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Showing posts from July, 2020

Walk: Simply Scolty

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Aberdeenshire | Banchory | Short walk | ★★★

Scolty's popular slopes rise above woodland across the river from Banchory, topped with a 20-metre high tower (which you can often climb) commemorating General William Burnett who fought alongside the Duke of Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars. Though the hill itself is only 300 metres high and relatively simple to conquer, heathery slopes drop away on 3 sides towards the River Dee and Water of Feugh to give excellent views towards Clachnaben, Mount Battock, Morven and the Hill of Fare alongside other local summits. Forestry and Land Scotland owns part of the hill but their waymarked trails don't reach the top - fortunately there are plenty of other paths. Our circuit ascends by a fairly quiet but steep eastern option, returning by the northeast "tourist" route.


📌 Walk: Simply Scolty ★★★
Start / finish at car park off minor road 1 mi southwest of Banchory, G.R.: NO 687948 ///museum.fortress.quicksand

▶ 3 km / 2 mi | ▲ 200 m …

Cairn o' Mount (B974)

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Aberdeenshire | Fettercairn | Road pass | ★★★

The narrow road snaking over the southern Cairngorms between Fettercairn and Strachan was once an important military route into the Highlands from the plains to the south. Today it's a vital link for residents of Deeside, and a relatively easy way to experience the wide open landscapes of the hill range for the rest of us. There are two laybys close to the top of the pass: the northern one giving access to a 4,000 year-old cairn marking the true summit, and the southern one providing the best views south across the low-lying Howe of the Mearns. Extra care may be required if making a winter trip: exposure to easterly winds and a top height of over 450 metres above sea level brings the associated ice and snow hazards.


Location & info

📌 Cairn o' Mount (B974) ★★★
Between Fettercairn and Strachan. Summit is at G.R.: NO 650807 ///lemons.panting.fortnight. South end at Fettercairn, G.R.: NO 651736 ///enchanted.cotton.lungs. North end a…

Walk: Mayar, Driesh & Corrie Fee makes three

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Angus | Angus Glens | Full day walk | ★★★★

The pair of Munros on the plateau between Glen Clova and Glen Prosen boast extensive views over the southern Cairngorms, with short-cropped grass and gentle gradients making for swift progress between the two. The immediate surroundings are scenically unremarkable - but Mayar has an ace up its sleeve in the form of Corrie Fee. This dramatic natural amphitheatre is probably Scotland's most celebrated coire, and the closest the generally quiet southeast side of the Cairngorms National Park has to a honeypot site. The rocky bowl was scooped out by a glacier in the last Ice Age, and today hosts rare alpine and arctic plants, golden eagles, a spectacular purple heather coat in late summer, and a steady stream of hikers. A willowy waterfall cascades down the cliffs at the rear. Corrie Fee's accessibility enhances its popularity: it's a straightforward tramp from the car park to the foot of the coire along a good track. The cirque is hidd…

Peterhead Prison Museum

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Aberdeenshire | Peterhead | Museum | ★★★

HMP Peterhead was Scotland's only convict prison, where inmates were sent for hard labour from 1888. In 2013 it was replaced by the neighbouring HMP Grampian - but the old site re-opened for tourists in 2016, giving a chance to find out more about life inside what was once claimed to be Scotland's toughest jail, and finally gifting the large town of Peterhead with its first significant tourist attraction. The tour is a self-guided audioguide affair, and is a very different experience to that which is offered at the older Inveraray Jail in Argyll. Cell blocks are mostly preserved in their modern (i.e. 2013) state, and a great number of "behind the scenes" areas can be visited, including the kitchens, laundary, showers, hospital, officers' rooms and exercise yards. The main cell block has been decorated with objects thrown onto the wire netting between floors, recreating a major riot in 1987. Finally, a large hangar houses a…