The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Scotland - Day 4 (Braemar)

“It’s snowed!” I exclaimed as I peeked out the window first thing this morning. It was, however, just the slightest of dustings and things were looking good for a walk in the woods (the forecast of winds gusting to 85mph putting us off the thought of high ground today). Up I sprang and put the kettle on ready for a mid-morning start.

By the time tea had been drunk the weather was not looking conducive to a day outside. Suddenly more cups of tea and finishing our books looked like a better plan, with perhaps a stroll in the afternoon.

Books were finished, tea was drunk, lunch was eaten and more tea was drunk and finally we hit that time of day where, if we didn’t venture out, we were going to find ourselves spending the entire day lounging. The duvet was duly stowed, and out we went into the snowstorm.

It wasn’t bad out actually! The snow got heavier as the day went on, but the forecast winds weren’t in evidence. Accordingly, we opted not to head over to the forest at Invercauld, but to head up the little lump of Creag Choinnich.

From the point at which we made that decision, rather than traversing the hillside to find the path, we opted to take the most obvious route of going straight up. Good fun it was too, often wading through knee high drifts (and once finding myself rather surprised to sink to the hip). Quite a sweat was worked up but by and by we made our way to the top.

The views would probably be excellent on a clear day, but today it was white against white with white falling. We didn’t tarry too long, but followed in everyone else’s footsteps in taking the path down, through the woods, into Braemar. We met a chap just off the top; he looked quite cold:


Back down in town, we were as near to the campsite than we were to the centre, but Gordon’s Tea Room was calling us so we diverted off to answer that call. If I had remembered to turn the GPS off before we went inside then there wouldn’t be the wandering bit at the end of this track:

Braemar Map

It was only just over 2.5 miles of walking and a modest 500’ of upness, but it was undoubtedly good fun and a reasonable amount of effort.


  1. There's up in that walk. I've been looking at less up.
    But there's always Creagan a Chaise....

  2. That wiggly GPS line tells a story you can't hide from, but my excuse is that the OS haven't shown the correct position of the footpath.

    I'm just off to do a country lane walk with Pete. We reckon the canal towpath will be horrendously gloopy today.

    1. On this occasion, I can honestly say that the OS hasn't shown the correct line of the path. Even with the snow cover we could tell that we were on an engineered path, with stone steps and even the occasional way-marker and information sign. I can't possibly comment on other occasions when our GPS line deviates from the marked path...