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]

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Tea But No Cake on Creag Nam Ban

When Laura asked, last evening, whether we fancied strolling up a little flowering-heather-clad hill with her today, we didn’t take much persuading, even though the forecast for today didn’t look overly promising. As it turned out, not only was the hill absolutely lovely, but the weather was good too.

It was just before 10.30 when we left Laura’s and headed over the Dee where, after a few minutes of walking down the road, a car stopped for a chat. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Laura who the driver recognised, but Mick & me; it was the endurance-runner-chap who we had met on Carn a Gheoidh yesterday (it turned out that in spite of his tiredness he had managed all eight of his Munros; today he was on his way to the Lochnagar tops).

An access issue saw us having to head past our hill to do a bit of an out-and-back detour to get past a deer fence, before we started first skirting the hill and then heading up  it.

As Laura has promised the heather was magnificent in its purpleness (and fragrant too), and it was set off nicely during the many blue-skied intervals.


By-and-by we reached the summit and aside from the stunning 360 degree views, there was also a convenient dip which gave us shelter from the keen breeze for our lunch break (where we enjoyed the flask of tea I had today taken, following yesterday’s unforgivable omission!).


During lunch one aspect of today’s weather forecast did materialise: the wind picked up such that by the time we left our sheltered hollow, we staggered our way off the summit. Suddenly walking the rest of the ridge seemed like it would be unnecessarily hard work.

We didn’t abandon the plan of a circular walk. Instead we took advantage of deer-trods as we skirted the side of the hill, gaining shelter from the forest as we went.

Just as the constant picking the feet up high might have started to get a bit tiresome, we reached the track which was to take us back to civilisation, from where some little roads took us back to our start point. There Laura provided us with lashings of tea, which slipped down nicely after the efforts of the day.

The stats were 9.6 miles walked, with 1400’ of ascent. It may not be an obvious hill to climb with so many other biggies nearby, but if you find yourself in the Braemar or Ballater area on a nice day then I would highly recommend Creag nam Ban as a lovely hill with an excellent view.


  1. So gutted I couldn't join you today, but I am glad you had a good one and with tea! The walking around there is all particularly lovely and as you say, it doesn't have to include the Big Boys, the Small Ones and the Glens are just lovely.

  2. Great walk - thanks for your company - the purple of the heather was stunning - and we cheated the poor weather forecast - followed by cups of tea - brilliant!

  3. We planned to go up Creag nam Ban on our 2012 TGOC, after enjoying a cuppa with Laura and John, but the difficult access put us off. Actually, I think we followed your footprints around the back of Creag Ghiubhais. Pleased to hear you had a good day up there - it looked pretty boggy when we went past.