The Clashmach hill is a great short hill walk from the centre of the town of Huntly which has a beautiful glow of yellow in the Spring from the gorse that covers it. At the summit you will be treated to amazing views of Huntly and beyond. Although it is a relatively short walk it is a vigorous climb. There is a annual race up and down the hill in July and I believe the fastest time was under 24 mins in 2021.
Distance: 4.5 miles Time : 1.5 to 2 hrs Terrain: Mix of pavement, road and rougher path, sometimes slightly over ground in the summer but well-trodden. Level: Easy with some elevation and a little steep on some parts. Access: Arrive by car or public transport. There are good train and bus links between Aberdeen and Inverness. Car parking is available at the Market Muir car park AB54 8JY.
Route: The walk starts at the Market Muir car park. As you leave the car park take a right heading towards the roundabout. When you get to the roundabout keep to the right and carefully cross the A96 and head for the opening for the minor road. Pass by The Mart & Market cafe on your right and AM Philips on your left.
Head straight up passing the bungalow on your left. The road narrows and becomes a path and after a short time takes a sharp left. Continue along the path where it will take another left turn and head up the hill. You will pass a wind turbine along the way.
Keep heading straight on and go through the gate. You will will come to a second gate once through it walk up the path that heads to the left.
Soon you will see the trig point and cairn. You can admire the 360 degree views of Huntly and the hills around including Ben Rinnes.
Don’t forget to take a selfie at the summit before retracing your steps and enjoying the views on the way back down.
On a calm day the summit is a great spot for a picnic or you could stop off at The Market Cafe for coffee and cake.
This circular route is based around Aberlour in the heart of Speyside, an area famed for its whisky distilleries and shortbread factory. The walk takes you out of the town and into the woods. Following the woodland path, you will come to the stunning Linn Falls (Linn of Ruthrie waterfalls). On your return to the town you will pass by the Aberlour Distillery before finding the hidden packhorse bridge.
Start: The Square Aberlour Distance: 2 miles Time: 1 hour Terrain: Sections of pavements and road, along with a section of forest path and track. Some steps and rough ground. Access: Arrive by car or public transport. Stagecoach No 36 bus runs between Elgin and Aberlour at regular intervals throughout the day. Car parking available at Alice Littler Memorial park (postcode AB38 9QP). The walk starts from The Square (postcode AB38 9PX).
Route: Starting from The Square, pass the Co-op on your left-hand side and head up Queen’s Road. Once past the Fleming Hospital on your right, you will see a sign for Glenallachie and Fairy Knowe. Follow the narrow path up on to the road turning right. Just past the street of houses, take the narrower road to the back of sheds. It is signposted to the falls.
At the end of the tarred , narrow road, you will come to a gate, pass through the gate and on to a woodland path.
Stay on the main path, ignoring any paths that branch off. The main path will curve to the right, and you will descend steps with a handrail and soon see the beautiful double-cascading waterfall.
Make sure you take plenty of photographs.
You can stop for a picnic here and perhaps even a paddle.
Once you have explored the falls, Follow the Burn of Aberlour round to the right and after a short walk you will pass the Aberlour Distillery on your left. This is another great photo opportunity.
When you arrive at the bridge at the main road cross over. Be careful of traffic as this road can be busy. Once safely across, look over the bridge and nestled in the undergrowth there is a small, old packhorse bridge that was built around 1624.
Take the path to the right-hand side of the packhorse bridge which will lead you back to the car park if you parked at the Alice Littler Memorial Park. Or take a right to take you along the High Street and back to The Square.
The Cullen and Portknockie circular takes in some of the Moray coast’s most amazing places, including Cullen and Portknockie harbour, the famed Bow fiddle rock, Cullen Beach as well as caves and a viaduct, There is an opprtunity to have a wee paddle along the way on Cullen beach. Towards the end, you walk along the disused railway line and top of the viaduct.
Start: The Square, Cullen Distance: 5 miles Terrain: Sections along a beach, rough cliff path, tar and flat smooth path. A small section may not be accessible at very high tide. Level: Easy with some elevation Access: Arrive by car or public transport. Stagecoach No 35 bus runs between Aberdeen and Elgin at regular intervals. Car parking is available in The Square in Cullen AB56 4RR
Route: Leaving from The Square in Cullen, start by walking down towards the viaduct. Once under the viaduct, keep going straight on down towards the harbour. The road veers to the right and be careful as there is no pavement on this section. Once you arrive at the harbour, take a left.
You will head towards the beach going over the Burn of Cullen by footbridge.
This is where you start walking along the sands of Cullen beach, passing “The Three Kings” as the three distinctive quartzite sea stacks are known.
The beach is approximately one mile long. When you come to the rocks and cliffs at the end, you will see a rough path between the golf course and rocks. The path is a little rough here. As you go between the rocks and round the corner there is a large cave that is worth exploring.
Further along you come to Jenny’s Well to the left and Whale Mouth Rock to the right.
There is then an uphill section with some steps. Keep following the path, admiring the views and keep an eye out for some of the many seabirds. There are plenty of benches on this stretch if you want to take a seat and rest your legs.
When you come come to a yellow and grey bench, this is where you get the best view of Bow Fiddle Rock. There are several paths if you want to get down closer for a better look and a great opportunity to take photographs.
Returning to the main path, walk along to a workshop area with a garage. Take a right here walking past the residential area. Continue on look out for the views of more rock formations to your right.
The road will bend to the left above the harbour. Keep going until you come to a dead-end sign. Turn left here heading for the main road. Passing the war memorial, branch left and head towards the bus shelter. Once past the bus shelter you will see the disused railway line path to the left. This is a relaxing stroll along a great, well-maintained path with views of the golf course on your return to Cullen.
Once back in Cullen, you will leave the railway line just after you pass the Castle Hill. To the right there is a blue sign. Head along North Deskford street, then take a left along Grant street and return to The Square.
The Meikle Balloch Hill overlooks Keith and on a clear day you can see the hill path from my house in Keith. It is a beautiful and peaceful walk through the forest and among the heather, the views of Moray and Aberdeenshire are incredible.
Start: Balloch forestry car park near Keith Distance: 4 miles Time: Allow one and a half to two hours Terrain: Mainly forestry roads. Downhill section is uneven in parts Access: Arrive by car. To reach the car park , turn up Bridge street from Keith and follow the road until you come to a parking area after approx two miles. The postcode is AB55 5NT
Route: At the car park you will see a information board. To the right of the board there is a blue-marked post at the start of the a narrow path into the trees. Follow this path for about 200 yards. You come to a forestry road, take a right here and then keep on this road. There are some nice views of the countryside through the trees as you pass along this section. After about three-quarters of a mile, there is a fork to the right; ignore this and continue on. The road does gently climb here but nothing too taxing.
You will pass a Scottish Water reservoir and the Balloch Quarry. Not long after passing the quarry there is a signpost for Coachford; ignore this if you wish to proceed directly on the planned route. But, for those with the time time and inclination, it is well worth a brief detour. About 20 yards along the Coachford turn off, there is a small pond to the left where dragonflies can be spotted in the summer.
Back on the main track, about 80 yards further on from the Coachford signpost, there is a turn to the left. Take this road and head further up the hill where it will begin to get steeper. Keep on this road. There are plenty of great views on the way up where the trees have been felled. Less than a mile along the stretch, the road will narrow as you come out the trees and reach a fork with two paths. Take the path to the right. This will take you up to the summit and trig point where 360-degree views of Moray and Aberdeenshire await.
After enjoying the views, it is time to descend. Take the path to the right. Once you are back in the woods the path will zigzag before coming to a straight downhill section that can be quite uneven. You will reach a crossroads, take a left here and this will bring you back to the forestry road. After a short stretch, you will come to the last fork in the road. Take a right which will take you back to the gate at the car park.
Whiteash hill woods are between Keith and Fochabers. They are home to a maze of many paths and forestry tracks. With a short uphill climb you find one of Scotland’s pyramids, the huge cairn erected in memory of Frances Harriet, Duchess of Richmond by the 1st Duke of Gordon in 1887.
As well as the cairn there are great views of the Moray coastline and, on the really clear days, the hills in the Black Isle can be seen in the distance. Just before the end of the walk, there is also a lovely view of Ben Rinnes in the distance.
Start: Whiteash Hill woods near Keith, Moray Distance: 4 miles Time: 1.5 hours Terrain: Forestry track and a section of rough track. Access: Arrive by car. Situated about 3.5 miles north-west of Keith on the A96. Turn up the road on the right that is sign posted Braes of Enzie and drive about three-quarters of a mile along the road where there is a opening on the left with two gates. There is space for at least six cars. The OS map grid reference is NJ38803 56383
Route: Leaving the car park, go past the forestry gate on the left and head up the forestry track for about 1.2 miles until you come to the crossroads.
Take the road to the right and you will see a wooden post with a No 14 on it. Just ahead the pyramid-shaped monument dedicated to the Duchess of Richmond – also known as the Whiteash Cairn – can be seen.
Once you come to the cairn, go straight ahead and admire the coastal views.
Head down the narrow rougher track. Keep going until you come to a crossroads with a forestry track. Take a right here. The track will veer to the right, keep going until you come to a junction and take a right.
Stay on this track for just over a miles, where you will come back to the car park.
Don’t miss: Taking a photo of yourself with one of Scotland’s pyramids.
In October we made the decision to take off on Christmas day and head to Skye. I booked our favourite campsite so we was all set. Due to the current situation we wasn’t even sure if it would go ahead but we took our chances and kept everything crossed.
By Christmas eve was pretty much organised just had a few bits and pieces to pack. We had our festive dinner with the family opened presents so we was ready to get up the next day and head off.
On Christmas morning it was lovely weather so we took off up the road. The van was loaded with food from the leftover dinner from the night before and I had picked up a large cheese board from the Ugie house hotel.
The road was pretty quiet just a few cars on the go so it turned out to be a rather enjoyable drive up the road. I did get a bit car sick but that was my own fault for not eating in the morning before leaving. We did make a fresh air stop that sorted me out. When we got to Dornie we couldn’t resist a wee stop at Eilean Douan Castle for a quick photo.
We didn’t far to go after that once we was over the bridge Camping Skye at Broadford is only few miles along the road.
We arrived just after lunch time the campsite was quite full with a few campers with their Christmas lights on.
So we got all set up then got our cheeseboard out I was starving by then.
Then it was feet up put on a film and chill out for a while. Just as the sun was setting we took a wee walk up the woods so the dogs could get a run about. The weather was lovely all though it was pretty chilly.
Back at the van we watched more films and enjoyed the peace of a alternate Christmas day.
We spent Boxing day the way Boxing day was ment to be spent! Being lazy watching tv and eating snacks. We did make some plans for the next day though!
Twixmas began so thought we would motivate ourselves and go for a walk with the dogs. We took a wander along to the old pier and Irishmans point the weather was great and the dogs love that wee walk.
The 28th of December was my day cause well it was my 44th birthday I had it planned for ages that I wanted to go to the fairy pools. I got up in the morning opened all my presents realised that everyone thinks I smell cause I got a load of smelling stuff from Dove shower gel, perfume and a Boots voucher.
Thank you to my amazing husband who got me a pair of dream Fjaraven leggings that are totally lush and super comfy. Once we were dressed we headed off moving the van for the first time since we arrived.
The weather was amazing although a little frosty we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We was about 30 miles from Glenbrittle so it didnt take too long to get there although we did take our time as the road was a little icy but least it was quiet. The carpark wasnt too busy so knew we had picked a good time to come.
It still as spectacular as I remember and the dogs just loved it we had a great time exploring. It isnt a massively long walk but enough to feel like you have done something.
We took a run in the van to Glenbrittle bay for a wee look after the Fairy pools it is stunning and we will definitely go back in the summer.
We was hungry after all that but wasnt sure if anything would be open. At the turn off we thought we had a wee look along at Carbost see if anything was open there and found a wee pub called the Old Inn. They didnt have a huge menu but the food was good and the view was excellent think this is one my favourite photos of the year.
The rest of my birthday was spent chilling out watching films and ended it with a couple gins which I regretted the next day now I know why I dont drink more than 2 gins!
On the 29th we woke up and the weather was pretty horrible so we binged watched all the soaps in bed till late morning. We got up, ate brunch and watched more soaps. Once the weather improved I took a walk into the wee market square for a look around the shops. There were plenty of lovely items in the shops but I didn’t purchase anything.
We finally motivated ourselves at tea time to go out for something to eat at Cafesia which was lovely as usual. We have been there many times and never been disapointed.
It rained most of the night and into the next day so it was just a chill out day for us just watching films on Netflix and just enjoying chilling out. We woke up on the 31st with yet more rain but we decided we needed to get out today. Once the rain went off a bit we took a walk up the woodland trail up the back of the campsite.
There is a lovely spot with a bench about a mile or so into the walk which usually has great views. Unfortunately there was nothing to see! The dogs had fun though and it was nice to get out for a wee bit! Later on we took in New Year watching the fireworks that were being set off down in the village and listening to the loan piper on the tv it was perfect!
Before we knew it, it was the 2nd and it was time to head home or was it! Well I hate going home so another night away maybe. So we headed back to Aviemore and got lunch at Ballavoulin which was lush before going up to the Cairngorm centre.
We came back down to the Coire na ciste carpark for the night. They have a great facility there for campervans there was a few parked up but it was very windy which did not bother me but at about 2am my husband got up and moved the position of the van so it wasnt getting such a battering. I was delighted to waken up in the morning so a lovely covering of snow! Which was the perfect end to the perfect holiday we had!
After we got a wee invitation from the lovely folks at The Snug at Logie farm to come and review one of their lovely new luxury camping pods we couldn’t wait to go and explore. I didn’t really make much of a plan but I did put a wee post on Facebook looking for recommendations and I certainly got plenty! So after a trip to the Deli to stock up on snacks and pack a case I waited patiently for Mr C to finish work and get away. It was only a couple hours down the road for us so we made it down just after sunset. When we arrived at the bottom of the road I was intrigued to where the pods where. We headed up the track and got the first taste of the amazing location as we passed a herd of deer just hanging around in the park. A little bit along we reached the pods.
Wow we made it in time for the amazing view and a lovely we plaque with our names on it. Cause well its the little things its it.
Inside the pod we was greeted by a stunning modern interior and every gadget you could ask for.
We stocked up our fridge, Mr C played with all the buttons then we got our feet up and set too a Squid Games binge watch on Netflix. Well I think we managed to stay wakened till about 10 o’clock. The bed was so comfy.
Next morning we was wakened early but we had a long lie had a lovely Nepresso coffee in bed then got up and organised. After a wee chat with Jo the owner we headed to the Buttercup Cafe in Newbrough for brunch. Jo had recomnened it to us and we could see why it was lovely.
We hadnt made any kind of concrete plans just go for a run and see. First stop was a quick one at the round tower at Abernethy which is thought to date back to 1100. We couldn’t get parked as we had the van so it was just a snap of the camera before heading off.
Not far along the road was Auchtermuchty are next planned stop to see Jimmy Shands memorial. If you know the Bluebell poker you know who Jimmy is! This was Mr C’s highlight of the day! That set him up for the day and we had to listen to his music the rest of it! Even through the blue tooth speaker in the pod at night!
We headed for Falkland next but after we circled a couples time we ended up on a different road. It was actually the way to the Lomond hills. We took the opportunity to give the dogs a run about. The views from even the car park are great. There is a lovely picnic area and a well maintained toilet.
Back on the road again for the second try to get parked at Falkland. We eventually found the car park. I grabbed my camera and National trust card and went for a wander. Falkland is a lovely wee village with lots of quirky shops and nice looking cafes/pubs.
After a walk about I went along to Falkland Palace and gardens.
I decided to just have a look around the gardens.
The inside was very busy so I decided to look round the gardens. They were lovely and extensive. There is lots of wee hidden area and even a tennis court.
Back on the road again. We hadn’t really planned anything so we thought we would go to Scotlands Hidden Bunker. On the way there we went past the Hill of Tarvit mansion so we did stop for a wee look. Another place well worth a visit and there was a view point walk.
We couldn’t do everything in one day so next stop was Scotlands secret bunker.
This is a amazing fascinating place to visit for Adults and kids.
It’s a underground cold war bunker museum and its huge. With lots of interesting rooms and artefacts.
Our last stop of the day was Arstruther for tea for some of their famous fish and chips! We had to queue for a little while but it’s was lovely and well worth the wait.
We headed home before it got dark thinking we could sit outside with a gin! But the rain came on and oh my it’s rained a lot! So we snuggled up watched tv had snacks and enjoyed our last night in the snug before heading home the next morning.
Thank you for reading I have posted all the links below! The Snug was amazing and totally recommend if your looking for somewhere to stay in Fife!
When we ventured off on our holidays we passed though Nairn like we have done may times. Yet again I said to Mr C wonder what that big igloo type thing is down there. But this time I posted on the Nairn rocks Facebook page. This led to several comments and then Kim the owner telling us all her plans of using it for group soothing sound therapy sessions for her business named Soul Provider, following that Kim sent me a wee message if I fancied coming along to try a Bowl on Body Peter Hess sound massage. So of course I said yes. I had no idea what I was saying yes to but I am all for trying new things.
So a date was set and this morning I got up and googled what I should wear. I pulled on a loose comfy dress and set off to Nairn. Arriving at her treatment cabin I had some preconceived idea of who I was going to meet. Well I was so wrong I was met with a quine just like myself, a wife and mother doing what she’s loves and is passionate about.
I openly told Kim I had done no research before hand. If I had read about what it was it have would lead me to become anxious about going along which I didn’t want. Not because I might have not liked it I just get nervous. I did know that like any therapy that I would get some kind of benefit out of it what I didn’t know!
Kim made me feel totally as ease. She told me about her what’s for you won’t go by you moment which led her to jet off to Spain for her initial training. Along with Peter Hess Sound therapy for adults, child and pets she is a trained in Oncology massage. All the information of all the services Kim providers are on the website along with the prices. She does give a discount of 25% to employees of the NHS, carers, military serving and veteran, emergency services and OAP’s. I will post all links below so you can read about all her services.
Before my treatment I was asked if I suffer from any aches or pains which I don’t. I did make her aware that I do get anxious and feel overwhelmed from time to time. Also my sleeping patterns aren’t the greatest.
The treatment itself I would describe as a very relaxing experience. As the various sizes of Peter Hess sound bowls were placed on several areas of the back and front of my body as well as my hands and feet. The sounds and feeling of the bowls total relaxed me and I don’t actually think I have ever felt so relaxed. I can only describe it as a total epic experience. I got some relaxed I may have drooled slightly 😳! I really think it was just what I was needing. Who knew lying on a bed with some fancy bowls with nice sounds could make you feel so good but it does. I did feel a little emotional on my way home but in a good way but Kim did say that was perfectly normal!
Full disclosure my experience today was gifted! I do plan to return before Christmas which I will be paying with my own money unless my husband treats me. That is how good it made me feel and actions speak louder than words!
When you do lots of walking there is 2 vital pieces of equipment you need. Good boots and comfy socks. The perfect pair of both will enable you to walk further and longer.
Last week Heather at Scottish Womans walking group posted some monogramed SWWG merino wool socks that were made in North East Scotland. So I was very interested to find out where. After a wee search I found Caledonia Hosiery on social media.
After wee chat online with the owner Steve he invited me along to his socks factory. I jumped at the chance. The inner geek came out as I am very interested in how things are made.
The company is situated in Forres Moray. It was started in October 2019 and started producing in April 2020. The owner Steve has actually spent half his working life making socks and is very passionate about it. This has now rubbed off on his wife Sue too.
Onsite the couple are producing 1000 pairs of socks a week each pair of socks taking around 8 mins to make. They produce various styles made from wool and cotton. They are all hand finished onsite. That includes washing and air drying before pressing on a shiny sock shaped hot press!
Although the company mainly design and produce socks for brands just recently they have set up a online shop at The Country Side store (link will be posted below). In the shop they have a selection of styles including their signature outdoor socks that I have been gifted to try.
I am super excited to try as not only are they locally produced. Compared to some socks I have purchased over the year they are very reasonabled priced.
My initial review they fit and feel very comfortable. I will be putting the them to some hike tests before I fully review but I do plan to purchase other styles.
I would like to thank Steve for inviting me along and giving a wee insite to how socks are made!
Our next few days was spent at Camping Skye at Broadford was time to chill out! Also a chance to do some washing as they have great laundry and drying facilities! The first night was very wet and windy we felt so sorry for the poor people in tents! The carried on most of the next day too. We sat binged watched Netflix and rested.
The second day the weather was a lot better so we managed to get out with the dogs. We just had a wee stroll along to the wee harbour area.
The dogs got a run about. I did some sea glass collecting and Mr C did some stone skimming.
Later on we treated ourselves and went to Cafesia for our tea! Pizza and baked Alaska what more could you want.
In the morning it was time to pack up and make our next move. We set off up the road we had all day to get to Uig for our ferry. I had made a list of places to stop en route.
First stop was the bridge at Sligachan for a few photos.
Parking wasn’t to good for the van so it was just a quick stop.
Just a few miles up the road we made another stop at Dun Beag Broch.
We had drove past it lots of time and never stopped. I actually couldn’t believe how big it was and how thick the walks were. Although mind the sheep poop if you visit as it is in a sheep park.
Little big further along the road we drove past Dunvegan Castle. We had talked about going in for a look. But honestly it was busy and I was happy to get a view of the castle so that’s what we did.
We did take a wee detour to Portree to get a supermarket and a look at the harbour.
As expected it was busy so didn’t hang about. We was ready to get away from busy places. Our final stop was Uig. Before parking at the ferry car park we took the short walk down to the Falls of Rha.
They are huge and worth the visit it is a total hidden gem. I had a wee look around the Uig pottery and treated myself to a stunning Cullins mug. I dropped in to the Isle of Skye Brewery and get a wee present for a friend. For food we popped in to the Hebriden Shack.
Mr C had some amazing scallops and I had monk fish scampi.
By the time we did all that and had a wee nap it was time for the ferry to Uist.
There was a great area for us to sit and relax with the dogs and it passed pretty quickly. We got off of the ferry when the sun wasn’t far from setting. So we put the postcode in the satnav and headed for the St Kilda view point. We didn’t have too far to go and we was just on time to watch the sunset and get a great view of St Kilda.
After our journey I was excited for our adventure ahead. So we had a early night and a good nights sleep.
We got up early the next day, made our breakfast and headed off. We had a lot to fit in on our first day. First stop was Scolpaig Tower for a wee photo.
We drove along enjoying the views of Vallay Tidal island (we have put it on our bucket list for next time). Just along the road we found a wee snack stop called The Wee Kitchen so couldn’t resist a second breakfast with a amazing beach view.
We took a wee drive to Berneray before our next stop. Parking up at Langass woods and went to follow the trail of bear foot prints. The trail lead us to the final resting place of Hercules the bear and Andy Robin. Myself and my husband have both fantastic memories of the pair visiting Keith Show in the 80’s so this was a must place to visit for us.
On our travels we found a fan Seafood cafe but it was unfortunately closed that day but the factory shop was open.
When we arrived at the shop I was amazed by the amount of scallop shells that lined the shore. Next took a wee tour round Benbecula stopping off at the Lady of the Isles statue.
Then it was time to find our friends house. We tracked down the area they lived and took a wee look about and chatted to some of the ponies at Loch Skiport before messaging Lindsay. It then turned out we had passed their house not long before.
Lindsay and DJ took us on a tour of South Uist pointing out places we never have found. We visited the most westerly point in Uist and even managed to get a photo taken together for a change.
That night we parked up not far from theirs. After a long lie we wakening up to ponies at the van. Once organised we headed along the the road and parked up to go for a hike in the hope to see a sea eagle.
It is such a beautiful area the photos don’t do it justice.
The afternoon was spent enjoying the views while exploring South Uist. After a failed attempt looking for the whale bones on the most amazing beach.
We did see some seals and found them on our second attempt. That night we parked up close to the beach and made plans for the next day.
It was our last day on Uist so made it a bit of a chilled one. We took a drive to Eriskay where I miraculously found a ladies ring. I did find the owner quickly with the power of Facebook.
Lunch was had at the Am Politician and a look round the shop. Before heading back to the beach for one last beach walk.
Our ferry next day was just after 6am so needed to get parked up close to by the terminal. We found a spot then took a walk to the Lochboisdale Hotel for a lovely meal. Then headed to the van and set the alarm for 4.45. To catch the ferry back to the main land it was almost the end of our holiday!
Going to end it here! We had a fantastic holiday and didn’t want to come home! I have posted some useful links below.