When we were up at Fochabers the other weekend, we were hampered by the rain quite a bit, but we managed to catch a break on the Saturday, so headed to Millbuies to take a stroll around the loch.Read More
Before you read any further, this post mainly came to be because of Pokemon... but that's definitely not a bad thing!Read More
The light nights are no longer, we have officially hit October and the dark nights are rolling in, so trying to make the most of what free time I actually have during the week to get out and about, and that only seems to be on a Sunday, sadly. Thankfully, there was no F1 this weekend (sorry Emma), and it was a pretty glorious day considering it's October and Aberdeen, so we went out for a bit before I had to go to work.
When we were at New Slains Castle the other week, we were speaking to a guy and he made us aware of some places to check out further north of the castle, and since our car was parked in the opposite direction, we said we'd do this another day.
So, that was what today's plan was!
Heading straight through Cruden Bay this time, and turning off into the car park for Bullers of Buchan, this is where we would begin. From the car park, you walk down a little road, and then you have the choice to go left or right. The left hand path is a lot more obvious than the right, but the right will take you to New Slains Castle if you want to head there.
We went left, as this is where the Bullers of Buchan is, and it is the name given to the collapsed sea cave which you can see in the pictures below, really impressive, and you can walk across it too if you have good balance, and it's not too windy.
Apparently this spot is pretty great for puffin watching, but sadly we're passed their nesting season, so we'll be back next year once they return!
Bullers of Buchan - collapsed sea cave
While Emma went and checked out what was further on, I went for a wander over the very skinny path on top of Bullers of Buchan to try and take in some views.
The only issue with going out in the middle of the day is that the sunlight is so f*cking harsh, and it really does absolutely no favours when trying to take a picture, especially when there's shadows involved too. Bane of my life.
Looking north from atop Bullers of Buchan
Where the sea enters the collapsed sea cave
Looking south, New Slains Castle is in this direction
New Balance 1300JP2
Emma appeared back from her wander and said that she had found a beach, so naturally, we went to see if we could get to the beach.
When we say "beach", more often than not, there is no sand, it definitely isn't hot, and I really would not recommend going in the water, but it's a beach nonetheless.
You can see the beach below, and for once, it actually looked like we were able to get down to it!
Gotta get down low to get them Instagram angles, right?
This trail continues round past the beach and over to the cliffs you can see in the above picture, and from here you can walk to Boddam, but we were just going down in hope that we'd be able to get onto the beach.
The trail itself was actually pretty tight, most of them are around the coast, single file all the way and pretty overgrown. Usually wet too, so probably wasn't the best idea that we were both wearing trainers.
Anyway, we made it to the beach, and Emma sat on a wall and laughed at me while I tried to balance on the stones and explore.
There's something pretty special about just being able to sit on a wall overlooking a place like this, with absolutely no-one else about, just the sound of the sea, and the birds, gotta enjoy those moments for sure!
On the path down to the beach, there was a tunnel going through the hill, so of course, as always, we're curious people, so we walked through and it took as through a field and back out to the main road and the car park.
Pretty ideal, and now we know the perfect entrance if we ever want to come back here!
A couple of weeks ago, we actually tried to walk to what we thought was New Slains Castle, but turns out we were actually quite far away from it, and probably would have fallen off a cliff before we got there. So, it was a Monday holiday, and we decided that we would try again, but this time we would actually make it successfully to the castle, and not go on some wild detour... my bad.
Anyway, we headed out the same way we went last time, but this time we followed signs to Cruden Bay, and then as we reached Cruden Bay, just before the harbour, there was a car park with a sign post to New Slains Castle.
We had made it... now just for the walk up to the castle itself.
New Slains Castle in the distance.
The walk to the castle follows the coast, so of course, we're always looking for a good spot to get some nice shots of the coast line.
Thankfully, not too far into the walk, there's a faint makeshift path through the grass, and if you head down that, then it takes you to a really great spot.
After the little detour down to the alcove bit, you literally go back up, turn to your right and are greeted with this path down to the amazing New Slains Castle, this place really is spectacular!
When we walked down the path and noticed that to the right the cliff extends out into the see, so you can go out and take in the views at the edge of the cliff. I think this was the point I said to Emma that it was easily my favourite castle so far.
As the 16th century castle is now ruins, you literally get to explore wherever you want, and obviously as I seen the tower, this was the first place I wanted to check out.
And rightly so, you can climb the spiral staircase right to the top, but make sure you hold on!
Make sure you take some time to explore the rest of the castle as you can literally go wherever you want.
I already can't wait to come back here!
With summer well and truly over, and darkness creeping in earlier and earlier every day, it doesn't leave much time for exploring by the time work finishes, but last night we made it a little bit north to Collieston, a small former fishing village in between Newburgh and Cruden Bay.
Parking the car just a little bit away from the tight harbour area, we headed up and over a steep hill with even steeper steps which probably weren't made with having to carry a dog up them in mind, since her legs are too small too get up.
Heading along the coast, and taking in the views of the coastline, we didn't manage to get very far since the sun started setting though... hopefully we can get back and maybe find somewhere to park the car a little further up the coast to explore!
We had literally been trying to get to Loch Muick for three months, but due to work, weather and a bunch of other things, we never got the chance. So with the end of summer pretty much upon us, we decided to try and get out there!
From Aberdeen, getting to Glen Muick is about a 1.5 hour journey, mainly because of the country roads, and then the 7 mile long single lane road which is basically a disaster waiting to happen when there's a car coming the other way. Sadly, you have to navigate this road to get to the Spittal of Glen Muick car park where you get access to Loch Muick, and the nearby Lochnagar.
Our plan of action was to only take a walk around Loch Muick, which can take about 4 hours if you're taking a leisurely stroll. We'll definitely be back to do Lochnagar, hopefully before winter lands!
Heading down the path from the car park, take the left route to Loch Muick and then you'll come to a split where I recommend going around the left side of the Loch if you want to tackle the harder walk first. The right side has a much smoother and flat track where you can get a car down, so we figured it would make more sense to leave this as our route back.
When you reach the half way point around the left hand side, there's a nice little beach area where you can stop and take in the impressive views of the loch in front, and the waterfalls behind. There's a detour route which you can take to go up round the waterfalls but sadly we missed this trail and didn't notice it until we were a bit of a distance away... I guess it just means we'll have to come back to check it out!
One of the most impressive features of Loch Muick is the impressive Glas-allt-Shiel house built by Queen Victoria in 1862, and bought by King George VI in 1950. This is where we stopped to grab some lunch and took a wander around the house, and checked out the bothy in the rear part.
If you don't know what a bothy is, it's basically a basic shelter which is left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. So you can image that these are pretty ideal for hikers who need to get some rest and stay the night.
I've developed a little castle obsession over the last few weeks, but sadly, our Scottish summer consists of rain, rain and more rain, rather than sun, so I've had to put some trips on the backburner. Anyway, we headed out to Castle Fraser, a 5 storey Z-Plan castle from the 15th century, which was home to the Fraser Family. The main castle was completed around 1636, but there were several alterations in the 18th and 19th century. The estate is quite large and has two easily followed trails taking you through a mixture of parkland, farmland and woodland, opening out to give views of Bennachie.
Sadly, as always, it was raining pretty bad, so we only took a quick stroll around the castle gardens and around the exterior of the castle itself. We'll definitely have to take a trip back to explore more if we can get a day at the weekend where the weather clears up!
Everyone loves castles, right? Well Scotland has a good few of them. Crathes Castle, just south of Aberdeen, near Banchory in Aberdeenshire is a 16th century castle, and was built by the Burnetts of Leys and then held in their family for almost 400 years. It is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is of course, open to the public. For more history about the castle and the grounds that it sits on, be sure to head here.
Unfortunately, we never went inside the castle this time, so there's no shots of the interior or anything, but next time I'll be sure to check it out.
However, the castle estate itself has 530 acres of woodlands and fields, so we took a little wander through some of the trails there. Then, adjacent to the castle is near 4 acres of walled garden, which is a pretty special place, probably one of the nicest gardens I've been in.