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Another day in Angus

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 13 May 2011

Friday 13 May, another day in Angus

We sleep until late today because we can have breakfast until 10 o'clock. We never actually eat breakfast at home but on holiday we really enjoy it. From Banchory we first drive to the south, to the pass Cairn O'Mount, where armies have been traveling from Roman times, mostly to the north to teach these barbaric natives a lesson.
View from Cairn o' Mount Royal arch in FettercairnThe road to it is winding and narrow and many accidents seem to happen here. But it is a nice area.
We drive to Fettercairn, which is best known for its distillery with a bow and a unicorn as emblems. The arch is derived from the arch that dominates the entrance to the village and which was built in memory of the royal visit of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1861. Scottish people attach great importance to their history and Scotland is probably one of the countries with the highest monument density.
North Esk river The Burn (Blue door) river walkWe then continue our way towards Edzell, even more to the south, along the Esk river. We have read about a nice walk that you can make here, the Blue Door river walk in The Burn. Just before Edzell we can park the car and we go through the 'Blue door' which gives access to a beautiful walking area along the river full of rapids which kayakkers know how to handle.
A short breakIt is a long walk and we are not trained walkers so the occasional couch where we can sit is always welcome. The park goes all the way to the center of Edzell and there is a fantastic gorge with a waterfall that unfortunately is almost impossible to photograph because of the dense vegetation. It is climbing and descending all the way through this beautiful nature, but after an hour and a half we start searching for the blue door again that brings us to the car.
Namesign of a villageWe stay in the neighborhood and drive criss-cross roads while I mark them on my map where I can see which roads we have been to or not. In Upper Thainston we see a very original name sign for the village. Dalgetty seems to be a family that is known for destroying vermin.

You see wood carvings on the road more often in Scotland (and in many other countries as well), again something we miss in the Netherlands, a bit of creativity along the street. In Holland everything that belongs to the public domain must comply with all kinds of rules.
Edzell CastleAt Edzell there is also a castle, from the 16th century and built from red sandstone which is mined here in the area. There is a well-kept walled garden with all kinds of themes and of course there is also a ghost, the White Lady, one of the castle women who would have been buried alive in the family crypt. The castle is now managed by Historic Scotland.
Invermark Castle Castle houseThen we continue to the next castle, Invermark Castle, which is more of a tower house from the 16th century. But as in so many places where a castle stands, there was already a previous fortress or castle. Because of the hilly landscape there are a lot of strategic places to build such fortresses and a king could therefore reward all his nobles fairly easily by giving them such a strategic piece of land. But sometimes we pass a modern house that also shows castle-like features.
Rabbit holes ChurchWhen we enter a cul-de-sac with a few houses along the way, we see mainly rabbits, and the whole side of the road appears to be full of holes where the animals run in and out. And at the end of the road is of course an abandoned house. Well, not really abandoned... of course the resident just drives away when we arrive there and turn. We let him pass since he probably drives much faster on such a narrow road than we.
And then we continue to the southwest and pass all nice villages with beautiful buildings and monuments.
Covering the soil Agriculture in ScotlandBetween the villages are forests but also a lot of agricultural land. Here the farmers are busy covering a just plowed (and sown?) field with plastic. This way the warmth is better retained in the ground because around this time of year frost still regularly occurs in Scotland. But what a lot of work to cover it all!
St. Palladius church, Brechin Gatelodge of Drumtochty castleWe have to go back a long way to the north even though there is still a lot to see here, like everywhere in Scotland. At Gallows Knowe we walk around a hill where once executions have taken place, but we don't visit the castles in the neighborhood (Fintry, Culcreuch) and try to drive back using roads that are still unknown to us. And we are rewarded with the sudden sight of the charming St. Palladius church along the road at Brechin. A little further away is Drumtochty Castle, a neo-Gothic castle from the 19th century. We especially like the gatelodge.
Heather in Abertdeenshire Private propertyWide landscapes alternate with forests where villages and estates are hidden and it is virtually impossible not to walk daily into a few castles (or to drive in our case) in this area.
On the way we also see another very modern gate at a fairly normal house. With such a gatet you at least give the impression that you have a nice estate.
Stag hotel, BanchoryWe have made a long trip today and we only return to our hotel in Banchory after 8 pm where the sun is still shining. We eat a snack in the village and then have a drink in the hotel pub and then off to our room.


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