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Barmekin Hill



I make it as far as Middle Broomhill farm before becoming sufficiently concerned with the deteriorating track - and thus my poor car's nether regions - to seek local advice. As it happens the gentleman who answers my knock is a true Scot, if ever I did encounter one. Looks one, too. A credit to old Alba. In actual fact it is 'probably' (he says) possible to drive to Upper Broomhill - depending on your car's clearance - although I would say the best bet is to park off track, to the left, a little beyond Middle Broomhill and not be so bloody lazy. No, on second thoughts the best bet is to park and have a chat with the local dude.... you might learn something, as I did. Such as the existance of a standing stone at the corner before the previous farm, which I subsequently completely forget about! Anyway, I discuss the hillfort with the chap... 'nothing much remains', apparently. A matter of interpretation, perhaps... but, as Harry Hill says, there's only one way to find out! So, after promising 'I'll be back', in my best Schwazenneger, off I go into the blazing heat of this May morning. Yeah. I know. In Aberdeenshire.

Passing the seemingly deserted Upper Broomhill the track terminates.... Barmekin Hill lies dead ahead and, in retrospect (what else?) the best idea is to head up hill and approach through woodland to the ascend the left hand end of the site. Needless to say the right hand looks the easier to me... however this means negotiating several tough barbed wire fences. Jeez, how I hate the stuff! And when that is done there's the not insignificant matter of the steep, heather clad slopes of The Barmekin itself. Hey, why the need for stone ramparts when you have virtually impregnable Scottish heather? Nevertheless I persevere and in due course the hidden magnitude of the fortress is revealed. And then some! I concur with Drew and Bill..... five - count 'em - concentric ramparts still girdle the hillside, the inner two as substantial as you could wish for, with a complex entrance to south.

Bennachie and the wondrous Mither Tap rise upon the northern horizon... and the traveller can't help wondering if the multitude of defensive lines upon Barmekin Hill represented a touch of 'bling' to boot.... 'hey, those guys may have occupied Bennachie, but just look at our defences!' Yeah, there is a case for arguing that 'five' was simply taking the piss. Whatever, all is now silent. A place to ponder 'stuff', to pick out the locations of the wondrous RSCs of Sunhoney and Midmar Kirk far below to the approx south-west.

Eventually I descend and head through the woodland back to Middle Broomhill. I talk with 'the wife' this time... she reckons the blistering weather will last into next week... what a contrast to the 100mph gales of this time last year. Yeah, tell me about it.
8th June 2012ce
Edited 20th June 2012ce

Comments (1)

Same route up as I did, heaven knows what I did on the way down. Fine fieldnotes Mr G. drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
9th June 2012ce
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