|Forvie is a wondrous place with its beautiful nature reserve, medieval church/village, ever changing sand dunes, the Ythan estuary and prehistory. There are a lot of various cairns and hut circles. Reasons to go this place are endless but an important reason to return, for me, was the constant mention by the folks of Newburgh of the circle under the sea. I teach in the area and learned about most of the local sites purely by listening. (on most occasions the music was good as well!!!) This site will also feature in book I'm writing about the Ythan's prehistory once I get back to that project. (still going to happen GC and SC the mojo is back)
As for visiting the cairns amongst the dunes park just north of Newburgh and the Waterside (Ythan) Bridge. (narrow entrance to car park!). On my first hike to the circle on the 10/9/2015 I followed the track following the river Ythan towards its meeting with North Sea. However after going thru a section that looks like deep swimming pool the path runs out. Sand dunes are in front so with my best Lawrence Of Arabia impersonation I ploughed on eventually reaching the dunes overlooking the beach/sea. From here I headed south spying a pillbox and a few hundred seals basking in the warm sun. Near the pillbox there was a deep pool with a rock, the recumbent, poking its head above the water. However the tide was coming quickly in so back I headed to the Waterside Bridge complete with my Peter O'Toole impersonations.
Tide times are variable but a good guide so one week later I ventured to the same spot but this time kept to the rivers edge until its entry to the North Sea, Man From Atlantis impersonations on way back!!. Various birds of can be seen waders, gulls, herons, cormorants, plus birds I hadn't seen and hundreds upon hundreds of very friendly seals.
The site is to the north of the river mouth and this time the pool was empty of water. The circle was revealed, several stones which had once stood had been toppled by the sea or attempts to destroy it. Smaller rocks probably part of some washed about cairn and chokes. The previous week, seals were sitting on top of these and they watched closely as I explored. Flankers are minus their bigger friend and sadly the reason is close by. Further to the north the recumbent had been hauled away and left for some pointless reason. I have reason to back this up as a stone circle, like a few others. There are no rocks anywhere else this side of the Ythan and a collection like this on land would have people gleefully jumping up and down like at Stonehenge. But this is Scotland, the North East we move at our own pace, there is no rush and in Forvie time stands still except for the ever moving dunes.
After soaking the atmosphere both prehistoric and present nature it was time for a wee hunt around the pillbox (note the jaunty angle) and a look for an elusive hut circle. Scarily after this the site had gone, the tide was rushing in. With that it was to retrace my steps back along the Ythan, but they were under water. So hugging the bank I headed back to the path rejoining it as the bridge comes into view far away in the distance.
For nature, both on land and aquatic, the Ythan Estuary is hard to beat. Good footwear needed for this and please take note of the tide times.
Posted by drewbhoy
23rd September 2015ce
Edited 23rd September 2015ce