|Thursday 4th Feb 2010! Well what a day! Early rise (the usual farse of everyone else wondering around looking lost while I clean out the car, make the packed lunches, make sure everyone has a coat, etc) so we can do AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. First we set off to Dunnotar Castle to watch the sunrise as non of us have ever spent it on the east coast. Turns out Scotland is far too cloudy in january to get a good sunrise :P ah well, at least we are up so now we can have a full day of stone circle spotting!! so we head south to Old Bourtreebush and Aquhorthies parking the car in what appears to be someones garden. I did a quick lap of the farm house to see if I could get permission to trek through the cow poo to the stones but nobody answered the door so we set off anyway. Actually quite nice as the misty sun rises up, even though they arn't in the best state and there really isn't much of Bourtreebush left! Its nice to be able to see the two so close together. Back to the car and we head north to find Craighead, well, to drive around and around in circles looking for Craighead and then give up! Back to the main road because we have FAR too much planned and not enough light to spend the day driving up country lanes!
Tyrebagger next on the list. We get the right route after a few wrong turns onto that bloody industrial estate (DON'T ask these guys directions, they have no idea what you're talking about...) we finally catch site of it at the top of the hill. A short (if snowy) mission and we are well rewarded with a beautiful cicrle, albeit with an odd view of the industrial estate! It has some very unusal flankers which look like sharks teeth! We give this one the time it deserves before heading back to the car and continuing north!
Next plan is a refuel at the garage next to Broomend of Crichie which I LOVED! Its not much, just the three stones together and the single stone a short distance away but it just felt to nice there (maybe ot was the sun and the coffee) but the pictish stone here is beautiful and well worth a visit. Jay and Zoe had an impressive snowball fight that almost ended in tears before we headed back to the road.
As we are so close we figured we would visit the poor Brandsbutt, sat sadly on its little council estate. We got an expected amount of funny looks circumambulating the little monument where there USED to be a circle before leaping back in the car and heading towards Loanhead of Daviot which looks MAGICAL in the snow and had hardly been visited wince the last dusting 2 nights before. Wonderful. The view is stunning and we can hardly believe our luck as the clouds part and bless us with blue skies, singing birds and crisp white snow. The best stone circle backdrop we could have asked for! The plan had been to go from here to New Craig but the snow was far too deep for trying to walk it and the car couldnt get up the lane. In fact we had to get out the car and give it a helping hand getting off the carpark and back down the lane...
SO we know there is SO much more to see in the area, but not how to GET to most of it, especially with the deep snow everywhere. My plans had included Dunnydeer Farm, Hawk Hill and Druidstones but we were far too vague on directions. Just for fun, James the Cat selects a road at random to see if the car will make it. A few little turns this way and that and the snow drift at the side of the road is ABOVE the car roof and then... Stonehead
What a view. What a place. To just stumble upon this wonderful recumbent as the light fades and the colours change was more than we could have asked for. The snow untouched and the view unbeatable, we really could believe our luck today (as if God was making up for the poor trip yesterday!) All that remains of Stonehead is a huge recumbent with flankers, but this site must have been amazing in its day. The view across the valley is stunning and everyone should get here at least once!
Well, the car makes it out. We all make it home and Martin cooks paneer. All in all a bloomin' good day :)
We decide to start late on Friday as its our last day and someone (probably me) has the great idea of picking up a nice country road to Aberlemno to see some great pictish stones before we head home. Well the drive was amazing and I almost crashed on a windy little mountain road when a HUGE bird of prey almost landed on the bonnet! BUT I had no idea that the stones were BOXED UP for the winter! Not even a bloody window??? Ah well, back we head a little miffed but still happy enough. We make a little detour to see Esslie the Lesser and Esslie the Greater and try to find Nine Stanes (but no luck there). The Esslies were both quite nice considering there unkept state and you could image there being lots more stuff around there once. The area had a nice feel and we all headed back for our last night in Scotland as quite a happy bunch!
Posted by faerygirl
23rd June 2010ce
Edited 23rd June 2010ce
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