Bullers of Buchan

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!

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New Slains Castle

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.

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Castle Fraser

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!


A Walk Up Bennachie

Chances are that if you live in Aberdeen or the surrounding Aberdeenshire, then you’ve walked up Bennachie at least once in your life, whether it be on a school trip, with friends or family, or on a Sunday afternoon when you’re trying to rid your hangover from Saturday night.
Bennachie is essentially a range of hills in Aberdeenshire, with several peaks, the highest being Oxen Craig which stands at a height of 1733ft, however, Mither Tap is the most popular due to it being the most visible, and stands at a height of 1699ft. The peaks of Bennachie are not relatively high compared to other peaks within Scotland, but the mountain is very prominent due to it’s isolation and relative flatness of the surrounding areas. It can be seen from miles and miles around, even from my living room window!
Anyway, starting at the Bennachie Centre Car Park, we made our way through the lower forest section of the Mither Tap trail, until we reached around the half way point where the trees clear, and the steep stone steps begin. Whether you’re going up or down this trail, it’s a certain ankle killer, and even worse on a wet day. I certainly didn’t remember it being as steep as it was, but maybe I just wasn’t as fit as I was when I last walked the trail.
Mither Tap has an Iron Age fort on it’s summit, which is a nice treat upon reaching the top. We had just enough time to grab some lunch, take in the surrounding views, and be back on our way down before the rain came in.