I ripped my Paramo jacket a few weeks ago and handed it in to Hilltrek in Aboyne for repair. I picked it up yesterday afternoon and, as the sun was shining and I had a couple of hours to spare, I thought that I’d have a wee walk in Glen Tanar.
We don’t live that far from Glen Tanar but I tend to forget about it and head further west to Ballater or Braemar. Apart from a wedding in the big house, the last time I was there was on my first TGO Challenge in 2013 when I walked over the hills from Glen Muick. The is not a route I would recommend unless you are an aficionado of deep and murky peat hags.
That day, I was pretty knackered and I don’t think I really appreciated the lower part of the glen. Glen Tanar is old pine forest - apparently the 3rd largest area in Scotland after Rothiemurchus and Glen Affric. As my time was limited, I stuck to the tracks and did the marked ‘Old Pines’ route - I guess it must have been about 5 miles.
When you walk in the woods, you don’t expect to get expansive and dramatic views. Instead, it’s the details that can be enchanting - old, twisted trees and discovered structures as well as small lochs and river views. There’s also the bonus, apparently, of health benefits from walking in the woods but whether these are any more than the benefits of just taking exercise I’m not sure. Anyway, whatever the benefits, Glen Tanar is delightful.
I'll let the photos tell the story.
The forest is mostly pine but with a few other trees. I liked the gnarled roots of this old beech, just as you cross the bridge by the car park.
The old estate kirk, St Lesmo’s Chapel, where the laird and his family worshipped. We went to a wedding there in late October - there was no heating so quite a few members of the congregation were shivering. The folks who attended services here throughout the winter were made of tough stuff.
The bridges here seem almost organic and fit harmoniously into the landscape. Old pine trees in the background but it was good to see that there was also quite a lot of natural forest regeneration.
I came across this old well, with a date of 1874. No buildings nearby so maybe it was simply for travellers.
The view up the river looking west - a classic Highland pinewood landscape.
On the way back, I passed this old cottage with a collapsed roof. Sad to see these structures falling down. It was boarded up but the advantage of a phone camera is you can poke it through holes to get a picture.
This loch has the unimaginative name of the ‘Trout Loch’. I’m not sure if it it is natural or if it was created in the 1800’s for ‘sport’. But today, it looked good with the cloud reflections in the water.
Perhaps rashly, I have committed to giving a talk in June on outdoor photography with an iPhone so all photos today were taken with my iPhone 7, using the Lightroom camera app. I shoot in Camera Raw, so some Lightroom post-processing was needed. Nothing has been added or removed.