I had a couple of hours free around Braemar last week – not enough time to head for the Cairngorms but it was too hot to do any serious hills anyway. So I strolled up Creag Choinnich – a wee hill that overlooks the village. I’ve been in Braemar countless times but had never been up there before. It’s an easy walk, starting from behind the church in Braemar. The path branches as you enter the woods, with the right branch heading to the Lion’s Face and the left branch heading up the hill. It was very quiet for what is obviously a popular walk, I only saw a couple of people, and 20 minutes or so later I was on the top.
It’s a fabulous viewpoint – westwards into the Cairngorms and eastwards down Deeside. There’s a rather strange memorial just off the summit. Remarkably, given the high temperatures, there were still some snow patches on the hills across the glen, which aren’t that high.
Down to the Old Bakery in Braemar for tea and a bacon roll before heading home. I stopped off at Invercauld Bridge for a shady walk in the woods for an hour or so.
The old bridge is a Wade-style bridge (I don’t think it was built by General Wade) which was built as part of the pacification of the Highlands. It is on the route between the barracks at Fort George and Blairgowrie.
I have never seen the Dee so low. I’d hoped to find a pool for a dip during my walk but it was never more than a couple of feet deep.