Feed on

This was an easy day along the Deeside Way to the heart of Aberdeen, through Torry past the harbour with the final bit on the coastal path to Girdle Ness. The sun was shining, I had plenty of time and I set out in the late morning, planning to finish about 1.30 and then have a pint and lunch in Aberdeen.

The Deeside Way is an old railway line, built for Queen Victoria to get to Balmoral (I doubt that it ever broke even). Although a bit more urbanised than I would like, it is a great corridor into the city with lots of wild flowers and birds. Wild garlic is common and the scent is wonderful – if, like me, you like garlic.

Day 13. Wild Garlic

Wild garlic on the Deeside Way

The Deeside Way ends at a park in Aberdeen, then you follow the river to the harbour – where I had my first glimpse of the North Sea.

Torry is an old fishing area and there are still fish processing factories there although landings are all now at Peterhead and Fraserburgh. The smell of fish lingers though as you walk through and onto the coastal path to Girdle Ness. It was a beautiful sunny day as I approached the lighthouse.

Aberdeen harbour and the  North Sea

Aberdeen harbour and the North Sea

Then, down onto the beach and a very attractive little cove where I celebrated by eating my last caramel wafer. Someone had built stone towers, which I thought were quite attractive. I tried to gingerly dip my toe in the sea but totally misjudged the waves and ended up with soaking wet feet. A fitting end to the Challenge – wet feet on day 1, day 13 and every day in between!

Girdle Ness lighthouse

Girdle Ness lighthouse

The end of the walk - shingle beach at Girdle Ness

The end of the walk – shingle beach at Girdle Ness

Challenge food (Tunnocks take note - sponsorship welcomed)

Challenge food (Tunnocks take note – sponsorship welcomed)

Dipping my toes or, in fact, soaking my feet

Dipping my toes or, in fact, soaking my feet

So, that was it. No one else around so I made my way back to Aberdeen, getting soaked in the process by a sudden rain squall.

I decided not to go to Montrose on the Wednesday. Montrose is not exactly one of Scotland’s urban jewels and spending an extra night there didn’t really appeal. So I went on the train on Thursday, signed out, camped and enjoyed the company and the dinner, which was much better than I had been warned to expect – lentil soup, haggis-stuffed chicken and cranachan. The sea of orange T-shirts was a wee bit overwhelming but I guess Rab must have had some stock in an unpopular colour to get rid of.

Challenge dinner

Challenge dinner

Montrose campste

Montrose campste

I had a great time and a wonderful experience. Many thanks to John Manning and his organisational team and to everyone I met on the Challenge.

7 Responses to “TGOC-13. Day 13. To the North Sea at Girdle Ness”

  1. Sheena O says:

    well done Ian

    Amazing how our and CMC trips major on the gourmet food!

  2. margaret sommerville says:

    Good for you, Ian. Sounds like a great experience, with the normal ups-and-downs of a long distance walk. The good times usually more than make up for the not-so-good. Looking forward to hearing about the next challenge – I think it probably becomes somewhat of an addiction.

  3. John J says:

    A splendid read and an excellent trip.
    I’ll respond to the individual postings shortly, but for now I would say that I hope to see your name on the list for next year and that I may meet up with you somewhere en-route.

  4. Adrian says:

    Lovely read Ian.
    I think you must have been the gent that turned me around on the way to the Moorfield as I searched for a decent pint. (I probably made up for it too well later )

  5. […] cashew nuts and Tunnocks Caramel wafers.  These are my favourite on walks and I keep hoping that Tunnocks will notice and provide some sponsorship. It could be the start of a changed image from unhealthy Scottish food (have you seen their […]

  6. […] Girdle Ness is, I think, a better place to finish the Challenge than Fittie. From Duthie Park, you follow the Dee to the 2nd bridge, cross the bridge, take 2nd on left and keep walking. You pass the harbour with a pervasive smell of fish from fish processing factories then suddenly you are out of the city, walking above the river estuary, with great views back to the harbour (see this post). There’s a great wee cove below the lighthouse where I finished my first Challenge. […]

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