.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Friday, 7 December 2012

Loch of Skene

This week's walk was on the Dunecht Estate and Marion was in charge. The past few days our weather has been very wintry but this morning the temperature rose again, turning the snow into slush.

Parking was at the main gate entrance to the estate and we set off to discover the underfoot conditions were a lethal mixture of slush and thick ice. It wasn't long before a halt was called and a good number of us raked in our rucksacks for various 'spiky' footwear. The majority (including me) produced Microspikes and we wore them for the rest of the walk.

The route included a couple of cattle grids and a climb over a locked gate - not easy with the spiky feet! However, undeterred we stomped along until we came to the Tower Lodges.

As the battery in my camera was still on charge at my bedside (oops!), I had to take today's photos with my phone. That means the views look a trifle dark and grey but atmospheric nonetheless.

{Approaching the Tower Lodges and gates}

Once through the gates there was a fine view of the Loch of Skene. It was still half frozen with geese wandering about on the ice. One or two were swimming and the sun was mostly hidden behind some approaching low cloud.

{Loch of Skene}

My picture makes the towers look quite spooky and as it happens there is a story about a ghost hereabouts. An unfortunate carriage driver and his carriage and horses were drowned after attempting to drive across the frozen loch and are reputed to lurk about around this area. We didn't see him. But we did meet a man who was trying to spot a black swan on the water.

{The Loch information panel}

{One of the lodges}

We wandered back along the path and found a great place for lunch. There were fallen trees to sit on and a great view of the loch. Sadly as the rucksacks were opened so did the heavens and it began to rain. It got heavier and heavier, diluting coffee and making sandwiches soggy. We gave up. Packed up. Stood up. The rain stopped!

{On the march again}

The next part of the walk took us along a forest track and past the big house at the centre of the estate. It's a great view but the trees were a bit in the way of a good photo. I expect that in summer the house is hardly visible at all.

{There's a house in there somewhere......}

The rain started again as we reached the back of the house and the spikes were removed for the last stretch on the now wet and muddy road.

{Dunecht House in the rain}

The Viewranger stats give me 11.8 kms. Really enjoyable - despite the rotten weather and full marks to the Microspikes!

{Final view of the day}


Louise said...

Looks rather good. I love my micro spikes but it's two years since I got to use them.
Probably shouldn't have said that...

Laura said...

It was very dreich by the end - thank goodness for the Paramo!

Nick Bramhall said...

Ah, interesting! I've always wondered whether it was possible to get down to the Loch of Skene when driving past but always thought it all looked rather private. Good to know this isn't the case and I think I might add this to my winter "to do" list when long drives to the big hills don't appeal. I like the wintry shots of the loch!

Laura said...

Hi Nick - Thanks for your comment. The walking was flat and easy. The loch has plenty of bird life and there didn't seem to be any access problems......