Grampian an­cients

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - Discover -

Kil­martin Glen in Ar­gyll has more ev­i­dence of Ne­olithic and Bronze Age life than any­where else in Scot­land, with 800 an­cient mon­u­ments in­clud­ing stand­ing stones, cup and ring mark­ings, stone cir­cles and burial cairns. Visit the mu­seum ( www.kil­martin.

org) be­fore your walk.

Time travel for­ward an epoch to the Iron Age and

Dun Dear­dail* and climb a way­marked trail from Glen Ne­vis to the view-laden knoll where a fort once stood, be­fore be­ing de­stroyed by a fire so in­tense it melted rock.

A walk at Cul­lo­den near In­ver­ness takes you to the site of the fi­nal bat­tle of the Ja­co­bite ris­ings, and the last on British soil, in 1746. 1500 men lost their lives, the ma­jor­ity of them Scots fight­ing for Bon­nie Prince Char­lie, and many were buried in mass graves on the moor, where it’s said the heather now won’t grow and the birds won’t sing.

Trace the hoof-prints of an­i­mals and the foot­steps of the men who herded them through the glens and passes to mar­ket in the 18th cen­tury on the re­gion’s drove routes. The Lairig Ghru through the Cairn­gorm mas­sif was one of the busiest, and spectacular too: 19 miles through Bri­tain’s deep­est val­ley, with a climb to over 2700 feet. Walk to the vil­lage of Ari­cho­nan in Knap­dale For­est and you’ll find only ru­ins. In 1848, the laird ordered the vil­lagers off the land so he could graze cash-cow sheep, a bru­tal ac­tion re­peated again and again across Scot­land in the High­land Clear­ances. They ri­oted, some were jailed, but these roof­less houses tell the tale of what hap­pened next.

When the bold kin­dred, in the time long-van­ishd, Con­quer’d the soil and for­ti­fied the keepNo seer fore­told the chil­dren would be ban­ish’d, That a de­gen­er­ate Lord might sheep.” boast his The Cana­dian Boat-Song, Anon

Cas­tle lovers are spoilt for choice. Try Dun­not­tar (be­low) a ru­ined me­dieval fort on a sea-lashed out­crop near Stone­haven; or the fairy­tale tur­rets of Craigievar, said to have in­spired Walt Dis­ney in Cin­derella; or

Bal­moral in the Cairngorms, sum­mer refuge of the Royal fam­ily since Vic­to­ria and Al­bert bought it in 1852.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.