Friday 17th January 2020

A walk to Ardoch (5.3 miles)

The school day now finishes at 1.10 on a Friday. This gives a wee bit of time. It’s 2020, the year I will retire so I’m not going to need this for much longer. I am trying to get walks in when I can in as I’m not cycling to school at present. This walk to three ruined cottages is wonderful. It’s only recently I’ve done it calling at all three cottages. I’ve often been to them individually, maybe cottage 3 not so much.

I had my lunch and then walked a mile up the road. 

This is Charlie’s tree. He always touched the tree root, so I do the same. I hope I’m not getting a bit superstitious. It is almost exactly one mile from the house.

About 1.7 miles from the house is this nice wee waterfall that flows from a gloomy wee loch just behind it. It is very hard to get at the loch now as the old track has becomes so overgrown. The rain had come on and I was getting a bit wet. I decided to go on to the where the track cuts off from the Boath road and see what it was like then before deciding if I chicken out and go home. I don’t enjoy walking in the rain.

There is a wee bit of snow up here.

The track into the forest goes off to the left here almost 2 miles from the house. The rain was easing so I decided to keep going. It soon went off. Good decision.

And just a wee bit on at this cross roads we bear right. Going straight ahead would go to cottage number 2.

The track climbs and there are views out to Lealty through the trees.

The track here was bulldozed for the vehicles that check the powerlines taking electricity from Novar Windfarm.

When we came here when the children were young the track going down to join the track from Boath wasn’t there. I vaguely recollect it being very green and a gate. Cottage 3 is not far from here and the track going left heads there.

Cottage 3 is starting to show at the top of Ardoch.

But you have to wriggle under the barbed wire fence. A bit more tricky as you get older. The fallen tree doesn’t help.

But what a place to live up here at Ardoch. The sad thing is that we remember there still being roofs on these cottages.

Who sat by these firesides on a cold winter evening? There are no electricity lines going to any of the cottages.

And now heading down to the next cottage, number 2. (I number them from the bottom up, the one nearest home is cottage 1).

It is so civil coming down this lovely park like grass. Cottage 2 is just ahead to the left.

Looking through to Ardross.

Looking back to cottage 3.

And now I’ve reached cottage 2. I can remember taking the children upstairs in this one.

This must be the staircase we went up.

There is the remains of an old barn.

I love the way that huge stones were incorporated into the structure. The same is true of the old cottage (bothy) at our neighbours.

Heading to cottage 1 in the group of trees ahead.

You cross this beautiful ford to get to cottage 1. This area is now Baddans.

We went upstairs in this one as well many years ago. It is just so sad. Although it is stunning countryside and these cottages are lovely as they are, there is a real sadness.

The ground is a bit rougher now to get to the track in the forest. It is where these power lines go into the forest, so navigation is easy.

This picture shows all three cottages. It must have been the most amazing place to live. Were there families with children who ran across to play with each other? Did they walk over to Ardross to church on Sunday? No one knows.

Looking back from the edge of the forest.

There is a deer watch tower as you get into the forest. I always have to go up it.

Looking down at my gloves.

But it is too damp and too cold to hang about. Then its just a short way along the track and at the junction you go left.

Which takes you to the gate just beyond Charlie’s tree. It is such a lovely walk. Just a mile to get back home. The rain came back on but not too heavily.