Friday 8th May 2020
A walk round Ardross during ‘lock-down’ (9.4 miles)
What a strange year and strange time. We are locked down with this Covid 19 pandemic at present. It is good to be able to get out. Those in cities are not so fortunate. We are supposed to go out for an hour but where we live there are so many walks where you meet with with no-one. Today we never met a soul. One or two cars did pass us but that is as near as any human came. We were as socially isolated as we could get.
There are all these new terms in our everyday vocabulary!
We have walked a lot of the parts of this walk but have never done it all as one. We didn’t know how long it would take so we had an early start – before 9.00.
We headed down our road to the B9176 Struie Road. After dropping to Newbridge and toiling up the hill you come to this unusual part of the dyke. The road was very quiet. That is a good part of the ‘lockdown’.
We continued up the Struie Road for a little bit till we came to the turn off for Dublin and headed up. These old ‘Victorian’ iron gates on the old Ardross estate are lovely.
It has been a great year for bluebells.
Modern gates are not nearly as attractive. Maybe people will think so in 100 years time if they last that long. The weather forecast was not good for the day. In fact some rain was forecast but we never got it. You can see the clouds are right down.
Our lovely Highland scenery is blotted by pylons and wind turbines.
But it is Spring or early Summer. We stopped and had a wee picnic here. There are so many lambs just now.
This is near the entrance to the Ardross estate just below Dublin. It is a lovely curved bridge.
This is the entrance to the estate. Here is a link so some information about the castle and estate.
I love the old photo on the ‘Heritage’ page.
The church was built by C. W. Dyson Perrins of Lea & Perrins (Worcester sauce) fame after his wife recovered from serious illness. It is a lovely wee church. I think it is to be used as a community hall instead of a place of worship. How sad.
Hawthorn is lovely.
The old Post-Office.
Just beyond Dublin is the new Ardross Distillery. Old Ardross Mains Farm was falling into wreck and ruin. I am no consumer of alcohol but the place has been completely renovated and made into a distillery. They have done the most amazing job. It is so in keeping. It retains an old world feel. The buildings have been superbly refurbished and the whole place is very attractive.
Not far beyond the distillery is the path that joins the two valleys and heads over to Lealty. It is some time since we have been on this path.
The track comes down to this bridge over the Averon River.
The leaning tree of ‘Pisa’.
And then climbs up to Lealty and onto our road, the Boath Road.
You get a good view of Ardross Castle.
Looking back to the distillery.
This is what greets you now at Lealty Lodge. It wasn’t here when we last did this walk. Is it for mobile phones?
And just a wee bit further there is this. Things keep changing and not for the better.
Ready to head down Lealty Brae. I love the whins in April and early May.
Wester Lealty. The trees have been cleared and you get a lovely view of the farm. It is a very tidy palce being used for horses now.
We stopped at the bridge at the bottom of Lealty Brae so Anne could get something to eat. She runs out of energy. I am like an inverted camel. I have a hump at the front and can live off the fat!
Then we headed down the Boath Road.
Here is the view from a mile from the house looking out to the Cromarty Firth.
We had taken our lunch with us but got home by 12.30 so we never ate it. A great morning during this strange time.
I retire at the summer and it is such a strange way to end my career. I teach from home via my computer. Well it is not teaching as most of my pupils are treating it as a holiday and very few are engaging with work. I do look forward till the ‘lockdown’ is lifted and I can go off on the scooter. I thought I should put one new travel story on my web pages, though our travel is restricted to just a few miles.