Bennachie

Having moved to Inverurie we’re now much closer to Bennachie, a set of forests and hills managed by the Forestry Commission. Rather enthusiastically, we’ve visited Bennachie Centre two weekends in a row now.

The visitor centre has plenty of information, kids’ activities, a great wildlife viewing section, and a stunning tapestry at the entrance.
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The first weekend Gareth and I went up the main hill, Mither Tap, following the ‘Mither Tap Timeline Trail’. We’ve been up this way a few years ago, and I found it pretty arduous – there were tears. I can handle a steep incline, but I’m not great with steps or ‘steppy’ rock paths, particularly when it’s above the treeline. Other people seem to whizz up and down like they’re on a flat road, and don’t even get me started on the runners who were literally running and hopping down the high, uneven trail…I felt very nervous for them, but they didn’t seem bothered as they went on their merry way.

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This time though, I was armed with walking poles, which I highly recommend! What a difference it makes, having those extra points of contact, and that little bit more confidence going from one step to the next.

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Gareth using a compass app to work out where our house was

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Finally, we got almost to the very top, but not quite the summit – the final bit is a little too much of a climb for us, and it gets really windy up there, so this is as far as we got. Not even walking poles can help with this. Perhaps with a little more ‘practice’ we’ll eventually work our way up there.
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Then, last weekend our friends Sam and Joules came to stay, and we went for a walk around the Colony Trail – no walking poles required for this one.

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View of Mither Tap

There was plenty to see, on a pleasant Spring day.

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Chaffinch

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Wood anemone Arctic starflower / chickweed wintergreen

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Bluebells

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Ultra yellow broom

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A pretty weed of some sort

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Mossy walls

There are many more trails around the hills and forests of Bennachie, and no doubt Gareth and I will become more familiar with these ‘neighbours’.

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