Well of Lecht Mine

I'm forever spending too much of my life on Instagram looking at all these great photographers visiting these amazing places in Scotland, and that's exactly what I was doing one night a couple weekends ago when we were up in Fochabers at the caravan when I spotted someone paying a visit to the Well of Lecht Mine, and it looked awesome just nestled in the hills!

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Glen Clova

A Monday holiday and the sun was shining, that only meant one thing... it was time to go explore! We headed south of Aberdeenshire en route to Glen Clova which is one of the six Angus glens, and we had the intention of heading to the north of the glen to check out Loch Brandy.

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We parked just round the corner from the Glen Clova Hotel and then to get to the start of the route, you have to pass by the right hand side of the hotel and then start your ascent up the hill.

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There had been quite a bit of snow over the last week or so, so we were prepared with jackets and jumpers, but after about half an hour of walking, we were literally down to just wearing t-shirts, it was roasting!

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We even encountered some fresh snow halfway up, but we were fully focussed on reaching Loch Brandy so we could take a seat for a second. Leaving the snow behind, we were sure that we were on the home straight now and would catch a glimpse of Loch Brandy soon, and we weren't wrong!

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Now that we had reached Loch Brandy nestled in the deep corrie with it's impressively steep sides and shattered crags, Emma decided that she wanted to climb up that path which you can see above to reach the summit of the Snub at 2,746ft.

It was windy as hell up here, and the route up the side of the Snub wasn't great, with it being wet and slippery the whole way up, so we found ourselves on all fours at a few points trying to hold on.

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We reached the summit cairn of the Snub which provided some pretty impressive views all around, but with a sh*t load of wind and a hell of a lot of snow incoming, we didn't hang about and made our way around the mountain plateau, passing by Green Hill which stands at 2,854ft and then back down to the base of Loch Brandy.

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Loch Muick

We had literally been trying to get to Loch Muick for three months, but due to work, weather and a bunch of other things, we never got the chance. So with the end of summer pretty much upon us, we decided to try and get out there!

From Aberdeen, getting to Glen Muick is about a 1.5 hour journey, mainly because of the country roads, and then the 7 mile long single lane road which is basically a disaster waiting to happen when there's a car coming the other way. Sadly, you have to navigate this road to get to the Spittal of Glen Muick car park where you get access to Loch Muick, and the nearby Lochnagar.

Our plan of action was to only take a walk around Loch Muick, which can take about 4 hours if you're taking a leisurely stroll. We'll definitely be back to do Lochnagar, hopefully before winter lands!

Heading down the path from the car park, take the left route to Loch Muick and then you'll come to a split where I recommend going around the left side of the Loch if you want to tackle the harder walk first. The right side has a much smoother and flat track where you can get a car down, so we figured it would make more sense to leave this as our route back.

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When you reach the half way point around the left hand side, there's a nice little beach area where you can stop and take in the impressive views of the loch in front, and the waterfalls behind. There's a detour route which you can take to go up round the waterfalls but sadly we missed this trail and didn't notice it until we were a bit of a distance away... I guess it just means we'll have to come back to check it out!

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One of the most impressive features of Loch Muick is the impressive Glas-allt-Shiel house built by Queen Victoria in 1862, and bought by King George VI in 1950. This is where we stopped to grab some lunch and took a wander around the house, and checked out the bothy in the rear part.

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If you don't know what a bothy is, it's basically a basic shelter which is left unlocked and available for anyone to use free of charge. So you can image that these are pretty ideal for hikers who need to get some rest and stay the night.

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A Walk Up Bennachie

Chances are that if you live in Aberdeen or the surrounding Aberdeenshire, then you've walked up Bennachie at least once in your life, whether it be on a school trip, with friends or family, or on a Sunday afternoon when you're trying to rid your hangover from Saturday night.
Bennachie is essentially a range of hills in Aberdeenshire, with several peaks, the highest being Oxen Craig which stands at a height of 1733ft, however, Mither Tap is the most popular due to it being the most visible, and stands at a height of 1699ft. The peaks of Bennachie are not relatively high compared to other peaks within Scotland, but the mountain is very prominent due to it's isolation and relative flatness of the surrounding areas. It can be seen from miles and miles around, even from my living room window!
Anyway, starting at the Bennachie Centre Car Park, we made our way through the lower forest section of the Mither Tap trail, until we reached around the half way point where the trees clear, and the steep stone steps begin. Whether you're going up or down this trail, it's a certain ankle killer, and even worse on a wet day. I certainly didn't remember it being as steep as it was, but maybe I just wasn't as fit as I was when I last walked the trail.
Mither Tap has an Iron Age fort on it's summit, which is a nice treat upon reaching the top. We had just enough time to grab some lunch, take in the surrounding views, and be back on our way down before the rain came in.

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