Friday, 25 March 2016


Lossiemouth → Findhorn

covesea-lighthouse.jpg Distance: 18.47 miles
Ascent: 314 metres
Duration: 5 hours 52 minutes

The Furthest North
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This is the furthest north I've ever been in this country. Over the week it's been a delight to look across the Moray Firth and see the indistinct shapes of the Caithness coastline become clearer. It's hard to believe that there, a little further north and a smidgen to the east, our island finally comes to a stop. But that's next year's walking.

We walked on the beach from Lossie to Covesea, regaining the cliffs at the last opportunity just after rounding the lighthouse. The clear skies, the path through the fragrant gorse and the rock stacks just off the shore made the stretch past Hopeman a classic.

Somewhere hereabouts it's allegedly possible to drop down to a cave with 1,500 year-old Pictish carvings. I regret walking on by; it's another place for us to revisit.

More accessible — in fact, right beside the path at Covesea Quarry — is a collection of stones that are said to show dinosaur footprints. The explanatory board had long-since vanished so we were left squinting at the boulders, trying to work out the scale of what we were supposed to be looking at. (Dinosaurs were big, right? So we should be looking for claws the size of large dinner plates?) It felt like a case of the Emperor's New Clothes.

burghead.jpgSoon we were in Burghead, another delightful village with a very enthusiastic team of volunteers at the fort museum. We were the first visitors of the season and they were keen to show us everything. We promised to return in the summer. Outside the wind was dramatically chopping the sea into huge chunks which it threw at the harbour wall with force. Yes, the summer: it should be different then.

pab-em-burghead.jpgJust like yesterday's, today's walk finished with a long stretch of forest-backed beach. But instead of walking on the beach all the way we left Burghead on the "Burma Road" path that meanders through the trees. This was a good move because once past the picnic site in the middle of the woods we wound up on the sand and by the time we reached Findhorn village we'd had quite enough of that terrain!

metal-cross.jpgBut just before dropping down off the dunes we came across a sight that arrested me. Two pieces of metal — perhaps an old fence — planted in the sand, one vertical, the other attached horizontally a third of the way down the first: a simple cross. It is Good Friday after all.

Posted by pab at 17:13 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!