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A Cold January Day

A Cold January Day

Postby NeilSACameron » Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:55 pm

Route description: Beachen Wood, Grantown-on-Spey

Date walked: 19/01/2022

Time taken: 2 hours

Distance: 6.6 km

Ascent: 147m

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Weather forecast looked promising for a wee walk in Grantown, and one neither of us (nor the dog) had done before.

Choosing to start our walk on the corner of Seafield Ave and Rhuarden Ct we were not long in passing the Caravan Park and reaching the former Highland Railway bridge arch which marks the start of 23.5 Dava Way to Forres.

The route follows alongside the railway line for a several metres before diverting up the hill. The guide in WalkHighlands is fairly self-explanatory and the sparse but well-placed markers leads the walker up an uneven yet clear path among the thickly wooded slope.

Sadly, the path doesn't appear to be regularly walked with only one (blue) of the three routes still visible. The lack of regular walkers and (apparently) maintenance is all too visible. The wooden footbridge, for example, is no longer there. Although, I can imagine that during spring, summer and early autumn, this is much different walk.

After 40 or so minutes walking we reached a bench and viewpoint looking over Grantown from the very edge of Beachan Wood.
From here it is a relatively easy, sometimes steep drop down vacation to the truck alongside the dismantled railway line and return to the railway arch.

Having followed the WalkHighlands route religiously in the woods we added a detour along the Dava Way and to three viewpoints; a short stretch along the Dava Way before a steep rise not for the feint hearted to the first viewpoint.

For the views alone (even on a now misty January day) this detour is much recommended. Viewpoint 3 is the higher of the three and by far the more spectacular.
After a brief sojourn, lunch and the dog chasing his own ball down the hillside) we ambled down a well trodden turf path back to the Dava Way and back to Grantown.

There is a spectacular cutting shortly before and to the rear of the caravan park with 50/60' high walls. Although no more than 70/100' long, nature has recaptured the walls that must have taken months to hew out of the rock.

Only a short walk but we'll worth it. I'd certainly recommend it to visitors to Grantown (& locals too).

Will be back again, in the summer next time!
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