Date - Sat 28/05/2011
Title - Forres - Grant Park, Nelsons Tower & Sanquhar Loch
Route - Circuit from Orchard Rd to Grant Park, up hill to Nelsons Tower then down and W to Sanquhar Loch before returning to start.
Weather - Sunshine & showers
People - Me
Time - 1h 20m
Distance - 3.4km
Ascent - 100m
Born and brought up in Forres, I've visited these places more times than I can remember. As a child and teenager we spent a lot of time climbing in the trees around Sanquhar, mountain biking down from Nelsons Tower, and lots of Football in Grant Park. Living out of town now I don't visit them much so thought I'd have a wander round them once more a couple of weeks ago as an alternative to facing the ferocious weather on the hills this weekend.
The walkhighlands route makes a bigger circuit further East out of town also taking in Muiry Woods and Chapelton, but for this walk I did a shorter one only visiting Grant Park, Nelsons Tower and Sanquhar Pond.
Mosset duck pond
Leaving the open park, the path goes up Cluny Hill to Nelsons tower. Seemed like a massive hill when I was a kid- it's about 90m high
There's a network of paths that lead in different directions throughout the woods. Just keep heading up hill and soon enough Nelsons Tower (70ft high) is reached
No flag flying today- and that usually means the tower is also shut to visitors. Opening times and further detail: http://www.moray.gov.uk/moray_standard/page_626.html
It was built as a memorial to Nelson following his victory in Spain. Moray council have a leaflet explaining the history in more detail http://www.moray.gov.uk/downloads/file978.pdf
Nelson's Tower, situated on the top of Cluny Hill, Forres, was built as a memorial to Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson in 1806.
After his victory over Napoleon's fleet at Cape Trafalgar in Spain, 21st October 1805, Nelson became a national hero. Nelson was killed during the battle and various memorials were set up around the country, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London and Nelson's Monument on Carlton Hill, Edinburgh.
In 1806, the community of Forres began building its own memorial tower to Nelson on Cluny Hill. Designed as a monument to departed heroism, it was paid for through subscription which was organised by prominent members of the community. Approximately £610 was raised from 269 subscribers.
A few pics from the top of the tower on a different day:
W over Forres
N to Findhorn bay
Back to today- there's a bench at the base of the tower with an opening in the trees giving some nice views.
Findhorn Bay, and across the Moray Firth to Cromarty (or possibly the hills near Helmsdale in the background- I'm not sure).
Fact about Cluny Hill- They used to roll witches down the hill inside a barrel full of spikes, before burning them at the bottom. http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/15807/details/the+witches+stone/
I made my way down SE from the tower, skirting round a crater in the ground known as "Devils Pit"- I forget why and can't find anything on it.
Knowing all the shortcuts around here, I took this one down to join the path leading to Devils Pit
Some massive trees
As the trees are in their summer clothes it's hard to see down, but these pics are from the top about 20m above the Devils Pit
I carried on through the woods SW eventually leaving them and joining St Leonards Rd
Directly across the road you pick up the path leading down to Sanquhar Pond
Pic from 2007
Ducks, swans and other birds can often be seen nesting on the island in the middle
Buckfast bottle- Stretch must have been in the area
From Sanquhar it's a 10 min walk past Roysvale Park back to the centre of Forres
Rainbow at the train station