Tap o' Noth and Glenbuchat Castle
by RicKamila » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:07 pm
Route description: Tap o' Noth, near Rhynie
Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Tap o'Noth
Date walked: 04/09/2012
Time taken: 1.5 hours
Distance: 4.5 km
Ascent: 303m8 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Waking up early to glorioius blue skies over Aberdeen, I (Rick) decided to head out to a marvellous Sub 2000, the Tap o' Noth. Leaving Aberdeen at 8:45am, I was at the carpark at 9:45 and set off five minutes later. It was windy, very windy.
I noticed a few changes since the last visit. Firstly, the boggy area at the start was now soft grass and quite nice to walk on. The "Beware of the Bull" sign has also gone from the start, but the stile remains. As I started climbing, I could see that the farmer has been busy and has put in two brand new gates, although the springs are a little stiff and the door WILL hit you hard if you let go too early.
I stopped to take a couple of photos in the early morning light of the Buck of Cabrach and the wonderful Tap o' Noth.
Even at this low level I was being buffeted by the wind and considered just heading back to the car, but I decided to carry on as I knew I would have the hill to myself. Following the 4x4 track along the fence, I turned at the end and started climbing up along the edge of the plantation in the next field. Eventually I reached another new gate, and stopped to look around at the changes that have happened since I last visited. All the forestry has been removed from the field below the Tap o' Noth and is now a giant field. The fences have been re-alligned and the new gates have been installed.
Starting the main part of the climb with the wind hitting me on my left hand side, I found myself starting to struggle, but after a quick drink and a chocolate brownie, I got my second-wind (pardon the pun) and set off again, this time with the wind at my back pushing me up the hill. I stopped halfway along to try and capture a Bristow Helicopter that was passing very close to the hill and very low, but couldn't get the camera out of my bag in time and it carried on flying towards Inverness. Seeing as I had the camera out, I took some photos of the surrounding area.
I set off again, with the wind feeling even stronger at this higher level and eventually rounded the corner and escaped the wind. I found an O/S map has been installed as a viewfinder and shows you the area up to 50km away. With the wind, low sun and haze, I worked out I could see 25km away.
I headed back into the wind to reach the summit and left my bag in the safe confines of the hill fort and staggered across to the trig point. I tried to stand long enough to get some photos, but the wind was too strong, so I stopped for a bite to eat. Eventually I caught a lull in the wind and took some summit photos.
My plan if the day had been less windy was to stay up on the summit for a couple of hours and hopefully catch some RAF Lossiemouth aircraft as they flew past, but the wind put pay to that, so I headed straight back down again, passing a couple of ladies with their dogs on the way up and advising them of how windy it was up there.
As I was heading back to the car, I decided I would go and have a look at nearby Glenbuchat Castle. It's free to enter and you park in the carpark signed just off the A944, which is also the starting point for the Glenbuchat Ridge walk. I had the castle to myself. You can head right to the very top, and I recommend if you are on your own heading down the spiral staircase into the dark cellar... quite spooky, especially on a windy day!!
by jobee » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:00 pm
- Posts: 9
- Joined: Apr 19, 2013
by RicKamila » Sat Aug 24, 2013 9:34 pm
jobee wrote:I just looked at the Historic Scotland website and the castle is closed until at least 2015 due to unsafe masonry - but still going to do the walk as it looks wonderful
Was there at the start of the month. Access to the castle grounds is still available and there is a sign on the front gate warning that the castle is closed. The windows and door at lower levels are all blocked off. There is a sign warning about the unstable masonry and some chainlink fencing around part of the wall.
Glenbuchat Castle by CullenEllermanPhotography, on Flickr
by ChrisW » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:35 am
by RicKamila » Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:12 pm
ChrisW wrote:Now that is a little belter RK, love that supplemental pic above
I love that supplemental pic too
by litljortindan » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:07 pm
by Sarah86 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:15 pm
by RicKamila » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:47 pm
litljortindan wrote:A fine hill and report. See this most mornings on a skyline of Millstone, Bennachie and The Buck. Ok, not the grandest mountains on earth but they are the locals and should be supported so well done to you for that! I just enjoy being able to pick out each hill during my morning drive and recall walks on each. Like having some sort of giant photo album spread out across the horizon. Or possibly not.
I love knowing the names of the smaller hills when driving around Aberdeenshire. Such a marvellous region and so scenic in its own way
Sarah86 wrote:Wonderful photos as always, I do enjoy these slightly smaller hill walks as an enjoyable afternoon out.
Thanks Sarah. I need to head up there again when they have a military excercise like they have on at the moment as RAF jets and helicopters buzz either side of the hill. Thats an enjoyable afternoon for me
by rockhopper » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:22 pm