Dark sky, autumn colours and a remarkable man

Route: Aviemore to Kincraig

Date walked: 08/11/2018

Distance: 11km

We left the car in Aviemore and took the bus to Kincraig. Getting off a bit north of the turning into the village, we were immediately struck by the brightness of the sun against the dark sky in the west.



Three days before the centenary of the end of WW1 the war memorial was bare.

Perhaps the poppies came later

Rural bus stop

We turned down the road signed for Kincraig and walked as far as the village shop, now closed, and crossed the road to a grassy viewpoint with a seat. Loch Insh is visible from here but not much of it.

Geal-charn and glimpse of Loch Insh

We then retraced our steps to turn right along a side road that led to what was the home of an old friend, Stephen Anderson, who died 20 years ago on the ski slopes in France. He was an accomplished skiier (who had tried to improve my own rather poor technique) and it wasn't anything to do with skiing that took him. Before moving north he was a sheep farmer in Perthshire and used to joke that he had a Munro on his land which he'd never gone to the top of because he had no need to. He had dogs to do that.

Passing the house made me think of the morning we stopped here, on our way from Dundee to Ullapool to catch the ferry to Stornoway. I remember his wife Joy had made scones which were fresh out of the oven and how taken I was with their well behaved labrador, Midge. They gave us such a warm welcome. That was the last time we saw Stephen. The next time we were in Kincraig (a few months later) was for his funeral. He is buried beside the tiny white church that overlooks Loch Insh. An interesting and remarkable man whose book "Mussels at Midnight" is worth reading.

Former home of Capt Stephen Anderson

The road turns into a track which we followed until a signed right turn into woodland, an excellent path suitable for cyclists if they don't mind a bit of up and downhill in the mix.



When we came to a right fork going uphill we took it which meant at that point we were on part of the Badenoch Way that follows a wooded ridge running parallel to the SSW. This was a slightly rougher path, but worth it for the views over the River Spey and SE towards the hills of Glen Feshie.

River Spey


Dark sky

Blue sky


This path soon reconects with the main path and once back on the SSW we continued north, passing the houses of Speybank on our right and then the wooden lodges of the Dalraddy campsite on our left.


Despite being well into November the trees were holding on to their autumn colours and we took far too many photos.





Hills SW of Aviemore and a lone house on other side of railway

View towards high point of Craigellachie

We could see the Duke of Gordon monument on its vantage point on our right and the ridge of Meall a' Bhuachaille (shepherd's ridge) ahead.

Sheep grazing in the shelter of the shepherd's ridge

Dusting of snow on Cairngorm

We passed the minor road up to the Youth Hostel and car park for Craigellachie, a nature reserve that is home to the peregrine falcon and would be a good addition to this route for those who have time. I was there a few weeks earlier when the autumn colours were beautifully reflected in the two Craigellachie lochans.

Craigellachie reflections



Back in Aviemore all we had to do was dip into a cafe for a quick lunch before picking up the car and heading home. An excellent morning's walk.

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Comments: 3

Glorious autumn, harvest and ospreys

Attachment(s) Date walked: 17/10/2018
Distance: 18km
Comments: 2
Views: 411

Thanks to pal for braving the odds for this one

Attachment(s) Munros: Ben More
Date walked: 10/10/2018
Distance: 12km
Comments: 8
Views: 984

A good first for grandsons and a great trio for me

Attachment(s) Munros: Carn Ghluasaid, Sail Chaorainn, Sgurr nan Conbhairean
Date walked: 08/09/2018
Distance: 17.5km
Comments: 6
Views: 740

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Attachment(s) Corbetts: Breabag
Date walked: 04/09/2018
Comments: 10
Views: 832

Blooming marvellous with fungus, heather & metal sculptures

Attachment(s) Date walked: 27/08/2018
Distance: 9km
Views: 342

1, 2

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Attachment(s) Munros: An Riabhachan, An Socach (Mullardoch)
Date walked: 07/07/2018
Distance: 29km
Comments: 17
Views: 1861

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Attachment(s) Munros: Beinn Iutharn Mhor
Date walked: 23/06/2018
Distance: 30km
Comments: 5
Views: 880

1, 2

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Attachment(s) Munros: Binnein Mor
Date walked: 29/05/2018
Distance: 17km
Comments: 19
Views: 1715

1, 2

Journey's end.... and great result for Mountain Rescue

Attachment(s) Date walked: 02/05/2018
Distance: 25km
Comments: 15
Views: 1090


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