TUESDAY 10TH FEBRUARY, 2009
BANFF TO PORTSOY – 10MILES, 3.5 HOURS
MORRIS, PHIL AND DOUGLAS
TOTAL DISTANCE WALKED SO FAR 365.2 MILES
Today was our first walk of 2009 and Phil and I were joined by Douglas for his first taste of coastal walking. A three day trip was planned this time and we set of at 0700 from Edinburgh for the long drive north to Elgin where we would leave the car and catch a bus to Banff. Weather and driving condition were bad with plenty snow on route and as a result we missed our planned bus connection from Elgin to Banff. We eventually arrived in Banff and set of walking at about 1400. There was a slight covering of snow as we made our way to the harbour where we followed the minor road beside the sea through Scotstown and onto Boyndie Bay where we walked through the caravan site. From here we walked on a very good macadamised path round Knock Head to Whitehills. On leaving Whitehills the good path ended and we walked on a grass path close to the sea passed Stake Ness and Whyntie Head to Boyne Bay where we met our first obstacle of the day. A narrow but deep and fast flowing river (apparently called Burn of Boyne) runs out into the sea at this point and although a bridge is shown on the map it crosses the river at the entrance to a working quarry. There are large gates located on the west side of the bridge which, fortunately, as the quarry was operating, were open and we walked through unchallenged making our way up the hillside towards Cowhythe Head and on round the edge of the fields to East Head. At this point the snow that had been threatening all afternoon started to fall heavily and we walked on briskly finding a good path on the east side of Links Bay into Portsoy via Seatown. Our accommodation for the night the Station Hotel was a short walk into the town centre.
Summary; The first coastal walk when we have had snow. In general good walking conditions. A few uphill scrambles where no paths were clearly visible. If this route was walked on a day when the gates of the quarry at Boyne Bay were closed a detour via minor road and the B9139 would have to be made. Map required.
Highs; A new experience in the snow and some lovely views.
Lows; The long journey north making today’s walk a short one.
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