THE SHIRE // Walking the Glen Tanar Estate

24.7.17

Chapel of St Lesmo, Glen Tanar Estate

In the midst of Royal Deeside, on the east of the Cairngorms National Park, lies the 25,000 acre Glen Tanar Estate. Originally established in 1865, today's estate includes pine forests and heather hills, working farmland, holiday cottages, a Victorian ballroom, the pretty little Chapel of St Lesmo and miles of beautiful walking trails.

It was because of these trails that I found myself out in Glen Tanar a few weeks ago now. Hopping in the minibus and heading out into the Aberdeenshirre countryside, my fellow walking group participants and I were met by Mike, the Estate's ranger. 

A treasure chest of information, Mike led us on a circuitous walking route over Baudy Meg, stopping off to impart his knowledge on both the Estate and its resident creepy-crawlies. Starting near the Chapel, we learned of both its history and its current popularity for intimate weddings; we walked upwards to the newly built viewing platform; learned about millipedes, spiders and capercaillies; paused to eat some lunch and smell some juniper berries (but sadly not drink any gin!); climbed uphill where we heard the Haunted Stag's tale and took in views all the way to Bennachie; before descending back to the bus, with a little detour to see a badger's sett or two along the way!

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Viewing platform - Glen Tanar Estate walk

Capercaillie sign - Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Mike the ranger - creepy crawlies - Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Juniper - Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Glen Tanar Estate walk

Chapel of St Lesmo - Glen Tanar Estate walk

All in all, another beautiful local walk - long, but not too taxing - with some amazing Aberdeenshire views!

I never made it out again with the walking group, unfortunately, but I'm so glad I was able to participate in these few. We live in a beautiful part of the world and these activities are such perfect reminders to pause and appreciate it!

xo

TAG! // 20 Things You Didn't Know About Me

22.7.17

Laura Whispering - 20 Things You Didn't Know About Me


Quite some time ago now, the lovely Denise - over at The Life of Dee - tagged me in the '20 Things You Didn't Know About Me' series. Ignoring the fact I'm a little slow on the uptake, here are twenty utterly fascinating (#sarcasm) facts you may or may not already know about me..


1. I spent my entire childhood - until the age of 18 - in the Aberdeenshire town of Peterhead. (You might well know this, but a lot of people don't believe it because I have no trace of a Doric accent!) 


2. My dad is English and my mum is Scottish, though neither is originally from the area where they now live.


3. I was obsessed with swimming as a child - I was probably in the pool four or five days a week and competed for the local amateur team. For a short time, I was one of those mad teenagers who got up early to swim before school. 


4. You might know I'm vegetarian, but you probably don't know that I originally only became one because I hated the texture of meat! It's now been 14 years since I last ate meat and my ethics have been moving in a far more vegetarian direction ever since.


5. I have a 4 year old nephew who's pretty much my favourite person on the planet. (You might not know this because his very wise parents have never put his face on the internet.)


6. I have two small tattoos: the Hebrew word 'Timshel' ('Thou Mayest') on my left wrist and the Swahili word 'Matumaini' ('Hope') inside my right elbow. 


7. I was 20 years old before I ever boarded a plane. My very first trip outside the U.K. was to Tanzania.


8. I started second year of secondary school with both my arms in plaster cast after falling whilst roller-blading. Talk about humiliating!


9. I've been a Christian since I was 17. Jesus is awesome.


10. Most of my childhood summers were spent holidaying in St Andrews and Fife's East Neuk as my grandma lived there. (The cottage she lived in throughout most of that time has just been converted into a gin distillery!)


11. I have a degree from Aberdeen University... without having ever set foot in Aberdeen University!


12. Before I was born, my parents almost picked the name Lori for me instead of Laura. (If you know my surname, you might figure out why I'm relieved that changed!)  


13. Solo is my favourite way to travel abroad - perhaps ironic for someone so anxious and introverted!


14. It still annoys me to this day that, had I received one more mark on my Graphics Communication portfolio, my school Standard Grade results would have been a run of straight grade 1s. Gutting!


15. At 18 years old I moved to Prestwick and lived there on my own - in the same wee flat - for almost four years.


16. I have a ridiculous list of foods I can't eat without feeling poorly: banana, Quorn, pineapple, melon, anything containing gluten, eggs and related dishes like quiche, mayonnaise, omelettes... On top of being vegetarian, it's great fun!


17. In spite of living here all my life, I've only visited a handful of Scottish islands: Skye, Arran, Cumbrae and the Isle of May. I'm on a mission to rectify this, with Mull and Iona my next stops!


18. I failed my driving test the first time round and cried all the way home from the test centre. I hated learning to drive, but now wouldn't be without it.  


19. I have never ever been drunk or had a hangover. I didn't have my first real alcoholic drink until I was 21.


20. My usual coffee order is a flat white - dairy free, if possible. I'd quite like one now, please!  


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I'd like to tag Christy of Dinner Stories to go next, but consider yourself tagged if you'd like to join in too! 

xo