A right Royal walk through Deeside

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Loch Muick in Royal Deeside was the venue for the latest walk by the Mearns 50+ Group, and what a walk that turned out to be!

On Tuesday 3 September, 22 members gathered at the car-park at Spittal of Glen Muick before setting off in two groups.

Five chose the less arduous route and set off round the loch in an anti-clockwise direction, while the main group of seventeen opted for the clockwise trek.

The first part of the clockwise route is along a land-rover track then, nearer the head of the loch, the route is over a very rocky, narrow path, criss-crossed by little streams.

It is always a relief to reach the open sandy area at the top of the loch. This, in turn, leads to a small wood which shelters the impressive Glas-allt Shiel house built by Queen Victoria. It was in this wood that the two groups met for lunch before setting off on the final part of the walk.

This part was again on a land-rover track, and who did they meet, but the Queen herself, driving a Range-rover! Apparently she was going to Glas-allt Shiel for a picnic. Dave Shaw, the walk leader, spoke to a couple who had passed the lodge slightly earlier and had seen Princess Anne, who spoke to them.

Very little was seen in the way of wildlife on this walk, but 3 herons were reported. On the first part of the walk, although it was a fine day, there was a slight rain in the breeze, and this presumably led to a rather unusual rainbow sighting.

We all tend to think of rainbows as being “in the sky”; this one, however, was not. Both ends appeared to rise out of the water in the loch, and the arch was seen against a backdrop of hills, so no part of it appeared “in the sky”.

Loch Muick is reputedly about two miles long, but the entire walk round the loch and back to the car park was about 8 miles.

‘Footsore’