Once again, we were lucky with the weather: Tuesday June 23 was a nice sunny day but a breeze kept it from being overly warm.
25 of us met in the car-park at the top of Glenesk.
16 chose the longer walk, and our route took us across the bridge over the Burn of Branny, past Lochlee Parish Church and across another bridge, this time over the Water of Mark. I had always assumed that the river which flowed from Loch Lee was the River North Esk, but not so; it is the Water of Lee. The North Esk is formed where the Water of Mark joins with the Water of Lee, not very far from the car-park.
The next landmark on our way was the imposing Invermark Castle with no door at ground level. The arched doorway is on the first floor and was reached by a movable stair (a ladder?). As we continued, we could see the House of Mark over on our right. Soon Loch Lee was in sight, with a ruined church close by. The group on the shorter walk stopped for a look at the graveyard there, but we made our way along the side of the loch. It was a lovely walk, but other than the hills and the loch, there was nothing particularly remarkable about it.
At the head of the loch, a road goes off to the left, to Inchgrundle, a gey isolated place to live. We kept to the right however and soon came to a lovely boarded-up house; it was here also, that things started to become interesting. First, some of the walkers found a baby bird – possibly a water hen – hiding in a nearly-dry burn. Then, great excitement, as an adder was spotted on the dyke nearby. It didn’t linger long for us to admire it, but slithered away into the stones of the dyke. There or thereabouts also, a cuckoo was heard.
Our destination was a wooden bridge a bit further on, and there we stopped for a lunch break, looking over to the Falls of Unich. After lunch, some of us decided that we would like to continue on to the Falls; some chose to start the return journey instead. The path to the falls was a mere track, not always very clear, sometimes rather wet, and a bit further than it looked! However, once we got there, it was a lovely spot. Taking a slight detour, we made our way back to the wooden bridge, and thence, back the way we had come.
The walk to the Falls of Unich and back was more than 8 miles, while the journey to the wooden bridge and back was fully 6. Along the way, we heard and saw several birds; in the burn, there were tadpoles at various stages of development; and there was a rich assortment of wild flowers, including pink wild orchids.
The next walk will be on Tuesday July 7, starting beside the Bowling Green in Newtyle. As you approach Newtyle, from the Glamis side, the Bowling Green is on your right, at the start of the village. The minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.