Mearns Walking Group - Brechin to Burghill

Mearns Walking Group
Mearns Walking Group

“Rain, rain, go away! represented the feelings of the 18 members of the Mearns 50+ Group, as they gathered at Brechin Leisure Centre car-park on Tuesday, October 28. There had been a lot of rain overnight so everything was very wet, and it was still raining.

As usual, the group divided into two, with four people opting for the shorter walk. This group set off to St Ninian’s Square to see the Fox-Maule memorial and the new statue of Robert Watson-Watt, the Brechin man credited with developing radar. (Did you know that Watson-Watt was a descendant of James Watt, who invented the steam engine?) From the square the four then walked up Southesk Street and Trinity Road to where the Brechin Town circuit crosses the road.

Mearns Walking Group

Mearns Walking Group

A left turn there took them past the current High School which is due to be replaced with a new 鼎ommunity School As an ex-pupil of Brechin High I find it hard to believe that his relatively new building needs to be replaced. The 登ldHigh School which I attended is still in use as Maisondieu Primary School. It was built to last! Their route continued across North Latch Road and past Dubton Farm then out to the Castle Garden Centre where they had lunch. After that it was back to Brechin via the Cathedral and its environs.

The main group started by turning left off Bridge Street, and following the Skinner’s Burn trail to the Cathedral then heading out the Aberlemno road. Shortly after Stannochy, we turned left on to a grassy path, sign-posted Rough Moss, and started climbing. The path crossed the Aberlemno Burghill road and continued upwards to the Aldbar road which we followed for about 100 yards, then turned left.

A short path took us into some woodland where we turned right. The beech trees here looked truly magnificent. The leaves were shades of green, yellow and gold, and the rain had accentuated the dark and light greys on the trunks.

A left turn at the top saw us on a wider track (Rough Moss) and quite close to the towers and dishes of Brechin Satellite Earth Station which is an integral part of the national telecommunications network. Between them, the three satellite dishes connect to North Sea oil platforms, mainland Europe, Africa and South America.

Our track stretched ahead of us, as far as we could see, and when we joined the road from Middle Drums, it was still straight on until we reached what I call the Burghill road. From there, you can turn left and head back to Brechin, or you can turn right as we did, and head slightly uphill until you reach a track on the left. It is sign-posted but is not immediately visible. The track took us down the edge of Burghill Wood. We passed two marker stones, both with a P facing us and a S on the reverse. Apparently the P stands for Panmure and the S for Southesk, and these had marked the boundaries of the two estates.

At a bend in the path, there were the remains of a brick building which we took to be some sort of water works. Then we came to the most spectacular part of the walk: more beech trees and a carpet of fallen leaves. You had to see it to appreciate it! Near the end of the wood, we passed the remains of a house where, legend has it, a postie got stuck up the chimney. We won’t go into details of why he had to hide in a chimney when the man of the house came home!

Across the Arbroath road, we took the road to Dalgety Farm, then made our muddy way alongside the river back to Brechin. River Street in Brechin has been closed to traffic for several weeks, but we were able to walk along it. The river (South Esk) was quite high and very fast flowing. We saw lots of branches and even a small tree go past.

A short walk took us back to our starting point. We had covered about 5 miles. The rain stopped about mid-day and we dried out nicely before going home. The route we followed was the Burghill Circuit, which is detailed very clearly on the Brechin Path Network leaflet. It was clearly signed throughout.

The next walk will be on Tuesday November 11 2014, Forfar Loch to Balmashanner Tower. Starting point will be Forfar Leisure Centre car-park. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.