Our last walk of the year was on Tuesday, December 23, when around 20 of us gathered outside the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk.
This was to be a walk close to home.
From the car-park, we made our way to the High Street, and crossed over to Charter Lane; a little way down we turned right and it looked as if we were going to go to a private house, but no; keeping left, we passed through a little gate and into what is commonly referred to as Double Dykes.
Nowadays this is perhaps a bit of a misnomer, as there was a wooden fence on one side, instead of a dyke, but that’s splitting hairs! The last bit does have double dykes, and by gum they are quite close together - one of them at quite an angle!
Coming out of that narrow lane, we found ourselves on Conveth Park, beside what is still referred to – by the older generation at least - as Dr Buchan’s house. Then it was Station Road, and Market Road, across Blackiemuir Avenue and along Railway Road.
Many of the new developments in Laurencekirk have lovely names, based on local people or places, but isn’t there something solid about names like Station Road, Market Road and Railway Road.
Our route took us eventually to Denlethen Woods. We went in a little way, then the group split so that those who wished to do a shorter walk could continue to walk round the wood before returning to Laurencekirk.
The main group however took a path off to the right which led us on to a track through a field with clear views over to the hills. Here my geography failed me: although I have lived in the Laurencekirk area all my life, there are farms and buildings which are not seen from the roads along which I travel, and I couldn’t identify what they were. Thankfully Kathleen Shaw was on hand to keep me right.
We looked across to Waterside of Thornton but walked past Waterside of Newton then followed the course of the Luther Water (hence the farm names) before turning left to Burnroot. Burnroot is down in a hollow and we walked around and above it on the edge of a field, then made for a belt of trees where we had a lunch stop.
Next we made our way past Oatyhill, but instead of heading straight back to Laurencekirk, we turned left at Oatyhill bridge and went down into Denlethen woods again. The old Curling pond (last used for curling in 1939) has been greatly restored and improved, to make a Wildlife pond; on that particular day, we saw no wildlife, but the trees were very clearly reflected in the water.
So, all in all, a bracing walk on a beautiful day; lovely clear views but no sign of any wildlife: a brilliant way to end the year! May I take this opportunity on behalf of the members of the 50+ group, to thank all those who plan and organise these walks for us. We are very grateful.
The next walk – the first of 2015 - will be on Tuesday, January 6, from Montrose to Hillside via Borrowfield, then out to Charleton. Starting point will be the car-park at the Curlie. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.