Walking with the Moray RamblersPosted: February 18, 2012
When I first moved to Aberdeenshire, I thought that it would be easy to find a walking group. It turned out to be a little more difficult than I expected, and I ultimately joined a group over in Elgin. Over the years, they have made me feel very welcome, and I would recommend them to anyone in the Moray area.
This post is about some of the places in the north of Scotland that I have visited with the Ramblers, and why I enjoy walking with them so much. While I’m at it, here’s a link to their web page: http://www.morayramblers.org.uk/
One of the things that I like bout rambling groups is that you often get to see parts of the countryside that might otherwise have passed you by. In my case, with a number of groups, this has included a Covenanter’s grave, a great canal walk near Linlithgow, an iron-age fort in the Scottish borders, mountain-biking tracks in Strathpeffer, Glen Affric, and Torridon in perhaps the worst weather I’ve ever seen!
Another thing that I like is that within such a group, people with a wide range of interests and knowledge come together. My own area of knowledge is geology, but I’ve walked with an opthalmic surgeon interested in botany, ex-squaddies who could tell you what insects you were looking at, a blood donor whose tally I will never reach if I live to be a hundred, and many more.
In common with most of the people I’ve encountered in the hills, the Moray Ramblers have also shown me a great deal of warmth. You probably know the same kind of people. Most times, when you drop into a bothy somewhere, the people you’ll encounter will be friendly, and a good time will be had by all. Even if you do find the occasional “unusual” person. I think that there is a particular mind-set for the people that love being outdoors. On that very rainy day in Torridon, nobody moaned or griped, despite the overall experience being similar to standing in the shower. We saw very little, and unlike my shower, the hills didn’t have a handy thermostat 🙂 Still, you pays your money and takes your chance… I am glad to have been with them that day.
The first time I got into the mountains in Grampian, it was with the Moray Ramblers. While the views were magnificent, I wasn’t very fit, and felt as though I was dying on the way up.
This view was shot from the far end of Loch Muick, looking back up at Broad Cairn. What started off as a rainy cold and strenuous day turned into an epic trip, with some truly stupendous views. Reminds me why I get into the hills.
Strathpeffer is one of my favourite haunts as well – this shot was at the Falls of Rogie. It was a beautiful day, and I had always driven past the falls on my way somewhere else. Again, the Ramblers showed me some great walking that I might have missed otherwise.
Any excuse to get a photo of Suilven is good enough for me! This was a Ramblers trip again, and unseasonably warm for April. Arriving in Ullapool the night before, with the sun turning Loch Broom silver, was a sight I will never forget, as well as the ancient sandstone outliers rising from the Lewisian plain, catching the last of the evening sunlight as the lower ground faded into darkness. Sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful country.
Anyway, to return to the original theme, I would probably never have seen half of the places I’ve been to, without the Moray Ramblers. I would certainly have not had as much fun in the process. If you live in Moray, I can’t recommend them highly enough.