Now that my race calendar is empty for the rest of the year, I have time during the weekends to catch up on work (marking, marking, planning, marking, and marking) as well as spend time exploring with Ian. Despite a horrendous couple of days worth of torrential rain and gale force winds, today’s forecast looked promising. Ian had shown an interest in visiting a tower on a hill, so we decided to have a look. He had read a bit about Kilpurney Tower online:
“The tower was built in 1774 by James Mackenzie, a keen astronomer, and used as an observatory. The tower was restored in the 1970’s and stands next to the site of an unfinished iron-age fort, remains of the vitrified walls and the large ditch can be seen in the area of the viewfinder and trig point. The viewfinder is useful for picking out the distant hills on a clear day.” – walkhighlands.com
We left Aberdeen at about 9:30. It started off overcast, but the sun kept peeking through the clouds the further we drove:
Our friend Liell had decided to join us today, and we met him in Glamis as he was driving from Arbroath. From there, it was just a short drive to Newtyle, a small village. A few miles before the turnoff, we spotted the tower from the road:
In Newtyle, we found a place to park the car (next to a playground, though we eventually realized there was public parking across the road), and set off on foot along the road towards the farm where the path to the tower begins:
Thus began a very pretty, but very muddy (remember, torrential rain), journey through the den and by many small waterfalls. There was a clear path, and Ian and I managed fairly well in walking boots, but Liell and his leather dress shoes did not fare so well (wet feet). The following picture was taken on the return leg, and is a bit blurry, but gives you an idea of this section:
And Ian took a couple of photos as well:
Once we left the den, we found ourselves on a relatively steep incline over farmland towards the tower (though at this point we couldn’t see it). There were faint paths in the grass to follow, and a few signposts, but it would be quite difficult to go in the wrong direction. Just go up!
Eventually, we saw the tower rise on the horizon, followed closely by the ‘lone tree’ (which now has a bit of company):
There was an elevation gain of 278 meters:
Once back to the cars, we headed to the Belmont Arms for an extravagant 3 course lunch before heading home. Word of advice: the ‘rump steak’ option is underneath the ‘Sandwiches’ heading, which myself and Liell failed to notice. I mean, the sandwich was nice (I ate most of it), but it was not what I was expecting!
Anyway, now for an evening of relaxation before school tomorrow. And how do I feel about going to work tomorrow? Well, there is one week left until we have our two week Christmas break*: