Kinpurney Tower

IMG_20121216_164203Now 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.”  –

We left Aberdeen at about 9:30.  It started off overcast, but the sun kept peeking through the clouds the further we drove:

IMG_20121216_103200At one point we were treated to clear blue sky, but in typical Scottish fashion, the weather returned to grey as we approached our destination.

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:

IMG_20121216_151654In 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:

IMG_20121216_163638IMG_20121216_130534Thus 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):

IMG_20121216_145552We took some time to wander around the tower and look at the viewpoint (but sadly, not much in the way of views thanks to the clouds), and took some photos:

IMG_20121216_163849IMG_0938IMG_0947IMG_20121216_145906IMG_20121216_163947IMG_20121216_164020IMG_20121216_145621After about ten minutes, the heat we had felt from the climb had worn off, and we were all ready for lunch, so we began our descent, during which we met some sheep and a couple of horses:

IMG_20121216_163915IMG_20121216_130652The walk from Newtyle was just over 3.5 miles and took us about an hour and a half (at a very leisurely pace).

Route map from Newtyle to Kinpurney Tower

Route map from Newtyle to Kinpurney Tower

There was an elevation gain of 278 meters:

elevation towerOnce 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*:

IMG_20121216_163736*Answer: Deliriously overjoyed.


11 thoughts on “Kinpurney Tower

    • No idea. There’s probably some answer somewhere on the internet, but I imagine the effort to find out why far outweighs how interesting that answer would be. Now the castle with two halves of a female skeleton found separately during renovation…. that’s worth looking for!

      • How weird…..Do they know why? Sounds like a superb mediavel mystery. There’s a museum near here displaying dessicated cats bricked up for protection in witches houses. I’ve threatened next door’s with that but it’s completely not bothered

  1. I am also deliriously excited for this last week of school! Except, I’ve come up with the ambitious idea of making gingerbread houses from scratch with my students, while they’re rehearsing for our Xmas concert. Did I mention I’m doing refreshments too???? I’m great at loading my plate of priorities :S

    Have a good week!

    • From scratch?! You’re crazy! Mine are bringing in pre-made, cold popcorn to snack on while they watch either ‘The Grinch’ or ‘Elf’ as I sit in a dark corner and mark work in an attempt to NOT BRING ANY HOME WITH ME THIS YEAR! Because there is a possibility that could happen…

      Good luck with your last week! 🙂

  2. You’ve mastered the art of the mixed expression: equal parts euphoria and mania. Looks like a fun adventure though. I’d have to drive veeery far to reach anything as historic or forlorn. And if I ever reached it, I’d feel absolutely compelled to listen to the entire “A Sombre Dance” album by Estatic Fear.

    For reference:

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