Walks in 2017
The U3A Walking Group walk on the second Saturday of the month.
January: The first walk of the year 14th January 2017 co-incided with a beautiful sunny day, blue skies and a slight layer of snow.
From the Heritage Hall, Peterculter, eight of us walked along Lover's Walk. The icy River Dee rushed alongside of us. Once clear of the APWR excavations we climbed the road leading to little used roads and woodland paths. The walking was easy and pleasant. Eventually we came to Malcolm Road and took the rural path to Easter Anguston. We found a sheltered spot and ate our lunch and looked at some of the animals out in the fields. Retracing our steps to Peterculter, we walked along Kennerty Road to access the viaduct of the disused Deeside Railway and walked back to the Heritage Centre.
February: Our second walk of the year took place on Saturday, 11th February, 2017 on a very cold winter's day. Seven keen walkers braved chilly winds, muddy waterlogged paths and the odd shower of sleet and snow. Dressed in our waterproof clothing we walked from Hazlehead to Countesswells Forest. Any view of the countryside was marred by low cloud. We were a cheerful group and found a sheltered area with logs to sit on, to eat our lunch. It was not a good day to extend our walk and we headed back to Hazlehead Restaurant for welcome hot refreshment
On Saturday 11th March 2017, after a damp start to the day we walked from Cambus O May along the Deeside Way to Ballater. This is a lovely scenic walk. On arrival at Ballater we availed ourselves of the picnic tables on the green and enjoyed our lunch. Various options were available to members including a riverside walk along the Dee to see changes in the course of the river since the recent floods and to see fine views of the surrounding countryside. Other options were to see Prince Charles's restaurant and shop, or having a coffee at a nearby café or taking the bus back to Cambus O May. The members who walked back to Cambus O May ended up having a well earned cake and coffee at a nearby café. 9 miles for the whole walk.
Saturday 8th April, 2017: Kemnay
Crossing the Kemnay Bridge over the Don via the imposing gates of Fetternear Estate which leads to the ruined Bishops's Palace which was once the country seat of the bishops of Aberdeen. Good paths lead through the deciduous woods and fine views of the River Don can be seen. 5.5 miles Monica and Sylvia led the walk. The weather was warm and sunny and the surrounding area of woods and River Don were seen at their best. At the end of the walk refreshments were taken at a local hotel which made a good finale to the walk.
Saturday 13th May 2017: Muir of Dinnet from car park situated at the crossroads at Dinnet on the A93 Deeside Road. Easy circular walk 6 miles. Good paths. The Muir of Dinnet is one of 9 National Nature Reserves (NNR's) in and around the Cairngorms and managed by the Scottish Natural Heritage. It is a great place to admire the scenery and to experience Burn O' Vat also to see the wildlife if we are lucky.
Unfortunately the June walk had to be cancelled.
September 9th: for the September walk ten members followed a circular route from Kincardine O'Neil, heading along part of the Deeside way though mixed woodland, where some of the trees were just beginning to shed their leaves. Turning off onto a forest track, we passed the Falls of Dess, in full flow after recent rain, and headed for lunch at the Deeside Activity Centre.
We then came back by an alternative track into increasing sunshine. Our return to Kincardine O'Neil coincided with the opening of the church fair, so several members boosted the local economy, leaving with home-baking, fresh produce, books and bric-a-brac! Dave led this walk.
October 14th: eleven walkers gathered at Aberdeen's Johnston Gardens on an overcast but mild day for a walk through the gardens and onwards to Hazlehead. Following the stream, we walked though mixed woodland, enjoying the autumn colours.
In Hazlehead we did a large loop round the park and golf course, tried and failed to find the centre of the maze, read our way along the memory path, and made use of the new bright red picnic tables. This was the walk that kept on going. Returning to the car park, we adjourned to the Gordon Highlanders Museum and strolled around the gardens before heading across the road to the view the granite stones that outline the history of the Kepplestone site.
November 11th: five members of the U3A walking group braved a very chilly day to walk from Newburgh to Collieston and back to Newburgh, where we were glad of refreshments. The walk was very enjoyable. The sea and scenery were spectacular and the sun shone for us all day. We are very lucky to have such a walk so near to Aberdeen.