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Walking Above Glen Banvie

April 26, 2012

Walking Above Glen Banvie

Just over a week ago we walked up through Glen Banvie in the Atholl deer forests, up to the snow line below Beinn Dearg. But for my recurrent foot problem we might have gone further. As it was we did a longer walk than planned, as always reluctant to turn back.

It was a drier day than forecast, though the snow still lay on the high tops of Ben Vrackie and Beinn a’ Ghlo. From higher ground we could see the fresh white snow covering many of the Grampians.

We had intended just to walk the tourist trail through the wooded lower section above the Banvie Burn, but once through the deer gate we could not resist climbing upwards towards the snow. Not that the foot of the Glen isn’t spectacular. It is. A deep wooded gorge, green cliffs falling to the roaring waters of the burn. The winding path dipping now and again to cross the burn at some very attractive stone bridges.

But the hill beyond has a feel of real wilderness. As we breasted the first slope, we saw a distant stag on Tom nan Cruach, with a hint of red deer hinds beyond. We descended to cross the Allt na Moine Baine, its waters cold with what had been snow such a little time before. Then up the track running parallel to the Allt an t-Seapail.

Winding round the slopes of Carn Dearg, we caught tantalising glimpses of Beinn Dearg, the Munro’s highest slopes covered in snow. So near and yet so far, for my errant foot was not on its best behaviour.

With reluctance, on the slopes of Meall Tionail, we turned back down to Glen Banvie.

Back within the deer fence, we followed the true right bank of the Banvie Burn, down into the woodlands above Blair Castle, diverting to see The Whim, the folly built in 1761 as a focal point for people in the castle grounds. In the field below shepherds with their dogs were rallying the sheep in a scene probably little changed for years.




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