NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path here
I chose to alter my intended route today so that I could take in the town of Forres and also have a chance to look at Brodie castle. I didnt fancy a long slog around Cuilbin Forest and thought my walk would be more interesting by following the National Cycle Route which leads to Nairn.
From Findhorn head south along the road that meets with the B road that runs into Kinloss. Turn right and follow this road for a couple of hundred roads where the sign for the cycle path begins along an even more minor road.On the O.S. Map this is marked with green circles and is well signposted all the way. This road leads all the way to the distillery at Benromach which lies just north of Forres. It is a simple matter of crossing the main A96 road at this point if you want to visit Forres. Continuing along the cycle route, the road turns into a path through a wood and crosses the river at Bridge of Moy where it heads north again on the road towards Moy House. It continues past Kintessack and then Dyke and then passes the entrance to Brodie castle. If the castle cafe is closed there is a big visitor centre at Brodie which has facilities there. After the castle the road veers north west and then west all the way into Nairn. It is possible to cut north at the western end of Cuilbin Forest and then onto the dunes, but I wont hold it against you if you do.
A lovely day and with a cup of coffee and a scone from the veggie organic greenpeaced wwf bakery inside me at Findhorn and I was raring to go. I wandered along listening to the birds singing with nothing to disturb my calm meditation apart from Audrey on her mobile doing important business things. But because I was the Scottish Dalai Lama it didnt disturb my inner calm although the food I ate later that night did succeed where Audrey had failed.
We popped into Forres to have a look around and to get something to eat. I went to an Italien restaurant where the owner seemed to be having a nervous breakdown because he had more than one customer. So we slipped away and got coffee in a travel agents. Each latte came with a free holiday to Paraguay, but we resisted the offer, although I was for signing Audrey up for it.
We plodded on and passed a place called Dyke; so we had a laugh about that for about 40 minutes, what with its connotations about “old Scottish walls”. We played the game called “lets see how many songs we can come up with the word Mentor in its title” – that didnt last long however and I realised we were starting to get hysterical, so it was a great relief that Brodie castle came into view. We werent allowed in to the cafe because the National Trust Custodian laay made the flimsy excuse that it was (and I quote) “closed”. So we went off muttering to the Brodie gift emporium and eaterie where I gorged myself on home made blackcurrant jam; most of which I spilled down my white T shirt. Fortunately the kind lady gave me some hot water, a cloth and a bib.
On we plodded along the road, and by this time Audrey was suffering because of her blisters, (they werent nearly as bad as mine – see photo from yesterday’s walk), but I wasnt going to be a girl about it. Actually her blister did look like a tangerine which impressed me no end. Respect. Eventually we cut across the golf course and got to the van where a hot cup of tea wasnt waiting cos we had no water. Ho Hum.