NEW : See my campaign to establish a National Coastal Path hereThis was a bit of a detour day today because of one or two factors that I thought may cause a bit of navigational problems during the day. The first hurdle was wondering if the ground at the Carse of Delnies was as marshy as it looked on the map. The map had lots of small marshy plants planted on it and wellingtons with text that said “On no account cross this marshy landy because of its tendency towards marshiness” So you can understand my reticence.
The second hurdle was firing range just to the east of Fort George which could be in action which would mean a huge detour if it was.
Follow the wibbly wobbly path past the Golf Course to the west of Nairn and wander aimlessly along the beach making sure you are heading for the huge Ardesier construction yard. This can be recognised by the fact that it is a construction yard and can be seen from the moon. Be careful not to wander along the spit of land towards Whiteness Head, because its a dead end and you will either have to turn around and come back or wade into the sea and drown.
Once you think you have walked to the end of the golf course clamber up over the shale on the beach and follow the path past Hilton of Delnies. In theory you could cut out a big chunk of road walking by heading west across the swampyness of Delnies but I was a fearty cat so didnt. Go south young man until you reach the B9092 and turn right and follow this road until it reaches the access road for the Ardesier construction yard. Look at the vanishing point and say to yourself, “there is no way Im walking down there – that looks boring”. (See Photo for boringness of the road). Instead walk a hundred yards along and take the road that leads to Sunnyhillock and the Carse Wood which is much more fun. Pass the Pictish Kebbuck Stone which lies behind the cottage and follow the path around keeping the forest to your left.
Stay on this path in the Carse Wood as it loops around and ends at the minor B road at Baddock. Turn right and walk along this road which may or not be festooned with red flags indicating that “wur sojers are shooting things to bits” Stay on the road and do not be tempted to bob up and down in the field. Eventually you pass the firing range and if you are lucky you will get the chance to spot a sojer in his smart uniform. The road then ends at a T junction to the right of which is Fort George. After visiting the splendidness of Fort George, double back and follow the line of beach to Ardesier. It is possible to make it more difficult by hopping at this point.
I started the day having a coffee at a Nairn cafe located at the harbour. After I sent back the first coffee which had obviously being stewing in it’s own fetid juices overnight, I set off. It was another hot day with a mixture of road walking, beach, forest track and unicycling. I took some lovely photos of bluebells including white bluebells which stood out a bit from the rest. There must have been a bank of at least a million bluebells and then there were these three white ones. Stranger than fiction. Near the end of the walk Aud and I were gasping for a cup of tea and we went into Fort George which is run by Historic Scotland, although the site is a “working military barracks”. We didnt want to pay £5 each for the entry as it was already 4 O’clock so we tried to blad our way in. We got past the main door, over two fortified moats, a sentry post, and were busy sauntering over the parade square when we got lumbered by a tartan clad official who informed us that “wur tea was oot”. I told her that could she make an exception as we had just walked non stop from Hindustan, but she looked at me as if she gets that story every day. So nae refreshment was had and we had to limp another mile to the caravan where a hot refreshing cup of tea wasnt waiting cos we had no water (again). Ho Hum.