Corrie Fee: a walk with the Wow!

Corrie Fee, picture by Stewart Craig
Corrie Fee, picture by Stewart Craig

Corrie Fee, even the name conjures up a feeling of magic! Although it was a fairly long drive from Laurencekirk, I think everyone agreed that the run up Glen Clova and then Glen Doll was worth it.

The scenery was spectacular; it was a lovely day; and you couldn’t go too fast partly because the road was very narrow and twisty, and partly because of the pheasants parading around.

The group walking over the White Water, picture by Stewart Craig

The group walking over the White Water, picture by Stewart Craig

The car park (」2 fee) at the top of Glen Doll was very nicely laid out with picnic tables aplenty and an information lodge nearby, with toilets. So, even before we had started walking on Tuesday, September 2, we were in good spirits.

From the car park, there are various trails to follow and they appear to be clearly marked. The main group of about 20 followed the green route alongside the White Water which is a tributary of the South Esk. We passed a sign indicating Jock’s Road, but at that point we continued straight ahead: onwards and upwards! Although there was a bit of a climb, it was not too steep, but it did seem to keep going up and up.

There were various information posts along the way, telling us what to look out for, or explaining how the huge boulders were carried by glaciers. Finally we came to a sign telling us that we were about to enter the Corrie Fee National Nature Reserve. A short, stepped climb later, and there we were at the mouth of the Corrie Fee, so called because the Fee Burn runs through it.

Corrie Fee is an impressive natural amphitheatre, like a huge bowl, which has been gouged out by glaciers. At the far side of the corrie, a waterfall tumbles down, then the burn meanders across the bottom. On a day like we had, it was so picturesque and peaceful. In the past we’ve had our lunch in lots of places with cracking views, but this had to surpass them all, in my opinion: a lovely, lovely spot.

Retracing our steps, we walked back as far as the junction signposted Jock’s Road, where we turned left and once again walked alongside the White Water. Eventually a wooden bridge took us over to the other side of the river and we walked back on the north side of the water. Here the going was much wetter underfoot.

Distance covered was about six miles. Several people remarked on the fact that while walking we saw and heard nothing in the way of wildlife. Perhaps we were too noisy! Apart from the last part of the walk back, the paths were mainly wide and well-maintained.

The next walk will be on Tuesday,September 16, starting at the Leisure Centre car-park in Carnoustie. From there we will walk to Broughty Ferry and return by service bus. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.

Footnote: Jock’s Road links Glen Clova to Braemar, via Glen Doll and Glen Callater. It follows a natural route carved out by a glacier and is named after John (Jock) Winter, a shepherd. In 1888 he successfully challenged the landowner to turn it into a public right of way, making it the oldest in Scotland.

On January 1, 1959, a party of five experienced walkers were making their way from Braemar to Glen Doll when they were met with horrendous conditions, driving snow, gale-force winds and severe cold. All five men died and the winter was so severe that it was four months before all their bodies were recovered.