Diamond of a walk around Fettercairn and Fasque

Cutting the cake from left to right, Doug and Margaret Ruxton, Joan and Stewart Murray.
Cutting the cake from left to right, Doug and Margaret Ruxton, Joan and Stewart Murray.

“Clorty” is a good old Scots word meaning dirty or messy and it was used with feeling on part of our last walk based around Fettercairn and Fasque.

Although the day before had been quite wet at times, Storm Abigail’s effects had not yet arrived and we had really rather a nice day for our walk on Tuesday November 10. It was very mild and stayed dry.

The Octagon

The Octagon

Starting from the former joinery and smiddy, we set off up School Road and Distillery Road. Our route took us up past the distillery where there is some building work going on.

A right turn on to the road to Thainston then another right turn after about half a mile led us past Stankeye and alongside Fasque Lake where there were two swans a-swimming. I think it was soon after Stankeye that the word “clorty” was first used.

Before we set off, Dave, our walk leader said we would be going to the folly at Fasque. I have lived all my life within about 5 miles of Fettercairn and had never heard of such a thing so was a bit dubious.

At one point along the way, we bore left up a bit of a bank and not on a marked path and joined another path. From here we turned right up a steeper bank and lo and behold, there it was! Commonly referred to as the Octagon, it is roofless and the plastic over the windows has torn with the weather and time. Apparently it used to be in a heavily wooded area and was never seen; now the trees have been cut down it is visible if you are in the right place. It was reputed to have been built for playing cards and is of the same general era as Fasque House itself.

From there we retraced our steps to the main path and emerged from the grounds at North Lodge, past a shed for sale with planning permission for a house. Along the road a bit, we stopped for lunch then continued on our way, past some cattle knee deep in wet mud (very clorty!) to Fasque Home Farm. Here we turned right, past the old stables, now converted, past the Chapel and had a good view of the front of Fasque House.

At the end of the drive, we crossed the road and into the grounds of Fettercairn Estate. A pleasant walk through the trees brought us out near Fettercairn House and we took the main drive back to our starting point. Distance covered was probably between 3 and 4 miles.

The day did not end there,however. We all proceeded to the Church Hall where we had a little tea-party to mark the Diamond Wedding of Douglas and Margaret Ruxton, and the Golden Wedding of Joan and Stewart Murray. Chris Milne had baked a cake to mark the occasion. Congratulations to both couples!

Our next walk will be on Tuesday, November 24 starting at the beach car-park in Montrose. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10 am.