St Cyrus was the venue for the latest Mearns 50+ Group walk and 20 of us gathered at the Nature Reserve on a cold and blustery morning.
One of the walkers was a new lady who had read the last report in this paper and decided to come along.
The main group set off up the twisty road that leads past Kirkside to the A92. On the way up we passed the “Eye Pond”, a man-made pool in the shape of an eye and surrounded by a wall.
It is thought that it was built in the 18th century and was originally a wash-down pond for carriages and horses. It was excavated and refurbished in 2010 and has the potential for being a lovely little place; unfortunately it is not suitable for stopping with a car as the road is so narrow.
On reaching the A92 we found that the wind had got up and there was some snow; in fact it was so windy that some of us were in danger of being blown on to the road! However once we turned into Lochside Road, it was more sheltered and ultimately more pleasant. A right turn took us through a residential area and eventually we arrived at the drive leading to Ecclesgreig Castle.
After a good walk up the drive, we branched right, into the Castle grounds. At this point I should say that we had sought and been given permission to walk through the gardens; they would not be a public right of way.
The snowdrops were just coming into bloom and were a lovely sight. On Sunday 1st March, there will be a Snowdrop Walk in aid of charity. By then, the snowdrops will be in full bloom and well worth seeing. My photographs do not do them justice! We passed the front of the Castle which is described as Victorian Gothic.
On the Internet, the Castle is said to be the inspiration for “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. I had always thought that honour belonged to Slains Castle near Cruden Bay.
After our lunch break, we made our way round the side of the Castle, then along a VERY icy road which took us back on to the drive.
From the end of the drive we continued down Ecclesgreig Road, across the A92 to Beach Road and up past the Church and the school to the top of the cliffs. By this time the weather had greatly improved and the sun was shining. We were a bit wary about taking the path down the cliffs in case it was icy.
However it was in the full glare of the sun and the path was fine. Towards the bottom of the path, a man was hard at work levelling out the steps and making it an easier walk.
The final part of the walk was back to the car-park, and this we did behind the dunes rather than along the sand. From there you get a grand view of the cliffs. Distance covered was between 3 and 4 miles. We saw and heard some birds along the way, and a wee robin caught my eye at one point. The next walk will be on Tuesday, February 17, at Inglismaldie and Capo Woods near Luthermuir. Starting point will be at Lutherbridge where cars can be parked at the side of the road. As usual, the minibus will leave the Burgh Buildings in Laurencekirk at 10am.