Speyside, Sep 22

 This is a record of my most recent trip in my caravan, a jaunt north west from home to a site just outside the small village of Archiestown in Speyside. The site I stayed is a Camping and Caravanning Club site which a named 'Speyside by Craigellachie'. Craigellachie is the nearest 'significant' town near the site.

I've been on this site many times, most recently in June this year. The site was very quiet, I'd say even quieter than normal. A few sites I've been to this year have been quiet, possibly fuel cost? Or people taking the opportunity to travel abroad? Or maybe the cost of living? Interestingly, there was a camper in a very small 1 or 2 man tent near the site entrance. This camper and tent has been here since I was last here in June! It was obvious by the grass that he had moved his tiny tent a few times in the same area, probably to protect the grass. A very committed camper indeed!

The weather was mixed. When dry, it was lovely, but it did rain most nights and on day 2 it was absolutely bucketing it down. On this trip I really struggled to get kit (and towels for the dogs) dry. This wasn't really aided by my choice to occupy a non-electric pitch using my solar panel for energy. This meant the usual drying solution of a fan heater was not an option, so drying took a bit longer.

I completed a few new walks on this trip, and walked some favourites. The forest walk at Archiestown is a go-to good dog walk. A stand out walk this trip was on Drummuir Estate, near Dufftown.

The walk started at the Parish Church in Drummuir with its very impressive Memorial. Interesting it was erected in memory of those lost in 'The European War 1914-1919'.

The walk initially followed the Keith and Dufftown Railway, a heritage line also known as the Whisky Line.

Lovely route through old woods.

The walk passed through the visitor centre for Loch Park, a loch created as a landscape feature for Drummuir Castle.

 One of the locals.

The walk reached the end of the loch, then climbed up through the surrounding forest making a nice circular walk back the the Loch Park centre.

We passed the old walled garden for the castle.

Another new walk, was from the village of Rothes to what is known as The Dounie.

It was showery as we started.

The burn running through Rothes, The Burn of Rothes which we'd be following upstream.

The impressive, if a touch modern looking, Glenrothes Distillery.

We wandered through the distillery, following the route, and crossed the burn. It was fascinating watching a lorry unloading whisky casks.

This is real, industrial whisky territory.

After getting soaked (!) we finally entered The Dounie. It's a narrow gorge with steep sides and is home to The Fairies Well and the water source for Glenrothes Whisky!

It was a great walk, but we got seriously soaked in the rain. My umbrella and waterproofs were no match!

A Spaniel drying out!

The next day was a lot better, especially for walking. We drove towards Elgin, stopping near Fogwatt to walk around Millbuies Country Park.

It is a stunning place to walk. A number of paths offer some great walking, loch side and forest.

There's a dragonfly in there!

The night before we left, the weather was great. This is the site from the dog walk.

And a few seasonal (?) pitches at the top of the site, near the entrance.

Another really good trip which I had booked a few months ago using a discount code for non-electric pitches. It's a shame it was so wet at times, 2 soaking spaniels in a caravan is hard work!


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