My plan for this winter is to keep walking relatively long-distance but low-level walks to keep my ever-gradually-rustier body ready for the next hill-walking season. Last week’s walk was south of Aboyne, today’s north of it; more specifically, the village of Tarland.

I parked my car in the village centre, picked up my gear and let the dog out before we headed north-west, out of the village, along a country road, under overcast skies. Just outside the village, I spotted a snow-covered hill to my left. Its shape was barely distinguishable from the backdrop. At that time I didn’t know its name but I knew we were not going there (it’s called Morven). The road had virtually no traffic (4 vehicles in total while walking along). It was the least exciting part of the walk but after a couple of miles, I left it behind and entered onto a farm track running through meadows and fields. Less than a mile later it turned right, crossed a burn and then, through a gate, into a patch of forest. 

After I had left the country road, the weather started imperceptibly improving, with the sun timidly looking down from behind the clouds. By the time I left the forest and entered the moorland, the sun shone in full – though in winter mode. It made the mix of brown heather, patches of white snow and green tree saplings looking really lovely! However, it could be deceptive. Despite the sun shining it was quite chilly, mainly because the moorland ridge I walked along was really exposed. The breeze wasn’t particularly strong but unpleasantly cold. Thankfully, I was prepared for such conditions – having proper gear in the rucksack is indispensable!

The views weren’t hugely spectacular (and I hadn’t expected as such) but really pleasant. Having reached the summit of Pressendye I took a few photos before heading downhill to return to my car. Soon I reached another patch of the forest, then a stretch through the meadow, a patch between two rows of beech trees and eventually another country road that led me back to the village centre. I finished my adventure at Angie’s Cafe, where I enjoyed a big cup of coffee, an oversized cheese scone with butter (heavenly!) and a friendly chat with some lovely ladies.



My walk’s details: connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/4546262765