GLW1609 : Craigendarroch Revisited

October 2016

I thought it might have been our 25th anniversary of Craigendarroch but subsequent research shows that we bought it in January 1992.

However, we had been up on an inspection visit previously so it's more or less right!

Interesting how it has changed over the years.

The site looks little different.  The hotel is no longer a hotel as the rooms have been converted to timeshares (but there is a rumour it might revert).  The restaurant on the top floor is long gone.  The fine dining Oaks restaurant is no more.

The "club house" area has gone upmarket which is a relief as for some years it was looking rather sad.


The dry ski slope is also long gone although it is just possible to identify some signs of where it was but not of the unprotected railing that nearly killed me.  Maybe I was the cause of its demise?

In its place is a junior play area.  Lower down by the boundary of the site and the woods is a rather better adventure playground with castle and ropes and soft landings.

Although they liked these, the big attraction for Luca and Ellie was the swimming pool.  Not the same configuration as it used to be and missing the great slides but just as much fun for them.

After all this time it is perhaps remarkable that the lodge seems little affected.  The most noticeable difference is the renovation of the bathrooms so that the monster bubbling bath is gone as is the multi-headed shower in the pine room.  Both have been replaced by lesser devices but the overall effect is smart.  The kitchen is starting to look a bit tired.

The lounge seems unchanged (including the baffling storage heaters). Even the chairs, which is remarkable if that is in fact the case, given the hammer they must have from bouncy children like ..

And the view from the lounge window.  I have worried from time to time that the trees would begin to take it away as they grew but for the most part they have been kind to us.



Ballater is a different story.  It has had two major blows recently.  Firstly the Victorian Station and museum burnt down, apparently due to a fire emanating from the cafe kitchen.  Secondly last winter's flood did a lot of damage, much of which is still being repaired.  The river end of the main street is looking sad with several empty shops.


The countryside, however, remains magnificent- especially in late October if the weather is kind and the leaves are golden as was the case this year.



In fact it proved to be a glorious Tuesday as we drove to and beyond Braemar to park by the Linn of Dee.

Saving the Linn to the last, we headed upstream through the woods to a bridge over Lui Water where we stopped for lunch.

The return track took us along the side of Doire Bhradhad, eventually reaching the Mar Lodge road.  

Once over the Lui Bridge we could take the footpath that drops down almost to the Dee and along to the Linn with its precipitous cliffs over the very narrow raging gorge.

After 25 years (or so) it has not lost its appeal.

Strange things were happening at the Linn.  There were mystrious apparitions as if Halloween were approaching.  Which it was....!

Halloween on Deeside

The Linn Spectres

Being old now (well, 25 years older) Craigendarroch is a long drive from Kendal so we broke the return journey at Stirling.  Next time we must spend a full day there to do justice to its historic old town and to return to Hermannn's restaurant for its unusual Austro-Scottish menu.  And take some photos.

Don, 30th October 2016


Distance: 4.2 miles           Height climbed: 427 feet


Carn Aosda, The Carnwell, Carn a Gheoidh

On the Wednesday, Emma and Scott resumed their long paused Monro acquisition trail with three quick ones to the west of the Glenshee ski station, in the reverse direcction to that taken by the three old men of Lochnagar (a.k.a. BOOTboys) in BB1040 and in rather better weather!


Distance : 7.1 miles; height climbed : 2116 feet




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