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Doing route planning for my first crossing and thinking of finishing from Brechin to Montrose. I have seen that folks have walked through Kinnaird Park before but that as recently as 2018 there have been some locked gates.
Has anyone walked through the park/estate since 2018 and if so, did you ask permission from the estate? The Kinnaird Castle website is mostly about their accommodation so wonder if it's worth asking before or better just to show up on the day...
Welcome to The Challenge. Be warned, it can get addictive!!
I haven't gone through the Kinnaird Estate recently but in 2015 I planned my route through there, having been assured by Sue and Ali that they are happy to allow people through. I came upon tall locked gates, so very boldly managed to squeeze myself through the railing gaps and shoved my rucksack through, hoping nobody was watching, even though there was a lodge house right beside them. I came across the lady of the castle, Caroline South Esk, whilst walking through the grounds, who I thought was going to give me a good telling off, but was quite the reverse. She said they actively encourage people to walk through and even have Brownie groups having organised camps there and the only reason they keep the gates locked was to stop the boy racers from Brechin hairing through there and being a nuisance. She told me to tell our organisers to contact the estate office prior to the Challenge each year and ask them to keep the gates open on the days we are likely to be coming through and to tell them that "Caroline" told you to tell them. I'm not sure whether Sue and Ali do contact them or not but you could always try contacting them yourself, or you could ask Sue and Ali if they do contact the office, as they know about the conversation I had with Lady Caroline.
Hope that helps. I'll look out for you next May.
I can't find an email address for the estate office (vs the hotel) but if I get the route approved, I'll ring and try to get through to the office. I'll even name drop on your suggestion :grinning:
PS I've been lurking occasionally (deferred in 2020 and 2021) so know how helpful you all are!
I am planning to go that way too. I found a "route" listed on Slow Ways The route is yet to be verified but I am assuming that it was posted by someone who knew the route was viable. Otherwise, it could be a rather boring road walk. Maybe see you along the way...
We entered the Park off the A933 at the spot height 52 in 2017. I don't recall any problem with entering. We were heading south towards Lunan Bay (highly recommended if you want to change your plans). The tall southern gate near Farnell was definitely locked. We entered the estate with another Challenger (S) who was planning to head for Montrose via the East Gate which S told us later was also locked. So well worth confirming in advance that you can have through passage.
This is interesting - thanks!
I've emailed it to Sue & Ali, they may not be aware.
See you in May!
I’m planning to go through kinnaird estate on Thursday 26th may. Entering via A933 at spot height 52 and leaving via gate at NO642572. If the estate are to be approached, it would make sense for there to be one contact rather than lots - happy to risk it without contacting the estate - i’ve deliberately picked a route that avoids the heart of the estate. Still waiting on route approval - I’m guessing the vetters are dealing with a glut of early applications at the moment.
Hopefully Sue & Ali will pick up my email to them and contact the estate in an official capacity.
This ones trickier than it first seems. We could phone annually but then only a few routes go this way each year and we have a similar footfall through many other estates such as Cortachy and Blair Castles. So would we do the same there too? Before you know it we could have an unmanageable list of annual phone calls to make.
We also don't really want to be asking regular favours such as gates being left open. Keeping track of such requests, who to ask etc could be a bit of a nightmare. Vetters will often advise if a route goes through somewhere like Kinnaird Park. The long and the short of it is the exit via Scotston is your best option as most of the others are often locked, as we found out ourselves one year when we tried to get out the south end only to be faced with a 10ft high wall and gate. . . We had to go a very long way around to get out!
Thank you, that is very helpful. It's always the lowland / suburban bits that throw up the most access challenges!
I went that way a few years ago and met a few estate staff who wished me a friendly good morning. The big gates at the East Lodge exit looked very closed from a distance so I carried on and left by the Carcary Lodge exit to the south at NO 642 565. From here you can follow a very pleasant track that follows the course of the old railway line to the road by the River South Esk.
I’m a bit late commenting on your post I’m afraid!
I’ve planned to go through the Kinnaird estate too, on Monday 23rd May, going in and out via Scotston at the same points as Graham. My route has been vetted and nothing said about that bit. I discovered a Facebook page for Kinnaird Castle and some of the comments indicate that the estate don’t mind people walking through, confirming what’s already been said here, but there are contact details on the page in case anyone wanted to get in touch, or you could post a question on the page.
You’re probably all organised by this time anyway, I hope you have a great challenge, maybe we will bump into each other, depending on your start date.