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I sympathise with your sentiments. It's perfectly true that the last day on the Challenge (sometimes the last two) isn't very inspiring, a trudge through a flat agricultural landscape without any points of note. It's something you become used to and I now regard it as a wind down after so many days in more exciting country.
The secret, if there is one, is to break the days down into short marches between what points of interest you can identify, whether these be scenic places, historic settings or just a handy place for refreshment. Clearly, I don't know your exact route between Clova and Montrose but I might be looking at Cortachy woods and the Drovers' pub near Memus, the Caterthun hill forts (White Caterthun is the best of the pair) and attractions in Brechin. I can only concur that the town itself is a touch grim but the Cathedral and Round Tower are well worth a look, a cut above the rest of the dreary settlement. I'm sure that a little internet research will turn up other spots to maintain your enthusiasm.
Bear in mind that the end is near and keep up the trudging. It all passes faster than you'd imagine.
Thanks for the tips Colin, I'll be looking out for these points of interest!
I agree with Colin, the route along the South Esk towards and past Cortachy Castle is very pleasant walking and anyone who is in that area and who passes by, but doesn't stop at the Drovers Inn in Memus needs committing to some kind of institution.
And two easy days might be very welcome :-)... Next year (Deo Volente) I'll take a more northerly route, but I'm sure some gentle countryside this May will be nice.
Brechin is the birthplace of radar pioneer Robert Watson-Watt (discreet plaque on the wall of the house in Union Street) and there is now a statue of him in the town - good for a couple of 'different' TGOC photos.
BBC Story Here
Hi Andre , The water of socks is just one of the ways to Brechin where a campsite may still exist where you can relax etc.. I fell into company with Doug Bruce there and the next day we wended our way towards Montrose , Mid morning ambling down a quiet lane the sound of bagpipes came to our ears and just away down a farm track saw the piper. He was lost in his music and Doug knew the tune , we listened entranced and clapped on his finish . He looked round in astonishment to our applause . So keep your ears , eyes and any recording equipment ready.The lowlands are not dull at all . enjoy your crossing .
The water of socks :-)....? The countryside might bring me back to earth if it looks a bit like the countryside in Holland. And with the addition of bagpipes, who can want more?
I believe 'Water of Socks' should read Water of Saughs 🙃
Isn’t auto-correct fun?
Bane of my life, tbh 🤣
If you are tempted to use the Water of Saughs / Glen Lethnot route I seriously recommend coming down to the Shieling using the good LRT from Black Shanks. There is a very interesting Wellington Bomber crash site on Tom Titlach https://www.airhistory.net/photo/308962/L7845 , but to get down from there to the Sheiling (where there is good camping) is energy sapping and ankle twisting trackless heather.
Once you are on the estate track at the sheiling it is very quick walking down the glen. There is also good camping near the private, locked, bothy at NO 415746.
You have a choice of routes down to the glen floor at NO 436737, I recommend heading down the switchbacks down West Craig rather than carrying on along the main track which is further and no quicker. Once you reach the public road you can use it to follow the West Water down to Blairno. The road is pretty quiet and attractive.
I just saw your post. Thanks you so much! I'll be coming from Rottal and your route looks great but would add a lot of ascent.... I'll let this one also simmer for the moment :slightly_smiling_face: . Thanks again!
You perfectly correct Louise . Maggie Hems gave me that pronunciation and it has stuck i'm afraid to say .
I thought as much, an easy one to remember 🙂
I looked at your suggestion, and a route from Rottal to Glen Lethnot looks doable, and then on between the two forts on to Edzell or Brechin (I would like to see that statue in Brechin...).
It would be a lot more ascent then what I had planned but it would add another day in the hills. I'll let it simmer for a couple of days. Thanks again to all!
If you are interested in that sort of thing, it would be a detour but, apart from the Wellington crash site at the head of the glen there are also a couple of sites on Hill of Warren. A Consolidated Liberator and a Bristol Beaufort came down within a km of each other in different incidents.
The path up from Wheen near Rottal to Ben Tirran and The Goet isn't overly steep and is very panoramic. https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/6811437 https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/18410
Once you are on the Goet there is a stile in the deer fence near the trig point which allows you onto the plateau.https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2885242
I'm quite a WW II and Aviation nerd, I'm sure to visit the statue, thank you!