About 50 minutes south of Aberdeen is an outstanding walk along the River North Esk. It starts at the Gannochy Bridge, an 18th-century vaulted arch bridge about a mile north from the village of Edzell. You can park in Edzell and walk from there or there’s parking beside the blue door itself and also around the corner on a side road.
The unassuming blue door belies the dramatic gorge on the other side so that you get the feeling as you go through the door that you’re passing the threshold into a new world.
There are plunging cliffs and violent rapids.
The path is pretty good although there are some steep cliffs and no barriers so care must be taken.
There are seats to stop and rest along the way.
At one point the river calms and the cliffs flatten. There are even some sandy beaches.
There’s also an old suspension bridge that’s out of action.
Salmon swim up this river every spring and it’s also home to otters although we didn’t see any. Even more interesting is the Highland Boundary Fault – a major fault zone in Scotland that traverses from east to west – which passes through this river. I’m not sure where exactly but it’s apparently typical of rivers passing through a fault to pass through gorges like this. Perhaps that is why it’s so striking. Even to my untamed eye the geology of the place looks fascinating.
This is a gem of a walk and a wonderful discovery practically on our door step.