Through the blue door … River North Esk, Angus

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.

6 thoughts on “Through the blue door … River North Esk, Angus”

    1. Thankfully, no. There are fault lines here but earthquakes are small and infrequent. We’re too far from the plate boundary for anything more exciting.

  1. Seeing steep drops makes me feel very insecure. I was trying to descend a pretty easy slope yesterday and discussing with the person I was with how if you are scared of falling, it makes you more tense and more likely to fall. Knowing that didn’t help me though. I might have to go and practise. Luckily you guys don’t seem to have that problem.

    1. There were some scary drops along the walk but I was more worried about the kids even though they’re big now and probably less likely to fall than me. I tend not to be scared of heights but we were still careful. There was also a path on the flat and further from the river that you could have taken but you wouldn’t have had as good a view of the gorge.

  2. Awesome pictures in a great destination. I really love this type of travel, outdoor enthusiastic. for more travel especially camping or have a multiple destinations I would suggest to have a travel van, that would make your travel more enjoyable

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