View looking down the valley

Glen Esk and Loch Lee

Scotland never ceases to surprise me with its landscapes. Decades ago when I came here as a very young adult I can remember driving around with friends and it felt like every mile or so we wanted to stop the car and take photos. It felt a bit like that today.

You can drive up the Glen Esk valley following the River North Esk all the way to its source, Loch Lee. Angus is so close to Aberdeen where we live and yet we’ve never been to Loch Lee before. It’s magnificent, not just the loch but the drive there which had us wanting to stop multiple times en route. How did I not know about this place?

The road winds through forest, hills, and farmland, mostly sheep and always with the North River Esk on the left. If I was a sheep I’d want to live in this part of the world.

We passed a field of sheep eating turnips. They were really digging into them. Here’s where I insert a rant about Brits not eating enough veggies and then complaining about the cost of living. Turnips are cheap and healthy, people!

A field of sheep eating turnips.

The road passes a neolithic stone circle from the bronze age making it about 5000 years old. This is the Colmeallie Stone Circle.

Ben leaning up against one of the stones and Daniel sitting in the foreground.
Rachel pretending to go through the stone.

The Glenesk Folk museum is about half way between Gannochy Bridge and the loch. Sadly it was shut. We’ll have to go again another day.

Glenesk folk museum

As you near the loch there’s a hamlet called Tarfside which has excellent public toilets. They were so clean and well-looked after.

There’s a small carpark about a mile from the loch. You have to walk the last bit. I noticed there’s also a public footpath all the way to Ballater from this car park. I have no idea how long this is. There are also many hill walks but we just did a short walk to the loch.

Sign showing footpath to Ballater
Rural scene with sheep, river, trees and hills
Daniel and Elizabeth walking to the loch with river, trees and hills in the distance.

Only in Scotland can you turn a corner on your walk and happen upon a random castle ruin. This is Invermark Castle which dates back to the 1300s. You can’t go inside. We couldn’t even find a door.

Invermark Castle

And here is Loch Lee. It provides drinking water to the region.

View looking down the valley with the River North Esk hemmed by trees and hills.

2 thoughts on “Glen Esk and Loch Lee”

  1. We went for our first walk of the year last weekend. We were saying how green it was, and I made a note of it. When we had the drought, it was hard to remember that it wasn’t always yellow. This is very lush and relaxing looking. You are right, there are so many different types of landscape in Scotland. I suppose there is more space.

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