Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Magnificence of Creag Dhubh in Scotland.

Following an overnight frost and early morning valley-mist, it has been yet other magnificent autumn day in Badenoch ~ the upper Strathspey flood plain of the majestic River Spey. Our local hill, Creag Dhubh serves to shelter picturesque Newtonmore from any strong westerly's bringing adverse weather. However, today the mighty form of Creag Dhubh looked magnificent in the morning sunshine ~ its dark, autumn-coloured summit standing out against the clear-blue, cloudless sky. In and around the village it was wonderful to witness so many folks ~ incl. bikers, walkers, joggers getting out into the beautiful sunshine and cool, clean air in this part of the picturesque Cairngorms National Park. www.visitcairngorms.com

Creag Dhubh (black crag/hill) is the venue for the ever-popular Newtonmore Hill Race, organised annually as an integral part of the historic Newtonmore Highland Games. For many years, patient Highland Ponies and their riders were strategically placed along the route to ensure the hardy runners found their way to the stone cairn which marks for the athletes the turn-around point on the Creag Dubh ridge back down to the Games-field, The Eilan ~ Newtonmore's hallowed shinty ground ~ where the Games have been held annually since 1950. The tradition of Highland Games can be traced back 1000 years. It is said that the Celtic king Malcolm Canmore called for young men to partake in competition involving strength, speed and agility ~ the best to then be recruited to serve the crown. Now purely for recreation, the Newtonmore Highland Games are always held on the first Saturday in August. http://www.newtonmorehighlandgames.co.uk/

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