Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Normal Day in Beautiful Strathspey

Picturesque Glen Banchor just to the west of Newtonmore, was at the beginning of the 19th Century heavily populated by crofting families ~ sadly forced from their homes when sheep were introduced. (

This lovely glen, dissected by the lively River Calder ~ a tributary of the Spey, is now popular with runners and hillwalkers enthralled by their surroundings. Also historians visit, fascinated by the clear evidence of old settlements such as Easterton, Westerton, Dalvalloch & Dalchurn ~ small villages that existed before Newtonmore grew up by the railway ~ which brought to Badenoch and Strathspey its first 'outdoor tourism' ~ Victorian gentry from the south coming to the Highlands for the hunting and shooting, made fashionable and popularlised as 'the thing to do' by Queen Victoria and her love of the Highlands and Balmoral in particular.

Almost any day of the week, but especially at weekends, the wee car-park in Glen Banchor by Shepherd's Bridge will have several cars parked but no evidence of their occupants. They have disappeared off to the various corners of the now quiet Glen to enjoy their chosen pastime in the peace and tranquility of this location. Descending back towards Newtonmore ~ behind us Glen Banchor and the Monadhliath (grey mountains) ~ but still on the high ground just above the village, the vista is stunning ~ to the south to snow capped Drumochter hills and to east, across the majestic Spey are the mighty Grampian Mountains or  Monadh Ruadh (red mountains) which includes, of course, Cairngorm ~ Strathspeys winter playground for skiers and snowboarders.http:

Once into the village being a mild weekend day we pass some golfers, bags of clubs slung over the shoulder as they head off for a few holes at Newtonmore's lovely golf course situated on the flood-plain of the Spey. Then along the village Main Street comes two young men, one sporting very dashing 'tartan' patterned shorts, 'walking' their canoes on trolleys towards to the River Spey for a leisurely afternoon's paddle. This is just another normal day in Newtonmore ~ a typical Strathspey village.

1 comment:

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