Geo-Trips :: The Mannoch Road (south) and Glen of Rothes

Speyside

A walk from Knockando, Thu, 22 Mar 2018 by Anne Burgess

I set off to walk the Mannoch Road to the highest point, leaving my car near the start of the walk and returning by the same route. At first all was well, but after about four kilometres the track disappears into a morass on either side of a so-called ford on the headwater of the Burn of Rothes, where I not only got completely sodden from the knees down, but I also feared for my safety. Having got across the bog without falling over or being engulfed, and decided that I did not want to risk crossing it again, I had three options. I could turn left through the wind farm on to the Dallas-Knockando road and walk back from there. I could go straight ahead on the Mannoch Road to Birnie. I could turn right and follow the forest roads down the Glen of Rothes to emerge at Elchies. After a lot of thought I reckoned that the Glen of Rothes was slightly shorter, it is a route I know quite well (see Link ), and there was the option to go straight down to Rothes if it got late or I was suffering too much from cold wet feet. After a mile or three of forest roads I was very surprised to hear the sound of an engine, several miles from anywhere, and turned round to see a lorry coming down the forest road! I stuck out a thumb, and was even more astonished when the driver stopped and picked me up. (This is why the photos stop rather abruptly!) He dropped me at Elchies, from where I was able to hitch a lift with a kind local resident who took me all the way back to my car. That, I can tell you, was a huge relief, after expecting to have to walk an extra 10 miles, cold and wet, and probably in the dark at least part of the way.

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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NJ1844 : Covered Reservoir by Anne Burgess
Covered Reservoir
I could tell by the sound of water inside it that this unbeautiful structure was a... more

NJ1844 : Norway Spruce by Anne Burgess
Norway Spruce
I think these young trees are Norway Spruce. From the tall dead stump on the right... more

NJ1944 : Mannoch Road by Anne Burgess
Mannoch Road
It's quite a decent track at this point, solid and dry underfoot.

NJ1944 : Mannoch Cottage by Anne Burgess
Mannoch Cottage
The old maps suggest that this ruin was the last outpost of habitation by the... more

NJ1944 : Mannoch Cottage by Anne Burgess
Mannoch Cottage
The old maps suggest that this ruin was the last outpost of habitation by the... more

NJ1944 : Felled Forest by Anne Burgess
Felled Forest
The trees in the background look spindly and bare, a sign that they have grown up... more

NJ1944 : A Different Style of Fence by Anne Burgess
A Different Style of Fence
I have not previously seen deer fencing with laths of wood attached diagonally... more

NJ1945 : Very Rough Ground by Anne Burgess
Very Rough Ground
This area of felled and partly re-planted forest is surrounded by deer fence,... more

NJ1945 : Bleached Boulders by Anne Burgess
Bleached Boulders
Boulders that have long been buried in highly acid peat get bleached over time,... more

NJ1945 : Fire Break by Anne Burgess
Fire Break
I've never been quite confident that a fire could not cross a gap this wide if the... more

NJ1945 : Gate on the Mannoch Road by Anne Burgess
Gate on the Mannoch Road
The gate was standing open when I arrived. I have no idea why it is there, unless... more

NJ1945 : Open Woodland by Anne Burgess
Open Woodland
In this area, the trees are well scattered with plenty of space to grow.

NJ1946 : Felled Forest by Anne Burgess
Felled Forest
Clear-felled forest always looks like a scene of devastation. This area doesn't... more

NJ1946 : Càrn na Cailliche by Anne Burgess
Càrn na Cailliche
The name of this modest hill means 'cairn of the old woman'. It is a very gentle... more

NJ1946 : Open Moorland by Anne Burgess
Open Moorland
This was of course moorland before it was planted, and the felling of the trees... more

NJ1946 : Wet Ruts by Anne Burgess
Wet Ruts
This was the first really wet patch I encountered, and it was easily bypassed,... more

NJ1947 : Shed in the Middle of Nowhere by Anne Burgess
Shed in the Middle of Nowhere
It's shown on the map, but it was still a bit of a surprise to see a sizeable shed... more

NJ1947 : Track to the Shed by Anne Burgess
Track to the Shed
This is the track to [[[5713880]]]. It doesn't seem to have a lot of traffic!

NJ2047 : Mannoch Road by Anne Burgess
Mannoch Road
Apart from the occasional puddle, easily bypassed, it's been a good enough road to... more

NJ2047 : Mannoch Road by Anne Burgess
Mannoch Road
The road is becoming a little less distinct now.

NJ2047 : Bruchanlour Burn by Anne Burgess
Bruchanlour Burn
You would be forgiven for not noticing that there is a burn here, because the... more

NJ2047 : Scattered Trees by Anne Burgess
Scattered Trees
You have to look very carefully at the skyline just left of centre to see two of... more

NJ2048 : Not the Mannoch Road by Anne Burgess
Not the Mannoch Road
This is the point at which the Mannoch Road descends, very gently, into a soggy,... more

NJ2048 : Ford on the Burn of Rothes by Anne Burgess
Ford on the Burn of Rothes
It hasn't really formed itself properly into a burn yet, but this is where the... more

NJ2048 : Mannoch Road by Anne Burgess
Mannoch Road
Now that I'm past the bogs and well over the watershed, the road is again more... more

NJ2049 : Road or River? by Anne Burgess
Road or River?
At this point the water in the ruts on the Mannoch Road is so deep that one might... more

NJ2049 : Snow on the Road by Anne Burgess
Snow on the Road
The road is much improved, but there's still a thin layer of snow lying on it in... more

NJ2049 : Star Mire by Anne Burgess
Star Mire
The old maps show this as boggy ground, but there now seems to be a lochan at the... more

NJ2149 : Fire Break with Fallen Tree by Anne Burgess
Fire Break with Fallen Tree
I am entertained to see from the map that there is a row of grouse butts somewhere... more

NJ2148 : Beside the Old Road by Anne Burgess
Beside the Old Road
To the right of the old forest road is a rather overgrown ditch which drains... more

NJ2148 : Burn of Rothes by Anne Burgess
Burn of Rothes
In the foreground is the roadside ditch, and the light patch is the boggy course... more

NJ2148 : Burn of Rothes by Anne Burgess
Burn of Rothes
The burn is now big enough to look like a proper burn. The old road follows its... more

NJ2148 : New Bridge by Anne Burgess
New Bridge
It was a bit of a surprise to come across this new bridge across the Burn of... more

NJ2248 : Burn of Rothes by Anne Burgess
Burn of Rothes
The road diverges here from the burn, and climbs up above the right bank.

NJ2248 : Meander by Anne Burgess
Meander
The Burn of Rothes flows round a fairly tight curve here. Apparently Lord... more

NJ2248 : Burn of Rothes by Anne Burgess
Burn of Rothes
Looking down from the old road, which is now high above its right bank. If you... more

NJ2248 : Container at the Crossroads by Anne Burgess
Container at the Crossroads
I have no idea why someone has brought a container here and then left it, but it... more

NJ2248 : Twisting Road by Anne Burgess
Twisting Road
This road, becoming quite faint because it is probably not much used, descends... more

NJ2248 : Broom Hillock by Anne Burgess
Broom Hillock
One of the things I was curious to see here was the ruins of the house where my... more

NJ2248 : Half-buried Stone by Anne Burgess
Half-buried Stone
I saw a lot of these on the unsurfaced road - stones or pebbles lying in a hollow... more

NJ2348 : New Bridge by Anne Burgess
New Bridge
The burn of Rothes crosses under the new forest road, which is on a bridge built... more

All images © Anne Burgess and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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