Geo-Trips :: The Fishwives' Path again


A walk from Newmill, Fri, 19 Aug 2022 by Anne Burgess

In days gone by fishwives from Buckie would regularly walk to Keith with baskets of fish to sell or barter for eggs, butter and other farm produce. The women walked 25 miles a day, carrying 40 lbs (18 kgs) of fish for half of that distance. Mary Jane Milne, the last fishwife to walk the route, started at the age of 13 or 14 and worked until the mid 1950s, retiring at the age of 73.

The path was restored and officially reopened in 2013, though it doesn't follow the direct route the fishwives took from Addie Hill straight down to Drodland, even though this is what is currently (20212) shown on the map on Moray Council's 'Moray Ways' web site.

We had walked the Fishwives' Path in 2020 - see Link - but a couple of friends were keen to do it with us, so we did it again. We left a car at Drybridge this time, instead of in Buckie, and then drove round to Newmill, from which it was a very pleasant and easy walk on a warm sunny day.

After passing Fernking Smithy, we found that the route had been changed again, Instead of following the original diversion along paths through the forest, it is now diverted off the that diversion along a forest road. We don't know why, or whether the new diversion is permanent.

On leaving Craigmin Bridge, we were a little disapponted to see that all the fairy houses have been removed, leaving a more than averagely dull path through dark conifers. We gather that Elfansafety (no pun intended) got involved, but that there are plans to put them somewhere else, as yet unspecified.

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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NJ4352 : Newmill Clock Tower by Anne Burgess
Newmill Clock Tower
The clock tower was built in 1922-1923 as a memorial to the people of Newmill who... more

NJ4352 : Where to? by Anne Burgess
Where to?
One way leads to Newmill and Keith; another to Drybridge and Buckie, but 'Please... more

NJ4452 : Field of Barley by Anne Burgess
Field of Barley
In the distance there is a glimpse of part of Keith.

NJ4554 : Roehill by Anne Burgess
Looking across the Burn of Aultmore to the houses at Roehill.

NJ4554 : Garral Burn by Anne Burgess
Garral Burn
Looking upstream from the road bridge just before the burn joins the Burn of Aultmore.

NJ4556 : An Improvised Greenhouse by Anne Burgess
An Improvised Greenhouse
Did the sunflower seed itself, or was it put there in a pot?

NJ4556 : Waymarker by Anne Burgess
The top of [[[6634409]]] with all information in view.

NJ4556 : Rowan Berries (Sorbus aucuparia) by Anne Burgess
Rowan Berries (Sorbus aucuparia)
Like most berries this year, these Rowan berries are ripening earlier than usual.

NJ4456 : Ruinous Building by Anne Burgess
Ruinous Building
The buildings here are shown on all the historic Ordnance Survey maps, but not... more

NJ4457 : Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops) by Anne Burgess
Scotch Argus (Erebia aethiops)
This species is almost confined to northern and western Scotland. It flies only in... more

NJ4458 : Fishwives' Path by Anne Burgess
Fishwives' Path
The waymarked route of the Fishwives' Path deviates from the route used by the... more

NJ4458 : Not the Fishwives' Path by Anne Burgess
Not the Fishwives' Path
The last time we walked the Fishwives' Path, the waymarkers directed us along this... more

NJ4458 : A Welcoming Sign by Anne Burgess
A Welcoming Sign
This is the helpful sign that greeted us as we joined the forestry road that is... more

NJ4458 : Log Piles by Anne Burgess
Log Piles
Stacks of tree trunks beside the forestry road await transport to a sawmill.

NJ4458 : Clear Felled Forest by Anne Burgess
Clear Felled Forest
There's nothing quite so untidy as the devastation left when the forest harvesters... more

NJ4458 : Forest Operations by Anne Burgess
Forest Operations
A tree harvesting machine is parked beyond the stacks of logs awaiting removal to... more

NJ4458 : Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre) by Anne Burgess
Marsh Thistle (Cirsium palustre)
A fine unblemished specimen of the species, which will flower next summer.

NJ4458 : Waymarker by Anne Burgess
At this point the Fishwives' Path rejoins the route originally used by the... more

NJ4458 : Fishwives' Path by Anne Burgess
Fishwives' Path
The Buckie fishwives walked straight down here on their way to and from Keith, but... more

NJ4459 : Addie Hill by Anne Burgess
Addie Hill
The Fishwives' Path follows the gap in the forest to the summit of Addie Hill. I... more

NJ4459 : Inkerman by Anne Burgess
This is the identical view to [[[6634980]]]. In the two intervening years the tree... more

NJ4459 : Inkerman by Anne Burgess
Another view of the ruined 'Crimean Croft'. Compare with [[[6634980]]]. The tree... more

NJ4459 : Inquisitive Cattle by Anne Burgess
Inquisitive Cattle
The cattle all came over to take a look at us as we passed by. I suppose a party... more

NJ4460 : Cow and Calf by Anne Burgess
Cow and Calf
A brown cow with suckling calf watches us as we pass along the path outside her... more

NJ4460 : Bluebells (Campanula rotundifolia) by Anne Burgess
Bluebells (Campanula rotundifolia)
These are the Bluebells of Scotland, known in England as Harebells.

NJ4460 : Bluebells (Campanula rotundifolia) by Anne Burgess
Bluebells (Campanula rotundifolia)
These are the Bluebells of Scotland, known in England as Harebells.

NJ4460 : Waymarker by Anne Burgess
The waymarker indicates the route of the Fishwives' Path.

NJ4460 : Fields of Barley by Anne Burgess
Fields of Barley
Barley getting close to being ready for harvesting. The large shed is at... more

NJ4461 : Barley near Greenbank by Anne Burgess
Barley near Greenbank
The crop is almost ready for harvesting. The trees mark the gully of the Burn of Buckie.

NJ4462 : Craigmin Bridge by Anne Burgess
Craigmin Bridge
From the west bank of the Burn of Buckie, the view of the bridge is hampered by... more

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

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