Lecht to Tomnavoulinhike

There’s been a few times heading to Aviemore via The Lecht that peaking out of a car or bus window, I’ve spotted the ghost of an unusual building up a side valley, and wondered about it. Today’s walk with Aberdeen Hillwalkers started right here, so I was away to find out.

Lecht Mine

A quality info post was to be a pattern today, local organisations doing a really good job of maintaining and highlighting the history of various points of interest

Mine fine sign

The building itself has been refurbished in recent times, and is in excellent nick

Lecht Mine
More mine signage
Wood you believe it, very nicely renovated

Having had a good nosey around it, time to head over north over Carn Dulack. Although the path on the map starts away from the building there is a steep shortcut to get up to it without heading too far back

Above the mine on the shortcut

Carn Dulack was windswept and chilly and I stopped behind a cairn to get a windproof jacket on.

Up on to

The path fizzled out heading downhill and we hacked through abundant juniper, crossed the burn and regained an overgrown trail

This shed would have made for a good break spot with tables and chairs but also a big lame sheep. Hopefully not it’s final resting place.

Beyond the ruins of the Clash of Scalan, we could see farmhouses and outbuildings – these were the Scalan seminary, an old hideaway for catholic priest trainees. They too have been refurbished over many years, and they’ve done a great job

There’s a toilet block around the back, and the main building was also open so we went in for a wander around and had our lunch out of the wind

Not all the outbuildings were open, but this barn was. I’d read on one of the signs about old graffiti in one but think that was in a closed one, probably to preserve it from modern addition. Although we’d headed over the hill to reach here, it’s only a short walk from a car park.

This waterwheel can generate electricity bit was dormant today, though the stream rushes past under it.

A mile further on farm tracks and the roads had us passing Braeval distillery

Fortunately the road interlude wasnt too long and we were soon back on paths below the hill “The Bochel” which normally I’d have climbed but today, having ambled with the pack sociably didn’t quite have enough time to do so.

Having missed out on The Bochel, we entered woodland and my eye soon filtered a specific tone of yellow form the burgeoning autumn palette – a chanterelle or two, then three or four..

My foraging in the undergrowth had me fallen behind, and I nearly missed the faint turnoff path hidden under bracken down to and across The Crombie Water

The path headed through a field and the cows thankfully were distant, I headed uphill tempted by the ruin of Delhandy but boarded up and non-explorable.

Delhandy farmhouse

No sign of the group ahead – but they’d missed the turnoff and wandered on the wrong side of the river and at Tombae I caught them up.

Across the River Livet
Track near Tombae
Old footbridge
Parish Church of the Incarnation, Ballindalloch
Path from the road along the Livet
Across the River Livet. A deep pool lies below the bridge, too dark today to spot any fishes

A path snakes along a burn past the old visitor centre which is incongruous amongst the modern industrial facility above of the Tamnavoulin distillery

Tamnavulin old vistor’s centre
Wheely nice old building
Tamnavulin distillery is in Tomnavoulin
Tomnavoulin store is now gently eroding, the phone box a community book store
A wrong turn south had us spotting this fine Osprey sculpture in a garden

All told an interesting day out with a fair bit of variety of terrain and historical interest, if not rugged altitude.

Having arrived in Bridge of Livet as the rain came one we made for Dufftown once more for a refreshment stop before home.

Spey Valley do indeed do fine ales

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