November In Newtonmore

We all have our favourite places to visit in the autumn. Glen Affric, Glen Lyon, the Hermitage and the like always spring to mind at that time of the year. Sometimes, though, it’s just nice to find somewhere different and that’s what brought me in early November to Newtonmore.

For eight miles the way-marked “Wildcat Trail” encircles the town – at times out on the open hillside above Glen Banchor, at other times down by the banks of the fast flowing River Spey or climbing through the wooded confines of Glen Calder above the tumbling River Calder. The birch, alder, oak and hazel of the Calder Glen alone are worth travelling a distance to see.

This walk falls within the Cairngorms National Park and from much of the trail we can enjoy grand distant views of the Cairngorms. But you’ll soon find that there’s more to this trail than the views and the autumn colours. All along the way you’ll discover equally colourful tales from the past. Find out what happened to the farmer who blocked the access to Banchor Cemetery and uncover the stories surrounding the mill above the Calder with its curse that the local witch placed upon it.

This would be a great walk for any time of the year but, right now, on this sunny November day, I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.

Willie Shand