The Ridge Path

The last of our main circular paths in Anagach Woods.

You already know all about the route down General Wade’s Road from our guides to The Swing Path and The Bog Path.

You should follow General Wade’s all the way down – past the spot where the path splits off towards the bogs (1). The path will follow a gentle incline and take you past some large trees on the right. There is also the remnants of a fallen branch from a previous storm (2). All the pine needles have fallen off, leaving an interesting set of branches.

As you carry on this path, you will reach a small car park adjoining the main road leading to Speybank (3). Being a main entrance to the woods, there is also a noticeboard (4) with a map of Anagach Woods. Oh and some bins for any rubbish or dog poo you have accumulated.

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From here, you have a choice – there are two paths that run parallel to each other. The map will take you on the right hand path so so will I.

The path now goes up hill (5), becoming more and more steep at a tight N bend. There is a wooden bench (6) at the top of this mound – you can probably get an okay view through the trees. If you keep going a little further, the trees thin out a little bit beside a wire fence and you can see the Cromdales a bit.

The path sits on a ridge, hence the name of this route. The sides slope away on the right to the houses at Speybank (7). The main track continues straight ahead (8), taking in some small ups and down before reaching some tall pine trees and starting to snake a little (9). There are some lovely views of the tall trees along here. Hit the route at the right time and the light coming through the mist looks spectacular: click here forĀ one of my pictures from this spot.

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Eventually the main path takes a distinct left turn (11), leading you down a hill and shortly to an intersection with a wide track (12). Bear left and you will find yourself going downhill (13, 14). It’s not steep but keep an eye out for tree roots and big stones.

After a wee while, you’ll come out at the big watery bog and from here you just need to follow the Bog Path guide to get back to the top of the woods.

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I heart London wristband lost things

Special things you lost in the woods 9

Seem to be on a bit of a run on this thread recently. Don’t worry – I am planning a different post. Will try and get it finished this week.

In the meantime, I spotted this sitting on a tree stump this morning, just on the way back from the bog. Nearly didn’t see it. It’s size and dark colour camouflaged it pretty well. Guess it must have said I (heart) London so it must be a sign of its age that the middle bit has gone.


Silver whistle hanging from a tree branch in the forest

Special things you lost in the woods 8: Found

I’ve found something a wee bit different this week: a podcast that speaks to me. Only one episode in and I am hooked.

Found is an American podcast about the notes that people find. It seems a circuitous story but the presenter, Davy Rothbart, found a note on the windscreen of his car in 2000. It wasn’t for him but it sparked a curiosity that has grown into a magazine, (oddly) a musical and now a podcast. You can find out more at the website: Found.

The programme recounts his favourite finds and speaks to the actual people who wrote the notes.

Bog Cotton Tales is loving it – and keeping our eyes peeled for finds of our own down the woods. I’ve seen receipts and lists before – but it would be great to find anything like some of the notes on the website.

Brown moth

Word of Moth 2

Welcome to a little game I like to call Moth or Leaf.

We’re lucky in Anagach that there are so many different creatures – deer, capercaillie, rabbits, pheasants, woodpeckers, but also flies, ants, butterflies and moths.

You have to be pretty keen-eyed to spot them sometimes. They hide in plain sight – on leaves, under leaves, on heather – but are so well camouflaged that you could miss them on first glance.

At this time of year, all the fallen leaves and bits of bark seem to look like moths, complete with pine needles for antenna.

Here’s a wee gallery so you can see what I mean.

Little eyes in the forest

Autumn is definitely upon us. Suddenly trees have turned yellow and early morning dog walks have to be made by torchlight.

The cold beam of the headtorch takes the colour out of everything, making these wee treks very dreary. And as you scan around the woods, it’s a bit of a surprise/fright to see the little green eyes of deer looking out at you. Spotting a black dog is also much harder than usual – I have keep looking for her little eyes as well. I suppose that I’ll have to get used to it: the mornings will not be light for several months now.

With the freedom that the weekend provides, I had hoped to head out this morning with a camera to capture some of the lovely colours that are starting to appear.

But of course, the weather has other ideas and here in Grantown-on-Spey, we are cloaked in grey cloud and rain. Dreich is the only word for it.

Hoping for better skies tomorrow – these pictures from autumns past will have to suffice.

Beetle on its back


My eyes have been fixed on the ground during recent walks, watching for beetles. For some reason, lots of these little creatures seems to be floundering on their backs just now.

They’re not hard to spot – their bright blue undersides stand out against the orangey-yellow of the pine needles that blanket the paths. When you look closer, you can see their wee legs flailing around in the air. They remind me a bit of drunk people who fall over and can’t get up.

Poor beetles – when they end up on their backs they can’t right themselves and then die. I think I tried to help at least half a dozen yesterday but there were several more that hadĀ  stopped moving.

Found this article from 2011 that suggests that they might be in a weakened state even before it falls over. Perhaps my help was futile and it’s just their time to go.