The Cambs

Glenshee, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Glenshee - The Valley of the Fairies

The name Glenshee has the romantic meaning of Glen of the Fairies and there are many associations with earlier peoples, mythical or otherwise, in the immediate vicinity.

The cottage is situated in a very beautiful area, ideal for hill-walking and when there is snow, for skiing. About 200 metres away, there is a pool in the river where it is deep enough to swim. Walking is perhaps the main activity and you only have to go out of the gate to find yourself on the Cateran Trail. The caterans were cattle reivers, who terrorised the area for several hundred years until irate locals finally banded together and defeated them in a battle north of the Spittal of Glenshee in 1606. The Cateran Trail website is worth a look not only for information about the walking route but also for its very comprehensive account of notable landmarks and historical - and mythical - events in the area, including the legend of Grainne and Diarmid, the Celtic Guinevere and Lancelot, whose grave is just beyond the Cambs.

There are 2 hotels quite near. The Spittal Hotel, less than 10-minutes' walk, is a convivial place for a pint, without having to risk your driving licence. The former shooting lodge, Dalmunzie Hotel, is a half hour pleasant stroll; they have a good restaurant but perhaps a greater attraction is the 9-hole golf course, spectacularly situated in this high mountain valley.

Fishing for trout and salmon is almost on the doorstep in the Shee Water and several lochans. Contact the Finegand Estate for more information.

Pony trekking and riding lessons are available at Glenmarkie in neighbouring Glenisla. After a few hours in the saddle, or to pass the time until someone else comes back, they also have spa facilities, including jacuzzi and massage.

The nearest shops are at Braemar about 10 miles away and Blairgowrie has a large Tesco.

It is an excellent base for visiting Royal Deeside or the castles of Aberdeenshire. Braemar Castle is the closest. Balmoral Castle, the Scottish retreat of the royal family since Queen Victoria purchased it in 1848, is open to the public at certain times of the year but not from August until early October.


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