Log No 31. Tue 30th Apr 2013 - Stonehaven to Aberdeen, 19 miles (510 miles walked)This would be my last day & night based at Fiona's, after I have reached Aberdeen it will be back to reality, walking with a full pack and not always knowing where I will be camping at the end of the day.
The weather was probably the best so far this trip, a lot of blue sky and not quite as cold as it has been.
I got off the bus at Stonehaven at 10.50 and I was expecting it would be late before I get into Aberdeen. I walked along the front for a short while before going inland a bit onto the minor road.
This joined the main road (A90) which was very busy, it was dual carriageway but there was a footpath for me to walk on.
The first time a lorry came by my cap got blown off with the back-draught so I had to remember to hold onto it every time one came by.
The footpath around Cran Hill from Newtonhill
I eventually got off the main road at 12.00 when I took a track into Muchalls, a small ex-fishing village.
A footpath (with a Coastal Path sign) out of the village took me past the farm, Mains of Monduff, and into Newtonhill where I had a quick lunch sat on a bench looking over the Burn of Elsick to Cran Hill.
The route ahead was clearly signposted, a footbridge over the burn then a footpath up to a track going round the side of Cran Hill.
The coast ahead from Cran Hill
I wasn't on the actual coast but I don't think I could get very near it anyway as it seemed to be gorse filled slopes above the cliff.
It was very pleasant walking, a mixture of footpath, track and minor roads taking me by the farm at Blackburn, through Downies and into Portlethen Village.
I never saw a sign here and decided to head towards Portlethen and take the first track back to the coast.
When I got to the bay here there was a signpost which looked as though the path could have continued along the coast from the village.
With the map showing two quarries ahead of me on the coast I presumed I would not have access so, at Findon, I stayed on the minor road, which was also the cycleway, into Cove Bay. It was 15.15 and I reckoned I would be in Aberdeen much earlier than I had first thought.
Caves at Cove Bay
At Cove Rangers football ground a Coastal Path sign and information board showed a path all the way to Nigg Bay.
Razorbills and Kittiwakes at Cove
Taking this track under the railway I came out at the cliffs which were noisy with nesting birds, Razorbills & Kittiwakes.
This was a very good footpath, with evidence of fairly recent maintenance, and it followed the cliff with all it's ins and outs..
Apart from 3 climbers on the cliff at Burnbanks Haven I never met anyone else, only a horse in one of the fields of the Rare Breeds Farm at Doonies wanted to keep me company and followed me up to the edge of it's field boundary.
Shortly after Doonies Farm there was a warning sign reporting erosion on some of the path, well done Aberdeen you didn't say the path was closed.
The footpath and looking to the lighthouse at Girdle Ness
I rounded Greg Ness then the path came down to Nigg Bay, from here I stayed on the road as it went round the side of the final headland of Girdle Ness and into Aberdeen.
The weather had clouded over during the last hour or so and I needed to put on a fleece as the wind, even being mainly behind me, was still cold.
I got to the bus station at 17.05, making it 6 hours 15 minutes for todays 19 miles, a much more respectable rate of knots.
Apart from the spell alongside the A90 it was an enjoyable day and I had no physical problems.