The Hogmanay we returned to the rather grand venue of Mar Lodge near Braemar, after a break of eight years. Mar Lodge is a Victorian shooting lodge, severely damaged by fire in 1991 but rebuilt retaining the character of the original building. The Mar Lodge estate is now owned by the Scottish National Trust they offer good value accommodation in a number of apartments in the lodge.
Our new year was not blessed with the best of weather. Having been in Cumbria when the county was hit by another one in a hundred year flood in early December, it was Aberdeenshire’s turn to be hit by heavy rain and floods, the floods being widely reported and the A93 road was washed away almost completely just south of Balmoral. The Invercauld bridge was damaged and Breamar was effectively cut off for several days.
However we made the best of it and had some good walks. Two big walks on Hogmanay and New Years day over the Munros of Carn an’Turic, Cairn of Claise and a much longer walk over Carn a’Mhaim were the most memorable.
All in all, Mar Lodge proved a great venue to sit out some pretty wet weather and the meals that were turned out by the various catering teams were great. Hopefully it will be drier in Glen Shiel next year.