Day 62 & 63. Sunday & Monday, 9th & 10th April. St Cyrus to Stonehaven.
It was a good plan to climb the cliffs up to St Cyrus, the campsite was perfect. Lovely and quiet, it had a washing machine & dryer so I washed all of my clothes for the princely sum of £3 and the food in the local pub was excellent. A huge thank you to the owners of the Ecclesgreig Holiday Park, when they found out what I was doing they kindly let me stay for free and for that I'm very grateful. I received a visitor on Saturday morning, Brian, the Master from St Ninians Lodge No. 66 in Brechin and also a freind of Graeme, a Scottish Mason now living down in Lincolnshire. We had a good chat over a coffee and I spent the rest of the day trying to catch up with my admin. I met a lovely couple from Burnley in the pub, Lisa and Richard were having a long weekend break, also staying on the campsite. While they were out walking to Montrose, I did consider sneaking into their back yard and having a soak in their hot tub while my washing was in but I didn't, that would have been naughty.. 😳
On Sunday morning, as it was Easter Sunday, I stopped in at the church in St Cyrus before I left. I met Basil in church, a Past Master from Lodge St David 572 in Inverbervie, it was also Basils birthday. We had a lovely chat and we've been it touch since when Basil kindly sent me a potted history of his lodge, which dates back to before 1738 !!! Incredible history...
It was a cold and showery morning as I headed up the coast, stopped in Johnshaven for a lovely warm bowl of soup in The Hidden Treasure tearoom, thank you ladies for the lunch and your kind donation. Both Johnshaven and Gourdon were lovely, quaint little fishing villages, I had a quick look around both and moved on.
I arrived in Inverberbie late afternoon, after meeting Basil in St Cyrus, he had put a message on Facebook and I received a message from someone asking me to stop in at the Crown Hotel on my way through. I'd not been there long and a chap called Alec came in and whisked me away in his car to have a look around the lodge in Inverberbie and in Johnshaven. Both very old Lodges with a fascinating history. Lodge St David 572 was consecrated in 1875 but prior to that it had been the lodge of Bervie and that charter dates back to 1738. This was of course when a charter was issued but it is very well known in Scotland that many of the Lodges had been operating long before the Grand Lodge was created and indeed charters were issued by others long before Grand Lodge got involved.
Alec kindly dropped me back at the Crown where I stayed the night.
As I was leaving Inverberbie, this figurehead caught my attention. A replica of the original which adorns the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London. The figurehead depicts the comely young witch in Robert Burns poem, Tam o'shanter and the designer of the famous clipper, Hercules Linton was born and died in the same house here in Inverberbie. The Cutty Sark was famous as the fastest vessel to travel between Australia and Britain in the late 1800's, a record it held for nearly 10 years.
I was soon away from the road and back on the coast, I had heard about the old Kirk at Kineff so made a small detour down to the sea to have a look.
This old church is famous as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the oldest Crown Jewels in the UK were hidden when Cromwell's army advanced into Scotland in 1651, he wanted them captured and destroyed as he had own set which were obviously much more bling... The honours were presented to James IV in 1494 and the crown had been worn by King Charles II at his Coronation on 1st January 1651. This of course was the last king to be crowned in Scotland and this only happened after Charles I was executed in 1649. Only a few more weeks and we will see the coronation of King Charles III, in England, wearing The St Edward Crown which has been used since the coronation of Charles II.
History lesson complete, it was time to get wiggle on, I had been invited to a meeting in Stonehaven which was still a good 11-12 miles walk, I'd already walked 3 miles and it was well past lunch time. Fortunately there was a lot of road walking as there isn't a path along much of this stretch and the cliffs are treacherous, I did have a look but retreated back to the road as where the farmers had ploughed right up to the edge, it was far too dangerous to try and walk along it.
Further up the coast, I could get back onto the coastal path at Dunnottar Castle, the place where the Crown Jewels were being kept when Cromwell's army attacked. Being a Bank Holiday the place was crawling with tourists so I sat on the cliffs for a bit with my feet in the sun before finishing the last few miles down into Stonehaven.
I'd received a message to inform me that a room had been booked for me at Belvedere Guest House and the Lodge was due to Tyle at 7.30, just enough time to get booked in, get a hot shower and iron my kit.