Ages: Colin was 66 years and 89 days. Rosemary was 63 years and 232 days.
Weather: Hot and sunny with a pleasant breeze.
Location: Findhorn to Forres.
Distance: 6½ miles.
Total distance: 1656½ miles.
Terrain: Little beach, mostly road. Flat.
Kissing gates: None.
‘Historic Scotland’ properties: No.18, the Dallas Dhu Historic Distillery where we sampled a free ‘wee dram’ even though the distillery closed down 25 years ago!
Ferris wheels: None.
How we got there and back: We were staying in a holiday cottage in Gardenstown. We drove to Forres in order to glean some local information (bus times, etc) from the Tourist Information Centre. Then we drove out to Dallas Dhu and toured the distillery. Finally we returned to Forres, parked the car and took a bus out to Findhorn. We walked to the exact spot where we left the beach yesterday.
At the end, we crossed into Forres over the level crossing, returned to our parked car, drank our tea, then returned to our cottage in Gardenstown.
Out of Findhorn we had no choice but to walk on the road. It was too busy for our liking, but there was no alternative. Several times we tried to walk along the grass by the river, but it was a drained swamp and we kept getting turned back by deep drainage ditches.
We passed the end of the runway of RAF Kinloss, where we were warned of the dangers of low-flying aircraft. It reminded me of Ford Aerodrome in Sussex back in the early 50s.
We had occasional views across the basin, and of Forres in the distance. We also passed a highly decorated cycleway post, but otherwise this part of the Walk was a bit of a route-march. We reached a road junction on the outskirts of Forres, just before the lane went over the railway into the town.
Dallas Dhu Distillery
Dallas Dhu Distillery is situated about a mile out of Forres to the south. It closed in 1983, and the buildings were taken over by ‘Historic Scotland’. That is why we visited it, free on our ‘English Heritage’ tickets. We toured it during the morning of the day we did this Walk, that is why we didn’t start walking until the afternoon.
We followed a ‘tape tour’ which was quite interesting. All the equipment has been left in place, and we were told the story of how the whisky used to be made.
On the ground floor was an old horse-drawn fire engine. I was particularly interested in this because my grandfather used to be Captain of the Arundel Castle Fire Brigade and was in charge of just such an engine. The pump was driven by steam, so they had to light a fire inside the engine to get steam up to work the pump and put out the fire! They could do this in only five minutes. This fire engine was last used in 1929, but my Grandad went better than this. His engine was used all through the Second World War, and the Duke of Norfolk’s private fire brigade was not disbanded until 1946. That fire engine is now displayed in Arundel Castle, West Sussex.
When we completed our tour, as is traditional with Scottish distilleries, we were given a ‘wee dram’! (It was not Dallas Dhu whisky as that is now quite valuable, but was a single malt from another local distillery.) Since we hadn’t paid for our tour, having got in free on our ‘English Heritage’ tickets, our ‘wee dram’ was absolutely free! I joked with the guide who was pouring it out, “If we go outside and come in again, free on our ticket, can we have a second wee dram?” He laughed and said, “Only if you go right outside the gate, then come in and do the whole tour again!” Then he told us of a local resident of Forres who joined ‘Historic Scotland’ solely for the purpose of getting his wee dram for free! “We had to put a stop to it in the end,”he said, “he was coming round too often!”