The river Findhorn tumbles down from the Monadhliath mountains funnelling through rocky gorges, lined with dense forest. There is a real magical quality here – as soon as I’m in the area I feel the shift in energy. I feel a vibrancy here which is sadly lacking in many places in Scotland.
The river is naturally dark-coloured from the peat in the headwaters, looking rather like Guinness, but is very clean. There are public paths in several places, though care must be taken as the edges are often unprotected, and the going can be steep and rough in places.
My favourite spot is at Randolph’s Leap – supposedly where a fleeing soldier leapt the chasm to escape his pursuers. The midstream rocks here are a photographer’s delight, as the river cascades through the contoured shapes. The paths here are easy and relatively well-maintained, with a good cafe nearby at Logie Steading.
I have been here in many weathers: a spring morning, in perfect sunshine after a cold start – the Beech wood around the eastern bank was a delight as sunlight sparkled through the fresh lime-green leaves; in autumn colour; in winter with frost lacing the rocks. This can be a place of wild, elemental energy, too.