SCOTLAND'S BEST KEPT SECRET

dmcamera
Diane Macdonald @dmcamera
· August 2019 · 7 min read · United Kingdom · #photography

HAVE YOU HEARD OF CRAIGMIN BRIDGE?

Craigmin Bridge
Craigmin Bridge

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



Chances are, you have not! You will not find this unusual bridge listed in any tour books, and you will find no signposts leading to it from the main road. Yet this bridge is listed as a Category A structure and is listed in The Buildings At Risk Register For Scotland, which means that this bridge is pretty significant in Scotland's history and architecture! Of course, if you grew up near Buckie in Scotland's North-East County of Moray like I did, you not only know about it, but you know all the legends surrounding it too!

Access to Craigmin Bridge is not terribly easy to find if you don't know your way around the area, but in recent years it's a little easier to find - thanks to The Fairy Walk , which I wrote about in The Fairy Walkabout a year ago. If you can locate the village of Drybridge just inland from Buckie on a map, then you can also find your way to the Craigmin Bridge. If you have arrived at Drybridge by car, there is no formal parking lot, but the local residents (they are the ones who created the Fairy Walk) won't mind if you park for a short while across from the little antique shop.

Just follow the sign for the Fairy Walk, and you will eventually arrive at Craigmin Bridge.

You will see a small information sign about the village of Drybridge, and on the grass an old hand plow with a directional sign to the bridge.

Informational sign
Informational sign

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



Sign for Craigmin Bridge
Sign for Craigmin Bridge

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



The Fairy Walk and the bridge are located in the private grounds of Letterfourie House, a grand Georgian mansion built in 1773, and designed by Robert Adam, a Scottish neoclassical architect and the son of Scotland's most famous architect of the time, William Adam.

But although the bridge rests on private land, because of the ancient tradition of Scottish Rambling Rights now the Land Reform Act 2003, which puts those rights into writing, there is freedom to roam on private land as long as the rights are carried out responsibly. You may walk, canoe, sail, swim, camp, horse-ride or cycle on private land as long as you exercise responsibility by closing farm gates, and walking along the edges of fields etc. This right does not extend to the use of any motorized vehicle, such as a motorbike, car or speedboat etc.

You will be reminded to keep the gates shut.....

A friendly reminder
A friendly reminder

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



…..and to keep your dog on a leash.

Benjie on leash
Benjie on leash

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



So, let yourself have the imagination of a child again and keep your eyes peeled for the fairies and their homes. You won't be disappointed, I promise. I wrote about the Fairy Walk last year, so rather than repeat myself, check it out here to get a taste of what you will encounter on the way to Craigmin Bridge. Getting there is half the fun!

You will discover magical little houses like this one...

A fairy house
A fairy house

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



…..and you may see tiny doors leading to fairy homes deep in the tree trunks...

A fairy door
A fairy door

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



…..and if you remember look up you may see an ENT keeping a watchful eye on you.

One of the ENTS
One of the ENTS

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



On the way through the woods too, you will stumble upon bits of old ruins like this one.

Ruined wall at Letterfurie
Ruined wall at Letterfurie

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



A sign depicts the end of the Fairy Walk and points to the bridge ahead...


© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



….but proceed at your own risk, The bridge walls are low, and the walk down to where you can view it is pretty steep!

Proceed at your own risk
Proceed at your own risk

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



When you first arrive at the bridge, there is nothing much to see except an unusual wavy wall, because you will actually walk across the bridge which spans the Burn Of Letterfourie in order to get to where you have a good view of it. The following photograph was taken looking back towards the way you will have come.

Looking back across Craigmin Bridge: © Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved
Looking back across Craigmin Bridge: © Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



Once you cross the bridge, on your right a very steep and potentially dangerous path leads you to the burn (or stream) from where you can look back at this unique piece of architecture. And unique it is! There is nothing like it anywhere else in Scotland, or all of the UK!

It was impossible to get a complete view of the bridge because of all the shrubs and trees. I'm hoping that next time I visit that some of that will have been cleared.

The Letterfurie Burn looking towards the bridge
The Letterfurie Burn looking towards the bridge

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



Believed to have been designed by Robert Adam who also designed Letterfourie House, it is thought that perhaps the upper arches and road were built later in order to accommodate a horse and carriage. What is rather strange for a bridge built way out in the countryside, is that both the upper and lower levels have a small room built into them!

Craigmin Bridge
Craigmin Bridge

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



According to stories handed down through the generations, Bonnie Prince Charlie slept in the lower of those rooms when he was fleeing the aftermath of Culloden. The Gordons who lived in Letterfourie House were certainly Jacobites supporting the 1745 rebellion and its dream of putting a Catholic Stuart king back on the throne of Great Britain, but their house and the upper level of the bridge would not have been built in 1745.

Craigmin Bridge
Craigmin Bridge

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



Some say that the bridge is haunted by a Green Lady, a friendly apparition who frequents many a Scottish castle and stately home! A school friend who lived not far from the bridge told me that if you went there on certain nights, you could hear the beating of hooves and the cries of battle! I never did go near the place at night! To be honest, it is quite creepy in the daytime too!

Craigmin Bridge
Craigmin Bridge

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



When you have finished exploring the bridge, follow the path through a field and across in the next field full of sheep you will see the Greencraig Farm camping pods.  Just the perfect place for you to check in and spend a few more nights in this delightful undiscovered area of of Scotland !

Greencraig Farm camping pods
Greencraig Farm camping pods

© Diane Macdonald - All Rights Reserved



I am a professional photographer, and many of my images are available as stock or as fine art on prints and on various products. Check out my portfolio website on Adobe and you will find links to all the places where my work is available. If you see something you wish to purchase in any of my posts, but can't find it anywhere on the stock or art sites, please let me know. Thanks for reading!



An Old Traditional Scottish Toast

May the best ye've ever seen

Be the worst ye'll ever see.

May a moose ne'er leave yer girnal

Wi ' a tear drap in his e'e.

May ye aye keep hale an' herty

Till ye're auld eneuch tae dee.

May ye aye be jist as happy

As we wish ye aye tae be.


Topics: PHOTOGRAPHYOUTDOORBACKPACKINGSTEEMUSA

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I've always wanted to visit Scotland. Your photos are wonderful and what a strange little place.


It is. But it is close to the big country house, so it makes more sense in that context.


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Well it’s not that must of a well kep secret now is it with such clear instructions on how to find it LOL

That fairy walk is so cool I would love to experience that with all those cool things you shared with us, and WOW what an impressive bridge

Thanks for this great post and being an active member of @steemusa !tip


Thanks! Still, not too many people go out of their way to visit that corner of Scotland. It's right at the beginning of the Whisky trail, though!


I am wondering if I ever went to that area i have bene to a few remote areas there but none of those names ring a bell, but i think I did see the Whiskey train or part of it on one visit there


Whisky not whiskey! Lol! Scotch whisky has no "e." You probably would not have gone near Drybridge. It's off the beaten track even for many locals. LOL!


Oops I slapped my wrist for that terrible mistake 😎


🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣


Love this bridge, and love this post! Your photo series is lovely and I really enjoyed reading about this area and the history behind it! It is times like this when I regret not having 50,000 SP so I could give you an awesome upvote! "Bravo!" for this wonderful post! 💖

Thanks so much for such kind words!


dfinney
dfinney @dfinneyAugust 2019

Oh my gosh! Those little fairy houses are soooo cute! What a magical looking spot!


By the time you walk the Fairy Walk it does seem very magical!


By the time you walk
The Fairy Walk it does seem
Very magical!

                 - dmcamera


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.


kunschj
kunschj @kunschjAugust 2019

That has to be one of the most interesting bridges I've ever seen! I really enjoyed reading this, and the images are, well...they're great of course. Thanks for sharing this. !tip


Thanks and thanks for the tip too!


kunschj
kunschj @kunschjAugust 2019

You’re very welcome.


Quick hide this gem!!!


Oops! I’m not sure if the villagers of Drybridge will love or hate me now! Sorry folks. Hope there are no bus tours heading that way now. 😢


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Thanks @mrprofessor and the @travelfeed team!I am honored or honoured! Lol!


An honor will do :)


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I had not heard of CRAIGMIN BRIDGE before @dmcamera before and I'm sure if I'd seem images like the ones you have captured I would have remembered them. How unique is that?

I really enjoyed the picturesque scenery, made all the more beautiful by your superb photography. Great information and a very interesting Scottish Toast. The Scottish language rolls off the tongues of the native people like mini theatrical musicals but understanding what they are saying can sometimes be a challenge. 😄


Thanks Trudee! I hope you got the gist of the toast. It’s overall meaning is that I wish you the best of everything in life.


That is a fascinating bridge! It would be fun to see that one in person. I bet it would make for a purely magical photo in the fog, too!


jzn
jzn @jznAugust 2019

Your post has been curated by PhotoStreem: The Photography Tribe !!
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Thanks!! I appreciate it!