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16:00 - 17 July 2004

Today we take a walk to Quarry Wood, to the west of Elgin, using a route which offers enjoyable walking and a pleasant and satisfying round trip.

From Cooper Park, carefully cross the A941 to Lossie Green and pick up the path beside the River Lossie.

Just before Haugh Road a footbridge takes you across the river cutting out a loop.

A second footbridge at Mary Well recrosses the water and you walk across the fields to Old Mills.

Follow the road from Old Mills to reach and cross Bow Brig which dates from 1630 and is the oldest stone bridge across the Lossie.

Cross Morriston Road and bear left, then go right up Brumley Brae to reach Oak Wood at a sign saying "Pedestrian Paths".

Take the higher path through the wood and keep left at a fork.

Walk south-west to a crossing where the wood changes from mainly oak to birch. Turn right, uphill.

Cross the clearing below the power lines then go across a forest road and carry on for about 250m to a crossing at the edge of the wood with Laverockloch to the right (laverock is the Scots word for a skylark).

Follow the edge of the wood uphill for about 800m.

At the top you can see Duffus Castle and east along the coast towards Cullen.

The castle, originally built in 1163 of timber and earthwork, was once a royal stronghold.

The timber tower on the hill would have been surrounded by a moat protecting an island of about 10 acres with a courtyard surrounded by a 15ft wall.

After the view of Duffus Castle turn left along the ridge-top path into the wood.

At a crossing stay left, reach a clearing, then continue along a wide track.

Where the views open up, take a left fork turning sharply back to a turning circle for vehicles.

Pick up a small path heading south and soon reach the main path heading back east along the south side of the hill.

Continue along this path and walk downhill over three path crossings.

At a junction near the A96 road, turn left on to a broad path and follow this path until you reach the point where you turned right to walk uphill earlier.

From here, retrace your outward route to Elgin.

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