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George
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I was up at Loch Naver yesterday with Gerald, and we paddled across in a canoe to the Dun Creagach broch. Excellent adventure. Not many get to see the Dun Creagach broch up close and personal, as it's very remote and the only access is across the loch by boat. That's Ben Kilbreck covered in snow in the background.

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Someone in Australia sent me this. Looks much more modern than our Highland brochs, and look inspired by them. I still believe the Picts were European refugees escaping Roman rule. Anyone any idea where and when this was constructed?

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Last week I made up my mind to start out the new year with a resounding victory, but sometimes success doesn't come easy. I've been putting off visiting the Dail Langwell broch for a few years as it is remote, there is no easy access, and it's difficult to get to. Would that be a suitable victory for New Year's day? Checked the Met weather forecasts, and after studying maps for a while, decided to go for it. I knew it would be a hard day out, but I felt ready. Here's the broch on the opposite bank of the River Cassley from the single track road.

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I set off early, parked up on a disused old farm, walked to the bridge, and it wasn't there. It was rotten and had been removed. Now what? The river was in heavy spate so there was no way to cross. I then tried the bridge up at Glenmuick, and that one is still there, but it is rotting fast and will probably be dismantled as it is becoming unsafe. First problem was finding somewhere to park. There isn't anywhere, and as you can't park in passing places I had to find a rough verge off the road, and then walk back to the track. From the bridge there is no path to the broch site, and it is difficult going through forested land with a tributary of the River Cassley to cross. There were deer fences too, and I had to look for gates to climb them. Don't know what I'd have done without my maps. On the way I stumbled across a few small herds of startled red deer who obviously didn't expect to see me! At one point, I thought I must have been near the broch and switched on my phone to check where I was with GPS and was surprised and dismayed to learn I was only half way there. I was already tiring and knew I'd be struggling on the way back. It took me 5 hours to reach the broch and return to the car, but I got my photos and wow, was I glad to get home. Excellent start to the year.

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Managed 4 brochs over the weekend, Cairn of Humster, Thrumpster Little broch, and 2 others I've not identified by name yet. The light was excellent and it was mild, almost warm. Good day out!

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Busy weekend here, and the HIghland Brochs website reconstruction is well on track. On Saturday I visited the Leadoch and Carrol brochs on the south banks of Loch Brora, and on Sunday I was up over the Ord visiting the Ousdale broch to see the changes since the conservationists were in.

Leadoch broch surprised me. I've been to it twice before but both times came away thinking it was just a pile of rubble. This time however, I realised that much of the broch is still intact below the current ground level. There was even a small hole down through the rubble and you could clearly make out original stonework. I could also make out the lines of both the interior and exterior walls with the rubble filled space between them. I would think Leadoch would make a good subject for an excavation and some conservation work before it disappears below ground forever.

Carrol is an exceptional broch, relatively speaking. Here you can see the stairs to the first floor gallery and the internal and external walls. I've just updated the website with 32 all new photos of Carrol broch.

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The brochs reconstruction is on track and going well. 51 brochs now have their revamped pages live and online with hundreds of fresh new photos. I've never enjoyed my photography as much as I do now. The latest broch uploaded with revamped images is Loch Naver.

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