Phenomenal Phoineas - Aird 1
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A walk or cycle up Phoineas Hill, through Belladrum Forest. The cache site gives good views across the Beauly Firth and the low lying farmland around it, known as 'The Aird'.
The cache is about 3km from the road along a good quality forest track, with an ascent of about 150m. The last 50m are over rough ground (heather).
Parking is available by the forest gate at NH 52387 42193
If you want a circular walk, there are also tracks into the forest at NH 52508 42540 and NH 52019 40568, though the 2nd of these is somewhat overgrown and muddy.
You may find it helpful to look at a map (OS 50K or 25K or OpenStreetMap), though you won't get lost if you keep to the main tracks.
This walk is featured in the leaflet "Paths Around the Aird", along with a few nearby walks and a map. These leaflets are available at local tourist information centres, or download a PDF from here.
While up the hill, it is worth following the track up the steep hill to the mast, for impressive views to the North and West.
The site of an ancient Pictish fort is on the hill at NH 53293 42536, to get there head North East for about 100m from the mast, through the gap in the trees - take care near the cliffs. These historical remains are not particularly obvious, they can be mostly hidden by bracken in summer.
For more information about the Belladrum area, see www.belladrum.co.uk, particularly interesting is the map and key, which has much about the history of the estate.
There is a disposable camera in the cache, please take a photo of yourself, or of the view - I will get it developed and the photos online when it is full.
Nzzb obk, ng onfr bs gnyyre fcehpr gerr, gb gur abegu rnfg bs ebpxf ng fhzzvg.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum