Going home to see my Dad, my brother and his family, or my friends, has meant a couple of trail runs along the Portlethen coast. Well, when the alcohol and food levels allow! I’ve discovered a couple of good routes only recently, and it has some really nice places. Such as the Portlethen Community Woodland Park, or Portlethen Harbour, or just north of Portlethen and some other hidden abandoned moments.
There are also some good sections for running, which is really what it’s all about. The photos are an excuse to stop and take a rest. No, I mean they are just an added bonus, it’s all about the running! There’s always an added boost to running a new route I find, it’s the feeling of being young again and exploring, finding your way and doing a little map reading at the same time – shout out to the Viewranger website, along with their iOS and Android apps, which is excellent for finding routes and working out where you should be, or where you’ve already gone wrong!
Back to the Portlethen runs though. The first surprise was the Portlethen Community Woodland Park (Facebook page) where I discovered these fantastic wood carvings. The dog, the frog and the one I just discovered on the recent run, the soldier.
The dog statue is wonderful, it captures quite a bit of emotion in the dog’s face. While the frog is rather cool too, it does lack the emotion in the eyes.
It took me a few runs through the park to realise that there was another carving, and that’s when I discovered the soldier, nestled on a bench, with carved poppy wreaths around it and daffodils just starting to pop-up. I took a few more shots there.
These two are my favourites. I used the Google Pixel 3 Portrait option on the first one to concentrate the eye on what the soldier was holding. The Pixel takes two shots, one with the Portrait effect and one without, and I actually rather like the one without too. It has a distance in it where you look to the winding road and it does illicit a slightly different feeling, as though the soldier has been left behind, or thinking about the road ahead.
Some wider shots didn’t have the same impact, but I wanted more of the scene.
After that I tend to run into Old Portlethen and you can either head to the harbour and north, or south towards the Downies. Here’s a little map so you can see where.
You can see the marker on the map, which you can move around and zoom in and out of, showing where the Portlethen Community Woodland Park is, the route leading from there to Portlethen Village, or Old Portlethen, and from there the tracks that lead to the coast and north, or just south. You can also see a second marker showing where the stones are located on the coast.
The north route doesn’t get too far before it’s hitting road, but if you keep going to Altens you can get back onto a coastal path apparently. I’ve not been that far. South, there’s more track to be had, and there’s Newtonhill harbour too, which you can see with the third marker.
Stones you say? Well, I discovered them heading north, and they look like old defences, but only in one location. Here they are.
Oh, and of course there’s Portlethen bay which has nestled in it a tiny harbour, and the May Craig, a little island filled with gulls.
Heading down towards Newtonhill I got a couple of nice shots of the coast. I’ll put in the smaller images, but remember everything links through to the full size Flickr images.
Then when you finally get down to the harbour there are some nice shots of the harbour itself and the huts and boats.
There are some nice runs up and down the coast, and some nice photos to be had. Next time I’m up there I think I’ll take the Nikon D800E and tripod and walk the route to try and capture some better shots.