By Bernie Bell
There are two ways to get down to the beach at Waulkmill Bay, in Orphir. One is across the road from the toilet block on the road above the Bay. By the way – this toilet block is now open – one person at a time – with hand wash and wipes – all v. good – everything is provided, then it’s up to the public to behave right!
The path which starts across the road from here has an information board…..
It is steep, and, if the tide is in, you can find yourself right at the water’s edge, with not much room to manoeuvre, and possibly a slog back up the steps, to get back to the road. If the tide is right in, it’s best to turn to your right, and go a little bit up the road from the toilet block, to a small car parking space, and the start of an alternative path down to the Bay.
When the tide is out – Waulkmill Bay is a stunning sweep of sand.
At this time of year, going down the path, you will find yourself walking through stands of Willow trees, and masses of Rosebay Willow Herb in flower ….
The year has moved on, and it is very much an autumnal scene. As you approach the beach, you can see the curve of the Bay, and, behind a spit of land, there is a salt-marsh, with a back-drop of the Orphir Hills – an interesting contrast to the beach.
On the salt-marsh, we found a lot of Lion’s Mane and one Blue Fire jellyfish. They were way back on the marsh, and we thought that the high tide accompanying the full moon on the 2nd of the month, must have deposited them here – quite a long way from the sea.
After exploring the salt-marsh, we turned back, walking along by Mill Burn, which flows to the sea, from the Loch of Kirbister…
….and along the beach, where we stopped to take in a fine view of Waulkmill, Scapa Flow with its oil tankers and platforms, and a sign for the Magnus Way https://www.stmagnusway.com/
And it was peaceful.
Then home, to sausage butties, made with Flett’s vegebangers http://eflettbutcher.co.uk/ – comfort food for an Autumn day.