Indiana Jones and the Battle of the Saughs
Airspeed Oxford DF448 on Shank o Donald Young
(Distance covered = 6.2 mile/Ascent = +303m))

A Highland Dancing Competition in Arbroath mean 't it wasn't too far to reach the southern area of the Cairngorms and as it was a Championship it also mean't I would have a bit more time to play with.

My plan was to visit an Airspeed Oxford that crashed on a Hill known as Cairn Trench, I could reach it by parking in Glen Clova and approaching from the south but as I had plenty time I decided to park up the top of Glen Lethnot and take the slightly longer approach from the east.

How lucky am I with the weather!,Blueberry Esmerelda Muffin II parked at the head of Glen Lethnot

Although I'd taken my bike to use on the walk in, there was a sign forbidding the use of Mountain Bikes in the Glen, so I left it on the back of the Pug and set of on foot instead. Just after I left the carpark a Landrover pulled up and the Gamekeeper asked me where I was heading. I thought there may be shooting in the Glen but he was only concerned thar I didn't get attacked by his Bees as he was going up to check the Hives. He also told me the 'No Mountain Bike' sign was no longer valid and I could use the Bike if I wanted.

Passing the Bee Hives at the road end, they didn't attack me after all!

When I told the Gamekeeper I was heading to Cairn Trench to visit the aircraft wreck he informed me there was large pieces of what he thought was a Bristol Beaufort scattered on the top of another hill in the area, he pointed out the location on my map so I decided I would go and investigate that one instead. As I would now be leaving the track after only a mile or so I deemed it not worth the effort of returning to the car for the Bike, so continued on foot.

End of the track, over the little bridge the path was indistinct and boggy

As well as pointing out the location on my map the Gamekeeper also gave me directions, "over the little bridge at the end of the track then follow the path until you come to a swing bridge, then cross that", I was intrigued by what the swing bridge he referred to could possibly be.

Approaching the 'Swing Bridge' over the Waters of Saugh

There is a Swing Bridge on the Tyne that swings around on a turntable to allow boats to pass, that is not how this particular Swing Bridge worked. It was made of thin planks nailed onto slats that were held up by wires, I thought perhaps it should have been described as a Suspension Bridge but as I began walking across it started to bounce up and down and swing from side to side and I started to feel like Indiana Jones in that scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark , I found myself humming the tune as I crossed.

The aptly named after all 'Swing Bridge'

Once over the 'Indiana Jones Experience' there was a beautiful little pebbly beach beside a pool of crystal clear water which lay at the foot of a series of picturesque waterfalls. The watertfalls  provided a soundtrack fitting to the scene. After stopping for a snack and to chill for a bit in the sun I found it hard to leave such an idyllic spot.

It took me quite a while to make any progress up this valley as I kept stopping to photograph each waterfall

It was hard to imagine that such a gorgeous location was the scene of a battle in the 17th century known as 'The Battle of the Saughs'.

A gang of cattle rustlers were pursued by a mob of aggrieved farmers who caught them up at this spot and a vicious and bloody battle ensued between the two groups; one of the thieves named Donald Young found himself at the wrong end of a sword and staggered away onto a nearby hill to die.

Wreckage of Oxford DF448 on Shank o Donald Young

As with Avro Anson wrecks the structure where the undercarriage assembly attaches seems to be ever present at Oxford wrecksites as well, especially the metal brackets that secure the wooden structure and it was these parts that immediately made me realise it wasn't a Beaufort but an Oxford. There is a Beaufort on Hill of Wirren in the same Glen, so the Gamekeeper probably got mixed up with that wreck, he also thought the Vickers Wellington wreck in the area was a Lancaster.

Large and heavy cast iron piece, an identical part can be seen on Braeriach(see here)

More crashsite photos.

Once I'd finished photographing all the pieces it was basically back down the way I'd came, which meant I could play at being Indiana Jones again, but not before having a nice long break at the little pebble beach at the bottom of the waterfalls.

Definitely on my 'Nice place to have a picnic' list.

I'd had a really good day in Glen Lethnot and the Girls had done really well at the competition and to end the day off nicely we went to a local Pub to have a Scottish High Tea.

Hayley and Heather enjoying their 'Scottish' High Tea

Heather's idea of cycling

*--Cairn Trench