As I have a bit of a dodgy knee at the moment, Debbie and I decided today we would check out the Loch of Blairs on the Altyre estate just outside Forres.
This 50 acre lake is set in amongst a beautiful landscape of field and woodland only a couple of miles outside of Forres on the Granton road.
The walk itself is a gently path that follows the edge of the lake and offers plenty of spaces to sit and take a break to simply enjoy being there.
It’s also a nice opportunity for younger members of the family to try out their cycling skills or maybe drop in a net to catch a few tadpoles.
Along the way we spotted a tiny little Red Squirrel in the tree, deer in the early morning mist and even a beautiful and very large Buzzard resting on a fence post.
The Altyre Estate has been in the hands of the Gordon-Cummings family for over 600 years and is a testimony of the care and attention they applied to the task.
Here’s a bit on the history of the clan from their website.
If you’d like to know a little more about the estate, what you may see there or the family history, follow http://www.altyre-estate.co.uk/our-past-historic.aspx
Clan Cumming is believed to descend from the Norman Robert of Comyn (Comines) who fought alongside William the Conqueror, becoming in due course Earl of Northumberland. He left two sons John and William. William Comyn is recorded as Chancellor to King Henry l of England and as Bishop of Durham and then in 1133 as Chancellor of Scotland to King David l. His nephew Richard Comyn, son of John and grandson of Robert, supported the claimant to the Scottish throne David 1st and married the granddaughter of the former Scottish king Donald lll. His descendants acquired further land and influence through strategic marriages and by 1300 were the most powerful clan in Scotland holding 13 Scottish earldoms. Richard is said by some historians to be the real founder of the Scottish Comyns. The insignia of the clan was the cumin plant – in Gaelic Lus Mhic Cuiminn.
The clan flourished strongly in Badenoch, south-east Inverness-shire from circa 1080-1330 based at Lochindorb Castle. William’s brother John –father to Richard – is seen by many historians as the keystone of the family line. It is his direct descendant Sir John Comyn -‘the Red Cumin’ – who was the first lord of Badenoch and later in 1240 ambassador of Alexander ll to King Louis lX of France. Sir John’s son –also John – was known as the Black Lord of Badenoch and was later a candidate for the Scottish crown. His son, also known as the Red Cumin, was the last Cumin to hold the title of Lord Badenoch. The high mark in the family’s political fortunes passed with the slaying of a number of Comyn nobles at the battle of Culbleau in Glenwick in 1335. . . . more . . .