Dulnain Bridge

Dulnain Bridge

Dulnain Bridge is a village in Strathspey, next to the meeting of the River Dulnain and the River Spey, three miles south-west of Grantown-on-Spey, in the Scottish Highlands and the Highland council area.

History

The bridge was swept away in a flood in 1829, but was re-built. The population is estimated at less than two hundred, and the surrounding area is popular with tourists, as it is surrounded by mountains. The traditional counties of Inverness-shire and Morayshire are separated by the bridge, which has existed for centuries.

The village lies near to the A95, in the Cairngorms National park. The village comprises two communities. Dulnain Bridge itself is centred to the north of the bridge, and this particular part of the village lies in Morayshire. The crofting community of Skye-of-Curr stretches for a mile to the south, and this is in Inverness-shire.

Attractions

The main attractions at Dulnain Bridge are Muckrach Lodge Hotel and Restaurant, a four star resort with a two AA rosette restaurant, and The Speyside Heather Centre, which sells all sorts of Scottish merchandise, and also has a cafe. The north end of Dulnain Bridge has a display of a type of glaciated rock called roche moutonnées, and there are Pictish carved stones. Two Stone Age coffins were found in the 1880s in a burial cairn in Curr Wood.

Golf courses are aplenty around Dulnain Bridge, including the Boat of Garten course, which has been rated as the 39th best in Britain.

Antiquated Farm Machinery Project

In the north of the village and next to the roches moutonnees (see below), is the display of farm machinery, set up by the Dulnain Bridge & Vicinity Community Council. It features farming machinery that has been used for decades in the fields around the Dulnain Bridge area.

The council describe it as a 'collection of implements from a bygone age' and the machinery is donated by local residents. Moray, Badenoch and Straphypey Enterprise helped in the creation of the project.

Strathspey Railway

Dulnain Bridge is the starting point of the famous Strathspey Railway, an old steam train that runs from Dulnain through part of the Highlands to Aviemore and a whole trip takes around and hour and a half, and is run primarily by volunteers.

2007 Protest

In 2007, nearly two hundred people from Dulnain Bridge and more from the surrounding area gathered to watch or take part in a protest mrch from the Dulnain Bridge town hall, across the bridge and through much of the village, before returning to the town hall. The protest took place on 5th July 2007.

The march was in aid of a number of villagers concerned about Dulnain Bridge's absence to popular Highland culture. The village was compared to fictional village Brigadoon, a story about a village that appears just once every one hundred years. Organisers of the march spoke of how they though Dulnain Bridge disappears from people's minds. The march was to raise awareness of the village.

The march was the start of a campaign to get Dulnain Bridge 'on the map'. "The problem for residents is that, like the mythical village of Brigadoon, Dulnain Bridge keeps disappearing from the map," opined one resident. Villagers were disappointed by the village's absence from the map of the Outsider Festival that took place in the Highlands.

Landmarks and Figures

The main animal figures in Dulnain Bridge are the popular Archie and Angus, who reside in the front field at Muckrach Lodge Hotel, two highland cows who are popular with locals and tourists. They have made a picture-postcard setting for nearly ten years.

The village hall and church are located on the main road in Dulnain Bridge, next to the village shop and garage. On the other side of the main road is the river, with Dulnain Bridge over it. On the other side of the bridge is a park and children's playground.

Roches Moutonnees

At the north end of the village sit a display of volcanic rocks called the roches moutonnees. Around 18,000 years ago Dulnain Bridge was covered by a sheet of glacier ice. As the ice moved along it ground down and shaped the rock. As the ice melted, it left smooth, exposed rock in some places and a mixture of boulder and clay in other areas.

The rocks mark the north entrance of the village and lie next to the agricultural farm machinery project. The rocks feature on the Dulnain Bridge road sign and are considered the main attraction in the village.

Notable personalities

The village has had a fair amount of famous personalities choosing to live in it, such as Andy Picheta and Rebbeca Ferrand , who both had highly successful careers in the television industry before taking over at Muckrach Lodge Hotel, and Charlie Whelan, who formerly worked as an assistant to Gordon Brown for several years, before opting to move north.

Wildlife

The surrounding forests of Caledonian Pines contain many rare species, including birds such as the endangered Capercaillie. There are Scottish Crossbills, Crested Tits, Buzzards, Eagles and, most famously in the Dulnain Bridge area, Ospreys. Red Squirrels also reside.

References

External links

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