Creag Choinnich

Blue skies breaking through the overnight valley mists. Creag Choinnich overlooks Braemar. It’s a tiny hill, a mere 538 m high. The name means either the mossy crag or Kenneth’s crag, but which is beyond my understanding of the Gaelic. What Creag Choinnich lacks in height though it gains in history. It is reputed to have the oldest hill race dating back to 1064. That’s two years before William the Bastard landed at Hastings. King Malcolm II wanted the best runner to deliver his despatches, so he organised a race from Braemar Castle up Creag Choinnich and back. A MacGregor was the first man back winning himself a sword and baldric, and a purse of gold.  A baldric is not an ancester of Blackadder’s servant but a sash to carry the sword. A modern race is held annually in June having been “resurrected” ten years or so ago.


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