The Lion’s Face

The Lion’s Face:

The Lion’s Face is the newsletter of Clan Farquharson UK.

It took the title for the 4th edition in the Autumn of 2002, before that simply being referred to as the Newsletter. It is published twice a year, usually July (prior to the Gathering) and December (prior to the festive season), and is sent out to our members and to the Presidents of our affiliated Clan Farquharson Societies overseas.

‘Why is it called The Lion’s Face?’ some people ask. The reason is best revealed on a walk near Braemar Castle (see below).

The Lion’s Face Editor, Horst Kraus, is based in Germany (you don’t have to live in the UK to offer voluntary support to Clan Farquharson UK!) and does an amazing job in preparing each edition. Horst is also the official Piper to the Chief, dutifully and loyally attending every Gathering in this capacity.

The Newsletter covers many topics, from recent and future events and developments, family news and bereavements, historical and cultural articles and creative contributions.

Walking to the Lion’s Face

The Lion’s Face is a near ­vertical calcareous outcrop, with clefts and underhangs. It is an outstanding area for lichens, which grow in shaded and sheltered habitats on the rock. The outcrop supports a viable population of the elm gyalecta lichen (Gyalecta ulmi), which is rare and declining internationally.

There is a designated footpath from Braemar to the Lion’s Face, and there are a

few other footpaths in the west of the site which may be used occasionally by

walkers. Creag Clunie and the Lion’s Face can also be accessed from the A93

by the northern boundary of the site.

Probably the easiest way to approach the Lions Face is as follows. If you drive to

Braemar on the A93 from the East (Invercauld and Ballater etc) there in a road,

Castleton Place, to the left immediately after the Invercauld Arms Hotel. Go up

here past the Fire Station on the left up to the junction with Hillside Drive.

There is a bench, a gate and dog poop bin. Park the car somewhere here and head through the gate and follow the sign which should take you straight ahead, NOT to the left. From here it is not well signposted but after 10 minutes up a gentle hill through the woods you get to a bench; keep on the right fork path. The one to the left takes you up to the top of Creag Choinnich from where you can enjoy wonderful views of the village of Braemar, Braemar Castle and Invercauld Castle. Another 10 minutes bring you to the Lions Face but you will struggle to work it out. It derived its name from being viewed from a distance across the Dee. Since then, trees and scrub have grown obscuring the view of what resembled a ‘Lion’s Face’! You can continue the walk to Braemar Castle but afterwards you will have to walk along the main road to get back to your car. 

Happy walking and Happy reading!

You can see all the past editions of the Lion’s Face by clocking on the links below: