Scotland

Aboyne - from heat records to snow in a week

Seven days ago Aboyne was warmer than Barcelona, Nice and Faro.

Today the first signs of Spring have been smothered by snow more than six inches deep.

Daffodils and tulips are buried beneath a blanket of white, there are no sunbathers in the park and, in the fields, the lambs are huddling against their mothers for warmth and comfort.

It's hard to believe that a week ago the temperature here was 23.6C, a record for Scotland in March.

Last week, David Salway who has lived in Aboyne for six years, was "enjoying the sunshine, having a glass of beer in the garden and reading the paper".

It's all change today.

Image caption Last week Aboyne was hotter than Barcelona

"I looked out this morning and the garden chairs and the umbrella which we put out to enjoy last week are absolutely covered in snow. It's just incredible."

The people of Aberdeenshire shrug off a little snow but the wintry blast has caused some disruption.

The snow brought down power lines, cutting off 3,000 homes and blocking the road between Aboyne and Huntly.

It isn't exactly what the town's hoteliers had hoped for in the run-up to Easter.

Derek McCulloch who runs the Lodge on the Loch said he was used to dramatic changes in weather after 20 years on Royal Deeside.

"Last week we had our customers out on the deck, " he said.

"It was 24 degrees in the shade. 32 degrees was the temperature in the actual sunshine. But we all knew it wasn't going to last that long."

The guests don't seem to mind.

In the centre of Aboyne, two women on a bus trip from Blackpool are setting out for a walk, picking their way carefully across the park.

"The snow just makes it look very picturesque," says Geraldine Roach.

Her friend Marilyn Ormond admits this was not what they had expected.

"No. Certainly not." she says. "But it's beautiful."

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