(134) Dinnet-Old Kinord History Trail (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This is an easy walk with minimal overall ascent in a beautiful area of Deeside that possesses considerable ecological and historical importance.

Duration: 2.5 hours. Continue reading “(134) Dinnet-Old Kinord History Trail (Aberdeenshire)”

(133) Ballater-Craigendarroch Hill-River Dee Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A shorter version of this walk is a popular challenge for visitors to Ballater on account of the steepness of the ascent and the fine views over Deeside that are achieved. Although safe, the Pass of Ballater section on this extended version of the walk may not suit everyone.

Duration: 3.5 hours.



Route Overview
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Fairly frequent Stagecoach bus services along Deeside, from Aberdeen. Check timetables. There is a free car-park at Church Square in Ballater where the walk starts/ends.
Length: 7.630 km / 4.77 mi
Height Gain: 261 meter.
Height Loss: 261 meter.
Max Height: 392 meter.
Min Height: 199 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on good paths. The Pass of Ballater section between Waypoints 4 and 5 is narrow with steep drops in places. Although safe, it may not suit all walkers. You may avoid this section by making a direct approach to the summit at Waypoint 4. Steep inclines and rocky surfaces in some sections.
Difficulty: Medium/Hard.
Child Friendly: In our view, not suitable for young children. See comments above regarding Pass of Ballater section.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead on public roads.
Refreshments: Various options in Ballater.

The short but steep walk to the top of Craigendarroch Hill, overlooking the busy Deeside village of Ballater, is a classic leg-stretcher for locals and visitors alike, rewarded by excellent views of the Dee Valley and hilltops, near and far. This version of the walk makes a more gradual approach, going around the north side of the hill before approaching the summit from the east. All the same, the final section is still tough going! The second half of the route is a total contrast – to compensate for the previous exertions, a largely flat but satisfying stroll along the banks of the River Dee, bordering the scenic parkland golf course. The first section of the walk, after leaving the village, makes an ascent through the ancient oak woodland that gives the hill its name (Craigendarroch means “Hill of the Oaks” in Gaelic). In previous times some of the oaks were coppiced to produce strong, straight stems for purposes like the spokes of cartwheels. As the route progresses, the woodland environment changes to birch trees, and then to pines. Eventually the path winds around to the north side of Craigendarroch Hill, overlooking the Pass of Ballater, and looking across the Pass to the cliffs on the face of Craig an t’Seabhaig which are popular with rock climbers. The path is narrow here, and although quite safe, is slightly vertiginous in places. The chasm between the two hills was created by a glacier slicing through a fault in the rock during the last Ice Age. After a steep final ascent you will arrive at the summit of Craigendarroch where there is a built cairn with a metal top-plate with information on some visible hilltops. Descending a little from the summit there is a much bigger cairn of loose stones, an information board, and a better view to Ballater village and beyond. Returning to the village, a short section of the route then follows the intended line of the planned railway line from Ballater to Braemar, in order to reach the banks of the Dee for the riverside return section. Apparently, Queen Victoria objected to the route of the railway line passing Balmoral Castle, and construction was halted!

Photos from walk
Download Route Guide  (PDF with illustrated Waypoints)
Download GPX file  (GPS Exchange Format)
Access Walk on Viewranger
Access Walk on Wikiloc

(132) Huntly-River Deveron-Castle Hotel Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
An easy walk from the centre of Huntly, with minimal overall ascent. The route incorporates some very scenic sections, with the impressive ruins of Huntly Castle, the old Castle Bridge, and the Castle Hotel all adding an interesting historical dimension.

Duration: 2.25 hours. Continue reading “(132) Huntly-River Deveron-Castle Hotel Circuit (Aberdeenshire)”

(131) Brechin Cathedral-Rough Moss-Burghill Wood Circuit (Angus)

Route Summary
For the most part, this is an undemanding rural walk, on the southern side of the River South Esk at Brechin. The route also takes in the old part of the town (some would say, city!), which has a long history, rooted in the Mediaeval cathedral where the walk starts and ends.

Duration: 2.75 hours. Continue reading “(131) Brechin Cathedral-Rough Moss-Burghill Wood Circuit (Angus)”

(130) Glenbuchat-Meikle Firbriggs Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
After a scenic walk-in along the Glenbuchat valley, there is a stiff climb up a heather-clad hillside to the Meikle and Little Firbriggs summits where there are wonderful views of the Glen below, and panoramic views to further afield, including towards the Cairngorms.

Duration: 3.5 hours. Continue reading “(130) Glenbuchat-Meikle Firbriggs Circuit (Aberdeenshire)”

(129) Cromarty-Gallow Hill-South Sutor Circuit (Highland)

Route Summary
This route takes in both town and country environments, with many historic associations and fine views. The Black Isle promontory offers a special mix of rolling fertile farmland, with cliffs on the south side, and a large fjord-like sheltered sea-water inlet on the north side.

Duration: 3.5 hours. Continue reading “(129) Cromarty-Gallow Hill-South Sutor Circuit (Highland)”

(128) Corgarff Castle-Carn Oighreag Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
Over a relatively short distance, this is a good hill walk through moorland, involving some steep ascents. The starkness of white-walled Corgarff Castle in the upland landscape, proximity to the Cairngorms and the high hills of upper Deeside, add to the sense of remoteness.

Duration: 2.75 hours. Continue reading “(128) Corgarff Castle-Carn Oighreag Circuit (Aberdeenshire)”

(127) Coull-Tarland Way-Gallow Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A relatively easy walk, initially following a good way-marked trail. On the return route there is a gradual ascent into a pine wood on good forest roads before gently dropping back into the farmland surrounding the old church at Coull.

Duration: 2.5 hours. Continue reading “(127) Coull-Tarland Way-Gallow Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)”

(126) Cothiemuir Hill-Turf Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
Although this is a short hill-walk to a relatively low wooded summit, the ascent provides good exercise and fine views. As it is one of the least known tops on the Bennachie range, you are unlikely to meet fellow walkers. The Cothiemuir Stone Circle makes for a memorable finale.

Duration: 3 hours. Continue reading “(126) Cothiemuir Hill-Turf Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)”

(125) Forest of Birse Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This is an easy upland walk in an enchanting valley surrounded by high hills. There are good views throughout the route, with a fine perspective of Birse Castle. However, this walk won’t suit everyone due to the fords to be crossed, and the consequent possible wet feet factor!

Duration: 2.5 hours. Continue reading “(125) Forest of Birse Circuit (Aberdeenshire)”