*** At the time of writing in Feb 2023, this route remains closed as the Forestry & Land Scotland “March Trail” has still to re-open following damage caused by the winter storms of 2021/22. As an alternative please consider our alternative route: https://themackwalks.wordpress.com/2023/02/14/197-banchory-scolty-hill-forest-road-circuit-aberdeenshire/ ***
Starting and finishing on the outskirts of Banchory, this is a short walk through mature woodland but with a moderately demanding 200 m overall ascent, mostly in the short but steep climb to the top of Scolty Hill where there are splendid wide-open views.
Duration: 2 hours
Duration: 2 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach bus services to Banchory. Check their timetable. It is a 2 km walk from the centre of the town to the walk start-point. Forestry Commission Scolty Hill car-park, near Banchory.
Length: 4.850 km / 3.03 mi
Height Gain: 204 meter Height Loss: 204 meter
Max Height: 289 meter Min Height: 106 meter
Surface: Rough in places. A mix of good paths and forest roads with some steep stony sections.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium to easy.
Dog Friendly: Dogs on lead or under close control at all times. Pick up, bag and remove any mess!
Refreshments: Options in Banchory.
This is a popular and very pleasant forest walk in mature pine and larch woods. The mid-section involves a fairly steep ascent to the top of Scolty Hill, with its distinctive monument, a well-known landmark in lower Deeside. At only 289 m, Scolty is a low hill on the eastern edge of the Grampian Mountain range. However the views from the top are extensive and very rewarding, assisted by two hill-finders, one fixed on the southern aspect, one on the northern. All of the town of Banchory is seen nestling underneath the hill, with a section of the River Dee running through it. The Scolty Hill monument is a 20m tall tower, built in 1840 as a memorial to local man, General William Burnett, who campaigned with Lord Wellington. The tower was restored in 1992 and a viewing platform added. It is worth ascending the steel spiral staircase to enjoy even better views over Banchory, the Dee Valley and the Grampian Mountains. The route is well signed, and mostly follows the red-waymarked March Trail which leads through the different habitats of the woodlands, part owned by the Forestry Commission. The town of Banchory, at the gateway to Deeside, makes for a pleasant refreshment stop after the walk.
Photos from walk
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