A very scenic walk through farmland and forest on the banks of the River Ythan in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire. Gight Castle is an interesting highlight of the route, as are the ancient broad-leafed woodlands that surround it. Be aware that you may encounter farm animals.
Duration: 2 hours
Duration: 2 hours.
Transport/Parking: Check Stagecoach service between Ellon and Methlick. Return walk from Methlick to walk start-point adds 6.5 km. Small fishers’ car-park at start of walk.
Length: 6.780 km / 4.24 mi
Height Gain: 169 meter
Height Loss: 169 meter
Max Height: 93 meter
Min Height: 28 meter
Surface: Moderate. Generally good walking surfaces but some sections may be muddy after wet weather.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium to easy.
Dog Friendly: Keep dogs on lead near to any cattle and sheep encountered. Pick up, bag and remove any mess!
Refreshments: We can recommend the Ythanview Hotel in Methlick – good food and real ales.
This is a very pleasant and scenic rural walk on the banks of the River Ythan, near Methlick. The main focal point on the route is the ruin of Gight Castle, ancestral home of the poet, Lord Byron, who spent some time there in his youth. The castle sits in isolation high above the river and has been abandoned for a very long time. It is unsafe to enter. The following mid-section of the walk, climbing up and into Gight Wood, is managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust as it is one of the last remnants of ancient woodland in Aberdeenshire. The broadleaved woodland of hazel, oak and rowan supports badgers, brown hares and foxes and is said to be a particularly good area for spotting red squirrels. After crossing the river at the beautiful and tranquil setting of Otter Bridge, the return leg of the walk passes through coniferous woodland and pasture on a good track just above the verdant flood-plain of the river. Here, we pass an area with steep grassy banks and rocky cliffs known as the Braes of Gight. It is likely that you will encounter sheep and cattle on, or close by, the route so take appropriate care, especially with dogs. It is possible to walk to the start-point by taking the Wardford Woods path from Methlick, but this adds 6.5 km (there and back) to the overall distance.