(013) Pitfichie-Whitehill Stone Circle-Green Hill (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
One of our longer walks at nearly 10 km, with a fairly strenuous 350 m overall ascent. Mainly a forest walk with a mid-section amongst heather moorland on the Green Hill. Interesting historical aspects and marvellous views from the summit and at other points during the route.

Duration: 3.5 hours.

 

Route Overview
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Leave the A944 at Tillyfourie joining the B993. After about one mile, turn left at the sign for the Whitehills Cycle Trails, then left again in about half a mile for the car-park. Stagecoach services between Aberdeen and Alford stop at Tillyfourie. Check timetable. Rough-surfaced car-park at the start/finish point.
Length: 9.920 km / 6.20 mi
Height Gain: 346 meter
Height Loss: 346 meter
Max Height: 391 meter
Min Height: 200 meter
Surface: Moderate. A mix of good forest roads and paths. The section ascending to Green Hill summit is quite stony.
Child Friendly: Yes, but this is quite a strenuous walk. Only if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but watch out for mountain bikers, though!
Refreshments: Nearest options in Alford and Westhill.

Description
This is a moderately strenuous hill and forest walk in a very scenic area popular with mountain bike enthusiasts. The walk starts and finishes along the main forest road at the base of the Menaway Hills – Pitfichie, Cairn William and Green Hill being the most prominent peaks of the range. At various points along this road, marvellous views open up of the farmland and forests in the Monymusk area, to the east. About one mile into the walk the Whitehill Stone Circle is encountered. This late Neolithic stone monument, as with the many other recumbent stone circles found in the NE of Scotland, was probably constructed and used for ceremonial purposes, during the second and third millennia B.C. Most of the upright stones have fallen, but the raised low cairn and pit within the circle are still very obvious, possibly the site of ancient cremation burials. Climbing up through the forest, the environment changes to open moorland in the approach to the summit of Green Hill. This is a great all-around viewpoint, looking down on the fertile Howe of Alford. In particular, there are magnificent sweeping views on all the western aspects. On a clear day you can easily pick out the following prominent hill-tops: Mount Keen; Lochnagar; Morven; Ben An; Buck of Cabrach; Ben Rinnes; Knock Hill; Hill of Foudland. Descending from the hill-top, a solitary standing stone is seen amongst the heather. This is the Luath Stone, traditionally associated with marking the spot where Lulach, the stepson of King Macbeth of Scotland (c.1005-1057), was murdered. However, the evidence for this is thin. The return route is on forest roads, sometimes with fine open views to the east.

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

 

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