An easy walk-in to the Hill of Dunnydeer, avoiding a steep ascent. Views of the hill dominate the route from areas of natural woodland and farmland. The stone circle on the hill-side, and ruined castle at the summit are impressive. From the top there are marvellous open views.
Duration: 2.5 hours
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Best option is train. Check Scotrail timetable. Parking at walk start/end point in cemetery car-park.
Length: 5.490 km / 3.43 mi
Height Gain: 138 meter
Height Loss: 138 meter
Max Height: 254 meter
Min Height: 135 meter
Surface: Moderate. Mostly grassy paths.
Child Friendly: Yes, but only if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Moderate to easy.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but must be on lead on public roads and around any cattle or sheep encountered.
Refreshments: Options in Insch.
This walk takes a gentle and unconventional route to the top of Dunnydeer, avoiding a short but steep initial climb by circling around the hill from a northern aspect, through community woodland and with inspiring views of the hill and summit ruin over open fields. From the top of the hill the vista is outstanding in all directions but with particularly impressive views of nearby Hill of Christ’s Kirk, Buck of Cabrach, Tap o’ Noth, Hill of Foudland, and Hill of Tlllymorgan. Although not high, the Hill of Dunnydeer, with its distinctive ruined castle on top, dominates the landscape around the large Aberdeenshire village of Insch. Dunnideer Castle, possibly the earliest tower-house in Scotland, was built c.1260 AD partially from the remains of an existing vitrified hill-fort in the same location dating from late Iron Age period, c. 250 BC, and probably Pictish. On the slopes of the hill, the walk route takes a short detour to the impressive remains of Dunnydeer Stone Circle, partly hidden in trees. Dating back to the Bronze Age, recumbent stone circles are amongst the oldest surviving structures in Britain and are unique to the north-east of Scotland. They get their name because one large stone in the circle is laid on its side. It is thought that ancient peoples might have used these circles to record and celebrate the passing of the seasons by observing the movements of the sun and the moon and other “heavenly bodies”. However, they may have developed different purposes over time, such as hosting cremation ceremonies.