(024) Huntly-Kinnoir Wood-Battle Hill Circular (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary

***The stile over a barbed wire fence at Waypoint 9 has been removed. To cross the fence without a stile is difficult and may cause injury. We recommend the alternative route to Battlehill Wood which unfortunately misses out the outward section to Kinnoir Wood. See new instructions at Waypoint 4 and new route map at the end of the Route Guide PDF***

This walk provides an attractive mix, taking in Huntly’s pleasant townscape and the gently undulating farmland and woods surrounding the town. There are very satisfying open views from Brunstane Hill on the edge of Kinnoir Forest, and from Battle Hill, a prehistoric site.

Duration: 3 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 3 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent rail service from/to Aberdeen. A number of Stagecoach bus options. Check timetables. Free car-park near the start/finish of walk. Enter from East Park Street opposite Christie Park football ground.
Length: 7.860 km / 4.91 mi
Height Gain: 168meter
Height Loss: 168 meter
Max Height: 191 meter
Min Height: 113 meter
Surface: Moderate. A mix of rough farm and forest roads, grassy fields and good woodland paths.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead near to any livestock, and on public roads and streets. You are likely to encounter sheep and cattle in fields on the route.
Refreshments: There are a number of options in Huntly.

Description
This walk nicely combines town and country environments. It twice crosses the River Bogie, named in a number of local folk ballads in the Doric dialect such as “Adieu to Bogieside” and “Bogie’s Bonnie Belle”, songs of emigration, rejection and lost love. The gentle ascent into the edges of Kinnoir Forest, above the confluence of rivers Deveron and Bogie, provides the first of many sweeping countryside views taking in, most notably, Tap o’ Noth, Clashmach Hill, and the Knock. The Battle Hill is usually approached uphill, directly from the town of Huntly, but on our route we make a very pleasant descent from Kinnoir Woods to the eastern end of the hill through pasture land. The path then taken on the southern side of the hill provides marvellous views of the surrounding farmland and further afield. It is generally understood that the name Battle Hill refers to a battle in the 14th C between the Gordons and the Comyns, either on the hill or between it and Huntly. The route around the side of the hill takes a short diversion to a low summit, possibly the site of an Iron Age fort. There is a developing understanding that Battle Hill was an important place in prehistory – with evidence of Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement including a hut circle and, possibly, a large cairn. In the final section, the route takes us on a stroll through the attractive town of Huntly which probably dates back to a castle, the Peel of Strathbogie, built in the late 12th C. A modern planned town was established in 1769 to support industrial and agricultural changes, with the original name of Milton of Strathbogie finally dropping from use. A circuit of The Square takes in the main points of interest: the Memorial Fountain; the Duke of Richmond statue, the Gordon Arms building, the Huntly Hotel building, the Brander Library and the old Post Office.

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

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