(031) Haddo House Country Park Ramble (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
Popular with families, this is a very enjoyable and gentle ramble around the extensive landscaped grounds and formal gardens of a stunning 18thC mansion house. There is a relatively gentle ascent on a grand drive from the beautiful lake area at the centre of the country park.

Duration: 2.5 hours.

 

Route Overview
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport to Haddo House. National Trust for Scotland car-park (charges apply for non-members).
Length: 5.950 km / 3.72 mi
Height Gain: 98 meter
Height Loss: 98 meter
Max Height: 74 meter
Min Height: 38 meter
Surface: Smooth. Mostly surfaced paths and estate roads. Some grassy paths that may be muddy in places after wet weather.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Difficulty: Easy.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but dogs should be under close control in all public areas.
Refreshments: Cafe at Haddo House NTS visitor centre and small cafe at Mrs Smith’s Shop, near the car-park.

Description
This is an easy walk in a delightful designed rural landscape. The route passes by historical monuments and through parkland and woods centred around a large lake and ponds, with ducks, geese and other wildfowl. There are also two play-parks for children to enjoy. Joined twice during the route, and dissecting the park, is a hugely impressive straight drive, the “Scots Mile” (10% longer than a standard mile, in case you are wondering). At the end of the walk we take a little time to enjoy the fine formal garden and terraces at the rear of Haddo House. The House itself is a splendid country mansion, on land owned for 500 years by the Gordon family (with the title Earls and Marquesses of Aberdeen). It sits in or near the site of the old Kellie Castle, the Gordon family’s previous home which was burnt down by the Covenanters. The present Haddo House dates from 1732 and was designed by the “father of Scottish architecture”, William Adam, in the Georgian Palladian style. However, the interior of the house is late Victorian in style. The National Trust for Scotland visitor centre occupies the House’s converted stable and coach house block, and includes a tea room, a shop and toilets. Nearby is Haddo House Hall, a theatre that is home to the very active Haddo Arts Trust and the Haddo Choral Society. During the walk, the route takes in the impressive pinnacle monument dedicated to the memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Alexander Gordon, the younger brother of the 4th Earl, who died at the Battle of Waterloo. Also visited along the way is the Pheasantry, an unusual and attractive listed building used in the 19thC for rearing pheasants. On ascending to the highest point on the Scots Mile driveway we pass two recently restored statues of fallow deer leading to an open space with an extremely very large stone urn monument. Walking at Haddo House is a very satisfying and varied experience that you will want to repeat.

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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