This is an easy circular walk with modest overall ascent. Starting and finishing at Alford, an attractive Donside village situated in its own wide and fertile Howe (or Vale), the route passes though parkland, woodland, riverside and farming country, with extensive rural views.
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent Stagecoach #248 service from Aberdeen. Check timetable. Parking spaces at start/end of walk outside Alford Valley Railway, or nearby.
Length: 7.570 km / 4.73 mi
Height Gain: 93 meter
Height Loss: 93 meter
Max Height: 186 meter
Min Height: 131 meter
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on good paths and paved surfaces. A fair amount of walking on pavements and quiet minor roads.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead near to livestock, and on public roads.
Refreshments: Options in Alford.
This is a gentle ramble around and about the attractive large village of Alford, taking in the pleasant environs of Haughton Country Park, a section along the banks of the River Don, and the Murray Park mixed woodland, before circling around to descend into the centre again from woodland above the Dry Ski Slope. Alford lies within the Vale of Alford, tracing the middle reaches of the River Don. In the summer season, the Alford Valley (Narrow-Gauge) Railway, Grampian Transport Museum, Alford Heritage Centre and Craigievar Castle are popular attractions to visit when in the area. Haughton Country Park is a mature parkland environment with a popular caravan park and woodland walks. On the route, we pass Haughton House, formerly the home of the Farquharson lairds, who, from the late 17th century, owned most of the surrounding parish. The current house wasn’t completed until 1854. In the 20th Century it had a chequered history – as a country sports hotel, a Carmelite convent, and a Catholic boys school. In 1972, having been purchased by Aberdeen County Council, it was converted into the base for a caravan site. A little further along the tumbling Don river is the Montgarrie Bridge where there is an interesting information board about its history. Moving on, the route takes in the mixed woodland known as Murray Park. It was gifted to the village by local man, Charles Murray, famous for the anthology of poems, “Hamewith”, written in the Doric dialect of Scots. Links to local attractions:
Alford Valley Railway – https://www.facebook.com/AlfordValleyRailway/
Grampian Transport Museum – http://www.gtm.org.uk/
Alford Heritage Centre – https://www.facebook.com/AlfordHeritageMuseum/
Craigievar Castle – https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/craigievar