The walk, in a figure of 8 loop, at first encircles the pretty Tarland golf course before setting out for the evocative Tomnaverie stone circle, where the panoramic views are even more breath-taking. The return leg, through a large mature woodland makes for very pleasant walking.
Duration: 3 hours.
Duration: 3 hours.
Transport/Parking: Infrequent Stagecoach bus options. Check timetables. Park opposite the church at the start/end of the walk.
Length: 8.110 km / 5.07 mi
Height Gain: 117 meter
Height Loss: 117 meter
Max Height: 179 meter
Min Height: 143 meter
Surface: Moderate. Mostly a mix of minor roads, hard-surfaced paths and grassy forest tracks.
Child Friendly: Yes, if used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Tarland – Angie’s Cafe, Commercial Hotel, Aberdeen Arms.
This is a gentle and undemanding walk in beautiful surroundings, rubbing shoulders with ancient history along the way. On a fine day there are majestic views of the rugged Lochnagar Mountain, 20 miles away on the edge of the Cairngorms. Much closer, and dominating the scene at many points on the walk is the hill known as Morven. With its rounded slopes, it is sometimes compared to a sleeping giant. Tarland sits at the centre of The Howe of Cromar, a wide bowl on the eastern edge of the Grampian Mountains between the rivers Dee and Don. If arriving by car from Aberdeen on the B9119 it is likely that your attention will be immediately grabbed as the road passes over the hill into the Howe of Cromar, with the mountains of Lochnagar, Morven and Mount Keen setting an exceptionally beautiful backdrop to a rolling patchwork of fields and woodlands. Queen Victoria was said to be enchanted by this view of the Howe and a viewpoint is named after her – “The Queen’s View”. Try not to miss it on your left as you enter the Howe. There is a small car-park across the road. As result of excavations at the Tomnaverie Stone Circle and other ancient sites in the area it is understood that there has been human activity in this area for at least 6,000 years. The recumbent stone circle is at the mid-point on the route on a low hill that enables wonderful all-around views – framing Lochanagar over the recumbent stone in a truly spectacular fashion. The village of Tarland itself has a fine old Square with some buildings dating back around 300 years. The route also passes Alastrean House with its tragic story, associated with the MacRobert family. All in all, this is an excellent introduction to walking in the Tarland area. Useful links: