(066) Tarland-Knockargerty Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
An enjoyable excursion into the pretty countryside around Tarland, between Donside and Deeside. The route takes a gradual, gentle ascent to the top of Knockargerty Hill where there are exhilarating panoramic views. The sites of two ancient monuments are visited along the way.

Duration: 2.75 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 2.75 hours.
Transport/Parking: Infrequent Stagecoach bus options. Check timetables. Easy on-road car parking in Tarland.
Length: 8.690 km / 5.43 mi
Height Gain: 168 meter
Height Loss: 168 meter
Max Height: 265 meter
Min Height: 147 meter
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on good forest roads and farm tracks. May be muddy in places. Some walking on minor tarred roads.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: We can recommend Angie’s Cafe and the Commercial Hotel in Tarland Square. Other options: Aberdeen Arms, and Tarland Pharmacy and Coffee Shop.

Description
This is a pleasant and undemanding walk in a mixed woodland and upland farming environment. At the mid-point on the route, the views of the Deeside hills and surrounding countryside from the top of Knockargerty Hill are breath-taking. The Tarland area is peppered with prehistoric sites, as a glance at the OS map will confirm. Although the visible remains are scant, this walk visits two of these sites. 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. The village of Tarland itself has a fine old Square with some buildings dating back around 300 years. The focal point on this walk is the marvellous viewpoint at the summit of Knockargerty Hill (267 m) where there are the barely discernible remains of an ancient earthwork which, in places, takes the form of a slight terrace and elsewhere a faint ditch. The enclosure is oval and measures around 260m E-W by 130m N-S. The site is conventionally understood to be an unfinished prehistoric hill fort although some authorities suggest it may have been complete in terms of its limited defensive purpose. The walk then extends westwards a little way to the remains of a probable burial cairn located on the lower hillside. What is left of the cairn forms a low turf-covered mound, about 16 m in diameter, in a field where there may be grazing sheep and cattle. See: https://is.gd/Iv45ju and https://is.gd/CQhyrD .

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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