(069) Terpersie-Manabattock-Lord Arthur’s Hill (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A circular route to the highest of the Correen Hills where there are outstanding views, not only of the Howe of Alford and Strathdon countryside below, but also to many of the distinctive hills and mountains in the Grampian area. There are interesting historical associations.

Duration: 4 hours.


Route Overview
Duration: 4 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport links close to the walk start/end point. Nearest bus service to Alford. There is a good off-road area suitable for parking at the walk start/finish.
Length: 9.580 km / 5.99 mi
Height Gain: 364 meter
Height Loss: 364 meter
Max Height: 514 meter
Min Height: 207 meter
Surface: Moderate. Some indistinct paths but mostly well defined. Steep inclines in places. Expect some muddy sections after wet weather.
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. You are likely to encounter sheep on the Fouchie Shank section between Waypoints 12 and 14.
Refreshments: We can recommend the Alford Bistro, and Haughton Arms in Alford.

The walk starts in an enchanting “hidden valley” near the pink-walled Terpersie Castle, close to Tullynessle. This small z-plan manor house was constructed in 1561 by the Gordon family. In 1665 it was restored after being burnt down before the Battle of Alford in 1645. It is now restored again, as a private residence. Fantastic views feature throughout this varied hill-walk. The steady ascent is rewarded by extensive views of the main summits in the NE of Scotland – too many to list here! From old parish records, the name of Lord Arthur’s Hill arises from an incident in 1571 when the body of Lord Arthur Forbes (the 6th Lord’s youngest son), called ‘Black Arthur’ because of his dark complexion, was being carried over the hill for burial in Auchindoir church yard (the notable St Mary’s Kirk, there, was built in the early 13th C). During an unseasonable snow storm, the coffin bearers rested near the summit (there is now a ruined stone shelter there, “The Summer House”, believed to be built on a much older cairn). ‘Black Arthur’ was killed at the Battle of Tillieangus, near Clatt, during the Marian civil war in which the Catholic Gordons supported the abdicated Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Forbes family supported her infant son, James VI of Scotland. On 10 October 1571, a force of Gordons was advancing on the Suie Hill road on their way to Edinburgh, the focus of the conflict. They were opposed by a force of Protestant Forbes under the command of ‘Black Arthur’ Forbes. The Gordons were victorious and ‘Black Arthur’ was killed whilst defending the retreat. Apparently “he stooped down to quench his thirst and one of the Gordons gave him his death blow through an open joint in his armour“. On the return from the summit the route follows the “Fouchie Shank” – an old right of way through the Correen Hills from Lumsden to Tullynessle. Well down this track, on a sheltered spot, we pass the site of an ancient Hut Circle settlement. All that remains to the un-practiced eye is a low mound amongst the heathery tussocks.

Photos from walk
Download Route Guide  (PDF with illustrated Waypoints)
Download GPX file  (GPS Exchange Format)
Access Walk on Viewranger
Access Walk on Wikiloc  

2 thoughts on “(069) Terpersie-Manabattock-Lord Arthur’s Hill (Aberdeenshire)

  1. Walked this route last weekend [23/Oct/2021] and the trees up to the first deer gate are all gone now – swiftly dispatched by the Forestry Commission along with the path! ….fortunately the gates are all still there to keep us all on the right track. Thanks for posting all these great routes – double thumbs up!

    Liked by 1 person

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