After an initial section largely enclosed in mixed woodland, most of the route is characterised by wide open views, near and far. The 200 m+ ascent over Glenshalg Hill is gradual, with no steep slopes to negotiate. All told, a very scenic and enjoyable little hike.
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: The Stagecoach 202 service from Banchory stops at Lumphanan. Check Timetables. Free public parking in Station Square at the walk start/end point.
Length: 8.410 km / 5.26 mi
Height Gain: 212 meter.
Height Loss: 212 meter.
Max Height: 362 meter.
Min Height: 171 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on fairly good paths or landrover tracks. May be muddy in places. There is a 900m section on the B9119 road – take extreme care!
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Yes. On lead on public roads and near to any farm livestock.
Refreshments: The Macbeth Arms (limited day-time hours). We can recommend the Meet Again Tea Shop on Perkhill Road.
This walk offers some fantastic views from Glenshalg Hill, overlooking the Deeside village of Lumphanan. On a good day you will pick out The Hill of Fare, Clachnaben, Mount Keen, Lochnagar and Morven, amongst others. The walk leaves Lumphanan, heading north on a section of the Old Military Road that ran from Fochabers to Fettercairn, completed under the direction of General Wade’s deputy, Major William Caulfeild, in 1761. This part of the old road was not incorporated into the modern public roads network. Initially it is now a path through mixed woodland, becoming a field and farm access track as it climbs over the shoulder of Glenshalg Hill. After a short section along the B9119 road, passing the little community of houses around 18thC Tullochvenus House, the return route at first ascends over the heather and grass summit of Glenshalg, with the imposing Benaquhallie Hill at your back. Then, the best panoramic views are to be had as you descend towards Lumphanan on the heather-clad hillside, with a final section through rolling farmland before re-entering the village close to the start point in Station Square. The village of Lumphanan is famously associated with King Macbeth of Scotland (or Alba). The Battle of Lumphanan was fought on 15 August 1057, between Macbeth and the future King Malcolm III. According to traditional sources, Macbeth was killed at Lumphanan, having led his retreating forces north to make a final stand. There is a well close to the village where Macbeth is believed to have taken his last drink in the heat of battle and, nearby, “Macbeth’s Stone” is said to be the stone upon which Macbeth was beheaded before his body was buried under a cairn. Needless to say, there are alternative versions of Macbeth’s eventual death after the battle, with his demise allegedly days later in Scone, and burial on Iona. After the walk, consider visiting the interesting “Peel Ring of Lumphanan”, the site of a 13thC motte, now managed by Historic Environment Scotland.