(090) Water of Tanar-Knockie Hill-Queen’s Road (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A hugely enjoyable little hike, with gentle ascents, in the varied and visually stimulating special natural environment around the braes of Glen Tanar, taking in the pretty riverside, tranquil lochs, old pine forest, and open farmland.

Duration: 2.5 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport nearby. Pay parking at the NNR car-park at the start/end of the walk. (£3 in 2019).
Length: 7.810 km / 4.88 mi
Height Gain: 178 meter.
Height Loss: 178 meter.
Max Height: 234 meter.
Min Height: 155 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Good paths, forest roads and farm tracks. Not suitable for off-road mobility scooters due to steps between Waypoints 2 and 3. To avoid, and shorten the walk, take the estate road between Waypoint 2 and Waypoint 7 (St Lesmo’s Chapel).
Difficulty: Easy/Medium.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and around farm animals (likely between Waypoints 14 and 15).
Refreshments: Options in Aboyne.

This is an excellent walk through a scenically beautiful natural environment at the Glen Tanar Estate, near Aboyne. In the first section of the route, after an informative diversion to the Visitor’s Centre, we follow a path by the wooded banks of the tumbling Water of Tanar, a tributary of the River Dee, before heading into the pine forest. On our way to the historic St Lesmo’s Chapel we pass the delightful Fairy Lochan, busy with Damselflies and Dragonflies in summer. From the Chapel, the walk heads uphill on a section of the old Firmouth droving road to the Knockie Viewpoint overlooking the 3rd largest area of Caledonian Forest in Scotland. Dropping again to the river, the route then circles around the pretty tree-lined Trout Loch to take the old Queen’s Road track onto farmland above Glen Tanar House, where the open views are wonderful. The glen is designated by Scottish Natural Heritage as a national nature reserve and part of the area is publicly owned. Glen Tanar lies within the Cairngorms National Park and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Glen Tanar was historically part of the lands of the Marquis of Huntly. In 1865 the estate was bought by William Cunliffe Brooks, an English MP, barrister and merchant banker who initiated a major programme of improvements including building a large house, St Lesmo’s Chapel, many estate buildings, bridges and landscaped policies. In 1905 the estate was bought by George Coats, who became Baron Glentanar, owner of the Paisley based thread manufacturer J & P Coats Ltd. The estate remains in the ownership of his descendants.  For more info, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Tanar

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

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