A relatively easy walk on good paths and surfaced roads, mostly in very pleasant mature woodland. The focal point on the route is the pretty and evocative Tarnash Waterfall. There is a good view over the town of Keith from the highest point in Dunnyduff Wood.
Duration: 1.75 hours.
Duration: 1.75 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent Stagecoach bus and Scotrail train services pass through Keith. Check timetables. Free parking in Reidhaven Square at the start/end of the walk.
Length: 5.420 km / 3.39 m
Height Gain: 104 meter.
Height Loss: 104 meter.
Max Height: 186 meter.
Min Height: 135 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly good paths or tarred roads. May be occasional muddy spots.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Keith. The Square Roots cafe and Cobbs at the Boat n’Barn cafe are sited on Reidhaven Square.
This is an enjoyable little circuit on good way-marked paths, mostly in the shade and shelter of attractive mature woodlands – both deciduous and coniferous. The focal point on the walk is the leafy grove where the Burn of Tarnash tumbles over a narrow rocky face into a pot-like little gorge. Small and perfectly formed, the Falls of Tarnash waterfall makes for a very photogenic spot, with sunlight stippled by the branches overhead, and bordered by patches of green moss and ferns. During our walk, a fellow walker suggested that this special place is at its most scenic when the surrounding trees are in their autumn colours. These days, Keith is best known for its whisky distilleries, but the settlement has a varied and interesting history. The town, itself, can be divided into three parts, from east to west: New Keith, Old Keith and Fife Keith. This walk starts and finishes at Reidhaven Square on the eastern side of “New Keith”, established in 1750 by the Earl of Findlater. The Square is at the heart of four parallel streets with linking lanes that are laid out in a ‘grid iron’ plan, the first of many such arrangements in the NE of Scotland to accompany the growth of the weaving industry, and the first great period of agricultural improvement. “Old Keith” was established around 700 AD by the Irish monks of St. Maelrubha who undertook missionary expeditions from Applecross, and built a chapel here by the River Isla, called Kethmal Ruf. Today, a latinised version of the name lives on in the Church of St Rufus. The River Isla could be forded by cattle at Old Keith and this gave rise to the “Great Simmareve Fair”, predecessor of today’s Keith Show, when traders from Glasgow to Orkney gathered in Keith for the sale of “black cattle” and horses. “Fife-Keith”, on the western side of the River Isla was established by the Earl of Fife as a “new town” in 1817 to support a growing local economy based around agriculture and textiles. It was also set out in a formal grid, with patriotic street names, around a central point at Regent Square.