(120) Tarland-Tomnaverie-Sun Seat Trail (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This is an interesting countryside walk in beautiful surroundings. The route is mostly on well-maintained grassy paths and minor roads, with only gentle ascents and descents. There are points of local interest along the way, notably the ancient stone circle at Tomnaverie.

Duration: 2.75 hours.


Route Overview
Duration: 2.75 hours.
Transport/Parking: Infrequent Stagecoach bus options. Check timetables. On-street car parking in the Square.
Length: 7.060 km / 4.41 mi
Height Gain: 109 meter.
Height Loss: 109 meter.
Max Height: 177 meter.
Min Height: 138 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly on well-maintained grassy paths and minor roads. The MacRobert Trust maintain the paths network around Tarland.
Difficulty: Easy.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Keep dogs on lead near to farm animals.
Refreshments: Angie’s Cafe, the Commercial Hotel, the Aberdeen Arms, Tarland Pharmacy & Coffee Shop.

This is a gentle rural ramble in fine scenery, with local points of interest visited along the way. The first focal point is Tomnaverie Stone Circle, one of many ancient sites that point to human activity in the area for at least 6,000 years. The recumbent stone circle is on a low hill that enables wonderful all-around views, framing Lochanagar, 20 miles away on the edge of the Cairngorms, over the recumbent stone in a striking fashion. Much closer, is the hill known as Morven. With its bulky rounded slopes, it is sometimes compared to a sleeping giant. Next, on the route, we visit the old walled garden, now a community asset, at the “fermtoun” of Oldtown of Kincraigie, where there are restored wooden beehives and old-style straw beehives in purpose-built alcoves on the wall. At the mid-point on the walk, at the top of an avenue of young beech trees is the impressive modern stone construction known as the Sun Seat, both for the sunny position of the viewpoint, and the representation of the sun built into the wall behind the seating area. Descending into Muirton pine wood, we pass Alastrean House, now a care home, but originally used as a private residence by the tragic land-owning MacRobert family, who lost three sons in flying incidents before and during WWII. 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. The village itself has a fine old Square with some buildings dating back around 300 years. 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.

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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