(131) Brechin Cathedral-Rough Moss-Burghill Wood Circuit (Angus)

Route Summary
For the most part, this is an undemanding rural walk, on the southern side of the River South Esk at Brechin. The route also takes in the old part of the town (some would say, city!), which has a long history, rooted in the Mediaeval cathedral where the walk starts and ends.

Duration: 2.75 hours.


Route Overview
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: There are frequent Stagecoach bus services to Brechin. Check timetables. Church Street car-park is near to the walk start/end point.
Length: 8.650 km / 5.41 mi
Height Gain: 163 meter.
Height Loss: 163 meter.
Max Height: 129 meter.
Min Height: 21 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Outwith the town there are large sections on good paths and tracks. Between Waypoint 3 and 5 there is a 1.4 km section along the B9134 road, the last 400 m on the road itself.
Difficulty: Medium.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead on public roads.
Refreshments: Options in Brechin. We can recommend the The Auld Bakehouse on the High Street.

This is a pleasant walk from the Cathedral at the centre of Brechin into the countryside on the southern side of the River South Esk where the way-marked route links a number of paths and minor roads around the slopes of Burghill, passing through farmland and mature woodland. At its highest points the route provides far-reaching views over Brechin and the hills to the North, with glimpses, too, of the Montrose Basin to the East. The walk takes in two important bridges over the South Esk: early on the route, the elegant Stannochy Bridge, completed in 1826, which, at 100 ft, has one of the largest masonry spans in Scotland; and, on returning to the town, Brechin Bridge, one of the oldest in Scotland, with the south arch dating back to the mid 15th C. Although there were ups and downs in its fortunes during Mediaeval times, Brechin held huge importance as the pre-Reformation ecclesiastical centre for Angus and the Mearns. In later centuries, the textile industry was to dominate the town’s economy, alongside brewing and distilling, assisted by the arrival of the Caledonian railway. Nowadays, with an attractive town centre for residents and visitors, Brechin functions as a residential, employment, commercial and service centre for north Angus, with good links to Aberdeen and Dundee. Before or after the walk, we recommend that you explore the fascinating environs of the Cathedral, dating back to the Middle Ages. Thanks to the “Undiscovered Scotland” website for the following information: “…At the heart of Brechin is the Cathedral itself. The warren of old streets to the north and east form a highly attractive “Old Town” and is well worth exploring … It seems likely that Christianity arrived in Brechin with St Dubhoc or Duthoc some time around 600 AD. By the late 800s a religious order known as the Céli Dé (or Culdees) had set up a church in Brechin, possibly on the site of an earlier Pictish establishment. This first enters recorded history in 972 when King Kenneth II endowed lands and property to the religious community here. Brechin Cathedral’s highly unusual round tower was built in about 1100, but the rest of the building only took on recognisable form in the first half of the 1200s …”. There are a number of short walking routes around and about Brechin. See: https://tinyurl.com/yxdkvxzm

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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