An enjoyable circuit on the slopes of Tom Beag, in remote hill country on the edge of the Cairngorms. The route passes through sheep pasture, conifer woodland, and heather and juniper, giving great views of Glen Brown and Strath Avon.
Duration: 3 hours.
Duration: 3 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport. There is space for a small number of cars at the walk start/end point.
Length: 7.200 km / 4.50 mi
Height Gain: 234 meter.
Height Loss: 234 meter.
Max Height: 424 meter.
Min Height: 320 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Grassy paths and estate roads. May be muddy in places. An initial 900 m section on the verge of the A939 road.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but farm livestock may be encountered on many sections of the route. Dogs on lead.
Refreshments: Bridge of Brown Tea Room (close to start/end point), Goodbrand & Ross Tea Room, Strathdon. Options in Tomintoul and Grantown.
This is a varied walk in the mixed upland environment west of Tomintoul, off the remote but busy main road to Grantown which follows the track of the 18thC military road from Deeside to the Moray Firth coast. The route, taking a series of ups and downs, goes around the shoulders of Tom Beag hill, passing through sheep pasture, heather and conifer woodland, and providing some fine views of Glen Brown and Glen Avon along the way. As a long last leg, steeply uphill on the A939 main road, didn’t appeal, we have reversed the direction of the route from that described by the Glenlivet Estate walks guide. The only small disadvantage of our anti-clockwise route is that the arrows on the way-marking posts are on the “wrong” side, but this is readily allowed for. After an easy start, downhill on the verge of the main road, with good views down to Bridge of Brown and the hills beyond, the surroundings quickly change as the route follows the Burn of Brown into the now de-populated Glen Brown, with ruined crofts on both sides of the water. This green area with grazing sheep is on the edge of a moorland wilderness that stretches far into the Cairngorm Mountains. Look out for herds of red deer, which are commonly seen on these trackless heather slopes. After passing through an area of mature forest, the final sections of the walk gently ascend through birch wood, juniper and heather with tremendous views down Strath Avon in the direction of Glenlivet, and up Glen Avon, towards Tomintoul. Finally, the route takes in a small, grassy section of the Old Military Road between Braemar and Fort George which was not adopted by the modern A939 road, taking you back to your start point at the old stone bridge known as White Bridge. The route is maintained by the Glenlivet Estate who encourage the development of appropriate outdoor recreation in a huge area between the Ladder Hills and the Cromdale Hills in the Cairngorms National Park. For more information, see: https://bit.ly/3fRq7ax .