(163) Strachan-Scolty Hill Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This quieter approach, from the southern side, to the summit of the popular Scolty Hill near Banchory, provides fine scenic opportunities at every turn on the route. The tower monument at the top can be ascended by an internal staircase to provide even better all-around views.

Duration: 3.5 hours

Route Overview
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: There is no public transport nearby. There is parking at the village hall where the walks
starts/ends. If there is an event at the hall, we suggest parking at the war memorial in the centre of Strachan,
and adapting the early stages of the route accordingly.
Length: 6.750 km / 4.22 mi
Height Gain: 314 meter.
Height Loss: 314 meter.
Max Height: 291 meter.
Min Height: 80 meter.
Surface: Moderate. A mix of paved surfaces, rough roads, grassy and stony paths.
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 and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Banchory.

This stimulating short walk, with a fairly relentless ascent, provides fine views of the valley of the Water of Feugh and the surrounding hills, including Kerloch, Mount Shade, Clachnaben, Mount Battock and Peter’s Hill. Of course, the well-known summit of Scolty Hill, overlooking Banchory, provides an all-around panoramic viewpoint from Aberdeen, by the North Sea, to the Buck of Cabrach in upland Moray. The forest trails from the Scolty Hill car-park on the outskirts of Banchory are very popular with walkers of all abilities, especially families. See our walk “Banchory-Scolty Hill March Trail”. The Hill is also a magnet for mountain-bikers, with some challenging routes on the steep wooded and heathery inclines. The ascent from the little village of Strachan (pronounced “Strawn”), on the opposite side of the hill from Banchory, is a less well-known approach, but makes for a very attractive walk all the same, if you are prepared for the steep-ish climb up through farmland and forest to the heather-clad moor-land summit area. Scolty Hill, with its distinctive monument, is a very well-known landmark in lower Deeside. At only 289 m, Scolty is a relatively low, but well-defined (i.e. sharply inclined!) hill on the eastern edge of the Grampian Mountain range. However, the views from the top are extensive and very rewarding, assisted by two toposcopes (hilltop-finders), one fixed on the southern aspect, one on the northern. All of the town of Banchory is seen nestling underneath the hill, with a section of the River Dee running through it. The distinctive Scolty Hill monument is a 20m tall tower, built in 1840 as a memorial to local man, General William Burnett, who campaigned with Lord Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars, culminating in the Battle of Waterloo. The tower was restored in 1992 by the Rotary Club of Banchory-Ternan, and a viewing platform added. It is worth ascending the steel spiral staircase to enjoy even better views over Banchory, the Dee Valley and the Grampian Mountains.

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

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