When visiting the attractive village of Braemar, this walk makes for a gentle introduction to the highland landscape of Upper Strathdee, with tantalising glimpses of the Cairngorms.
Duration: 2 hours.
Duration: 2 hours.
Transport/Parking: Regular Stagecoach bus service along Deeside to Braemar. Check timetables. Balnellan Road car-parks near to the walk start/end point.
Length: 5.160 km / 3.23 mi
Height Gain: 81 meter. Height Loss: 81 meter.
Max Height: 380 meter. Min Height: 322 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Well-defined paths. May be muddy in places.
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 Braemar.
This is a very pleasant and easy route in a beautiful setting, mostly walking on riverside paths on the ancient flood plain of the upper River Dee, and surrounded by high hills on all sides. The focal point is undoubtedly where the Clunie Water meets the River Dee, with stunning views up and down the strath. Braemar sits on the eastern side of the Cairngorm National Park, the largest National Park in the UK, with 9 nature reserves, a diverse range of special natural environments, and a vast sub-arctic mountain plateau. In winter, the village of Braemar is one of the coldest settlements in the UK, and is also renowned for the great variations in temperature in one day. Although remote, the Braemar area was a strategically important crossing point on the Elsick Mounth, an ancient trackway used by Picts and Romans. It was also an important place for the early kings of Scotland, with Kindrochit Castle first established as a wooden defensive structure and royal hunting lodge there in the 11thC. The 14thC remains of the later stone-built castle can be visited in Braemar village centre after the walk. Our route also takes in a view, across fields, to Braemar Castle, constructed in 1628. It figured prominently in the 17thC and 18thC Jacobite uprisings, being attacked and burned in 1689. After 1745, the ruined castle was re-built as a Hanoverian garrison. Near the end of the walk, our return route through the village goes through the Princess Royal & Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the site of the world-famous Braemar Gathering. The “Games”, as they are known locally, are believed to originate from those held by Malcolm III in the 11thC. The Duke of Rothesay Highland Games building in the Park is an eye-catching new structure built in traditional “pavilion” style.
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 OSMaps
Access Walk on Wikiloc