This gentle excursion into the varied countryside around Tarland makes for an excellent introduction to the many walking opportunities in the area, with a paths network maintained with help from the MacRobert Trust. On the route, the visit to the Tomnaverie Stone Circle is unforgettable.
Duration: 2 hours.
Duration: 2 hours.
Transport/Parking: Infrequent Stagecoach bus options. Check timetables. There is a free car-park at the walk start/end point.
Length: 5.920 km / 3.70 mi
Height Gain: 81 meter. Height Loss: 81 meter.
Max Height: 183 meter. Min Height: 139 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Well maintained paths and tracks.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead near public roads and farm livestock (see Waypoint 12).
Refreshments: Options in Tarland.
This is an easy walk from the attractive little Deeside village of Tarland, taking in a varied rural environment with fine views of the Howe of Cromar, surrounding hills and the more distant Cairngorms. During the early part of the route through the mature and delightful Drummy Wood we rub shoulders with ancient history, passing through an area of great archaeological interest due to the prevalence of hut circle remains and old field enclosures. However, the undoubted focal point on the walk is Tomnaverie Stone Circle, a striking ancient monument whose situation and state of preservation always makes a big impact. The impressive bulk of Morven Hill, a little to the West, dominates the outlook during the open sections of the route. With its rounded slopes, it is sometimes compared to a sleeping giant. On a fine day there are majestic views of the rugged Lochnagar Mountain, 20 miles away on the edge of the Eastern Cairngorms. 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. 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. As result of excavations at the Tomnaverie Stone Circle and other ancient sites in the area it is understood that there has been human activity in this area for at least 6,000 years. The recumbent stone circle is at the mid-point on the route on a low hill that enables wonderful all-around views – framing Lochanagar over the recumbent stone in a truly spectacular fashion. The village of Tarland itself has a fine old Square with some buildings dating back around 300 years.
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