(171) River Divie-Dunphail Castle-Randolph’s Leap (Moray)

Route Summary
Walking in beautiful surroundings, especially accentuated when Autumn colours are to the fore, but hugely appealing at any time of year due to the contrast between the tranquil pine forest and the dynamic energy of fast-flowing torrents compressed between rocky gorges.

Duration: 3.5 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 3.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport nearby. Parking at the walk start/end point at Logie Steading.
Length: 8.560 km / 5.35 mi
Height Gain: 209 meter. Height Loss: 209 meter.
Max Height: 173 meter. Min Height: 88 meter.
Surface: Moderate. A mix of woodland paths and tarred surfaces. May be muddy in places. Riverside paths are precipitous in places and may not suit all walkers.
Difficulty: Medium.
Child Friendly: No. We cannot recommend this walk to families with young children due to some precipitous riverside paths, in places.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads, precipitous riverside paths, and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Olive Tree Cafe at the Logie Steading. Options in Forres.

Description
This is a very special and scenic walk, with a fascinating and stimulating mix of historical and environmental features, along the banks of the Rivers Divie and Findhorn. The route kicks off at the Logie Steading buildings, originally constructed as a model farm in the 1920’s, but now converted into a high-end food, drink, and retail centre. Logie Estate was purchased in 1924 by the newly ennobled Sir Alexander Grant, originally a baker from Forres, who created the definitive McVities digestive biscuit recipe. The route heads south amongst mature mixed woodland, rubbing shoulders with some particularly massive old Douglal Fir trees along the way, arriving at a beautifully landscaped feature where three linked ponds sit in an old gorge carved out by the last Ice Age, with the evocative ruins of Dunphail Castle towering above a sheer cliff face. The castle dates back to the 13th C and ghostly myths surround the building, harking back to a gruesome episode when severed human heads were thrown up and over the ramparts to the besieged garrison, with the callous cry “here’s beef for your bannocks”! From the castle, the route takes a fabulously scenic path along the River Divie, crossing the river mid-way on a memorable wooden footbridge. The River Divie rises in the desolate hills of Dava Moor and joins the River Findhorn at a later point on our route. This section of the river has a wild and tempestuous beauty as it cascades through tree-lined rocky gorges. The Divie path leads on to the Doune of Relugas, where a low stone rampart is all that remains of an ancient hill-fort dating back to the 1st millennium BC. Before returning to Logie Steading, our walk diverts to the renown local beauty spot and wildlife area at Randolph’s Leap on the River Findhorn, where dramatic rocks, cliffs and waterfalls are surrounded by peaceful pine forest. See our PDF guide for the violent history of the name, originating during brutal conflict between local warlords in the 14th C.

Links:
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 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s