An easy woodland and riverside walk with a gradual and modest ascent to the open Highland landscape surrounding the Abernethy Old Kirk and the ruins of Castle Roy where there are great views of the Cairngorm Mountains.
Duration: 3 hours.
Duration: 3 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach #37 service from Grantown. Check timetables. Free parking at the Community/Visitor Centre.
Length: 10.080 km / 6.30 mi
Height Gain: 146 meter. Height Loss: 146 meter.
Max Height: 285 meter. Min Height: 213meter.
Surface: Moderate. A mix of forest roads, good paths, and tarred roads. Not suitable for off-road mobility scooters due to kissing gates.
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 Nethy Bridge, Grantown, and Aviemore.
This is a very enjoyable walk in the forested landscape around the little Strathspey settlement of Nethy Bridge, known as the “Forest Village”. The Highland environment of mature pine forests, hill farming, and tumbling river water, nestling under the highest Cairngorm peaks, has attracted visitors since Victorian times. Our route combines two of the main trails associated with the village to create a varied figure of eight circuit. Starting in the village centre by the fine three-arch Thomas Telford bridge, the first part of walk follows the River Nethy, a significant tributary of the River Spey, upstream. The light through the trees, sparkling on the fast-moving water, makes for a delightful experience at any time of year. After crossing an impressive metal footbridge, the route continues through the northern part of “Nethy”, soon entering pine woodland and passing through a woodland section of the Abernethy Activity Centre. Reaching more open countryside, the route then ascends to pass the distinctive and attractive Abernethy Old Kirk, now owned by the community and operating as a multi-purpose venue. A little further up the road, the eye is inevitably drawn to the stark bulk of the Castle Roy ruin. Castle Roy is a 12th century fortress built by the Clan Comyn on a small glacial mound. This simple four-sided stronghold has been largely unaltered over the centuries, and is believed to be one of the oldest unchanged castles of its type in Scotland. Here, there is an information board, and it is now possible to visit the ruins, where there are marvellous views of the surrounding countryside and Cairngorm mountains. The return route from here is mostly in quiet mature pine woods, including the Dell Wood, part of an ancient woodland close to the village centre.
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