A refreshing and undemanding little hike around and about the attractive Highland village of Tomintoul, on the roof of Moray. There are some interesting features along the way, and wonderful scenery to enjoy, throughout.
Duration: 2 hours.
Duration: 2 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach bus services. Check timetables. Free public car-park off Main Street, SE of The Square.
Length: 6.56 km / 4.1 mi
Height Gain: 132 meter. Height Loss: 132 meter.
Max Height: 372 meter. Min Height: 342 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Pavement/road, good paths, rough farm/forest access roads. This walk is unsuitable for off-road mobility scooters due to steep steps between Waypoints 9 and 13.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance.
Dog Friendly: Yes, but keep dogs on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Tomintoul is popular with day-visitors, and is well-served with eating places.
This is a varied and interesting short walk in the scenic Strath Avon countryside on the outskirts of Tomintoul, which, at 345 m, is said to be the highest village in the Scottish Highlands. After leaving the pleasant village square, the route soon arrives at the Field of Hope where more than 8,000 daffodils have been planted in memory of cancer victims. This is a Dark Sky Discovery Site, an officially recognised place where anyone can stargaze, taking advantage of the excellent all round views of the exceptionally dark night skies above. From here, the path now passes a bird hide, and across an upper level of the grassy Conglass Water flood plain where Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Snipe and Redshank can all be spotted. In contrast, the route then takes a short meander through an area of mature pine wood before passing over open higher ground and descending to the access road to Campdalmore Farm where there are fantastic views down to Tomintoul, the River Avon, and the faraway granite tors of Ben Avon. Passing a memorial cairn to local historian, Victor Gaffney, the path then drops to the A939 Old Military Road. Here, with a little walking on the road verge, there is the opportunity to take a detour to visit the visually impressive art installation and viewpoint – “The Still” which is sure to make a lasting impression. The final section of the walk makes an enjoyable return to the village between fields, with open views over the River Avon to the surrounding hills. Tomintoul, itself, was a planned settlement, built to support the agricultural and social changes that swept over the country in the 18thC. With an attractive central square, sitting either side of the military road from Corgarff, in Strathdon, to Fort George, on the Moray Firth, it was laid out on a grid pattern in 1775 by the 4th Duke of Gordon. Nowadays much of the surrounding countryside is owned by the Glenlivet Estate, part of Crown Estate Scotland, who promote outdoor activities in the area, including walking. The village sits on the banks of the River Avon (pronounced locally as “an”), a significant tributary of the River Spey, which drains the NE area of the Cairngorm Mountains.
Photos from walk
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