(183) Logie Coldstone-Wells of Poldhu-Auchnerran Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
A very scenic circuit taking in mature open woodland, grassy meadows, a moorland vantage point, and mixed farmland. The curious and charming Poldhu Wells, visited at an early point on the route are an interesting feature of the walk which is mostly over gently undulating ground, with one fairly gradual ascent to a viewpoint on Roar Hill, under Morven.

Duration: 3.25 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 3.25 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport to Logie Coldstone. There is a car-park at the walk start/end point beside the Public Hall.
Length: 10.21 km / 6.34 mi Height Gain/Loss: 219 meter.
Max Height: 305 meter. Min Height: 175 meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly good paths, forest roads and landrover tracks with 700m section on verge of quiet A97 road. We believe the route is suitable for off-road mobility scooters by taking an alternative route at Waypoint 4 to arrive at the Poldhu Wells at Waypoint 9. See note at Waypoint 4 description. The moorland landrover tracks between Waypoint 15 and Waypoint 17 are very rough and deeply rutted in places.
Difficulty: Medium.
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: The Airedale in Logie Coldstone (evening hours most days). There are options in Tarland.

Description
This is a well-balanced circuit taking in a variety of natural environments at the western end of the Howe of Cromar, under the heathery mass of Morven Hill and its subsidiary tops. The route starts and finishes in the pretty little hamlet of Logie Coldstone before entering an extensive area of mature open pine forest. After passing a delightful small loch and forest eco-lodges (where you are likely to encounter red squirrels), the walk makes a short diversion to a charming woodland dell to visit ancient mineral (Chalybeate) springs at the Wells of Poldhu. After crossing the A97 road, the route takes in a further section of mature pines, passing another clutch of forest lodges before entering a large birch wood. The next section is over wide grassy pasture-land, with evidence of abandoned townships, or “clachans”. In early Summer, your progress is likely to attract the attention of nesting lapwings, curlews and oyster catchers. A gradual ascent onto the shoulder of Roar Hill then provides exhilarating views over the Howe and its surrounding hilltops, before we descend again to the valley floor. This final section has wide-open views over productive farmland on the return to Logie Coldstone. Legend has it that there were three springs at Poldhu (Gaelic for “Dark Pool”), each possessing specific medical properties. The Statistical Account of 1793 described them as follows – “There is a mineral spring called Poldow to the south of the church, the waters of which some years ago, were much and successfully used for scorbutic and gravelish disorders”. In the 19thC, in line with the Victorian fashion for “taking the waters”, two springs were identified and enclosed in granite-dressed wells. Over time, their popularity with visitors waned and after a storm brought down trees over the site of the wells in the 1950’s they became hidden in dense undergrowth. However, they were restored in 2008, and now enjoy a tranquil forest setting. Thanks to the Cromar History Group, with others, for the information from their leaflet – “The Wells of Poldhu”.
See: Page 1 – https://photos.app.goo.gl/KH42ktJWgkcuXySi6
Page 2 – https://photos.app.goo.gl/PRDoWoyBBVVN4v4CA

Links:
Photos from walk
Download Route Guide (PDF with illustrated Waypoints)
Download GPX file (GPS Exchange Format)
Access Walk on OutdoorActive
Access Walk on OSMaps
Access Walk on Alltrails

Access Walk on Wikiloc

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