Although Knock Saul is a low-level hill, with an uncomplicated approach and ascent to the summit, it provides great views in all directions. The view over the Howe of Alford is also particularly good as you walk around the south side of the hill at a mid-level. Cleared forestry also provides the initial and final sections on the route with excellent views down the Tullynessle glen, and beyond, to the south-west.
Duration: 2.25 hours.
Duration: 2.25 hours.
Transport/Parking: No public transport. There is parking space for more than one vehicle at the walk start/end point on the Suie Road between Tullynessle and Clatt, on the southern side of the Suie Hill. See Waypoint 1 for more information on the location.
Length: 8.2 km / 5.1 mi Height Gain/Loss: 241 meter.
Max Height: 412 meter. Min Height: 304meter.
Surface: Moderate. Mostly good forest roads. Narrow path, steep in places to and from summit area. A modified version of the route, excluding the summit area, is believed suitable for off-road mobility scooters. See Waypoint 4 for details.
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: There are options in Alford.
There are some fantastic views on this approach to Knock Saul (412 m) from the west, starting and finishing from a point above the hamlet of Tullynessle, on the Old Military Road that crosses the Suie Hill. Much of the route is on good forest roads, although the paths to and from the summit of Knock Saul are narrow, and can be fairly steep in places. Overall, the route is a mix of fairly open ground and conifer woodland of varying maturity, with the higher summit section passing through heather moorland. There is a trig point and picnic bench at the summit of Knock Saul, and also a low stone cairn, probably of ancient origin. There is also an old boundary stone, probably associated with the parishes of Leslie, Tullynessle and Forbes that meet on the hill. The views from Knock Saul are wonderful, taking in the patchwork of Aberdeenshire farmland and forests below you, then on to extensive vistas of more distant hilltops. The impressive panorama includes: the Bennachie and Menaway Hills in the east; the Howe of Alford to the south; Foudland and Tillymorgan to the north; the Tap o’ Noth and Ben Rinnes in the north-west; and the Deeside, Correen and Donside hills, leading the eye to the faraway Cairngorms to the south-west. After the descent from the summit area, the route makes a partial loop at mid-level around the hill to take in some particularly fine views of the Howe of Alford. At the beginning or end of the walk, we suggest that you drive to a magnificent nearby viewpoint on the north side of the Suie Road, looking down to the countryside between Clatt and Rhynie, with the hugely impressive Tap o’Noth hill dominating. There are benches there to relax, perhaps have a picnic, and absorb the view! The Suie Road was incorporated into the 18thC Military Road from Fochabers to Fettercairn but has been an important passage from north to south since mediaeval times, and probably before that.
Photos from walk
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