(197) Banchory-Scolty Hill Forest Road Circuit (Aberdeenshire)

Route Summary
This is a deservedly popular short walk through a mature woodland area, but with a moderately demanding 200 m overall ascent on the sometimes steep climb to the moorland and striking tower at the top of Scolty Hill where there are splendid wide-open views.

Duration: 1:75 hours.

Route Overview
Duration: 1.75 hours.
Transport/Parking: Stagecoach bus services to Banchory. Check timetable. It is a 2 km walk from the centre of Banchory to the walk start-point at the Forest and Land Scotland Scolty car-park. Parking charges apply.
Length: 4.62 km / 2.87 mi
Height Gain/Loss: 200 meter
Max Height: 299 meter Min Height: 111 meter
Surface: Rough in places. A mix of forest roads and rough paths with some steep stony sections. Not suitable for off-road mobility scooters due to steep and stony paths in places
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Easy/Medium .
Dog Friendly: Dogs on lead in the car-park area.
Refreshments: Options in Banchory.

This walk is similar to our SCO-005-Banchory-Scolty Hill March Trail which, at the time of writing in Feb 2023, remains closed as the Forestry & Land Scotland “March Trail” has still to re-open following damage caused by the winter storms of 2021/22. At only 299 m, Scolty is a low hill on the eastern edge of the Grampian Mountain range. However the views from the top are extensive and very rewarding, assisted by two hill-finders, one fixed on the southern aspect, one on the northern. All of the town of Banchory is seen nestling underneath the hill, with a section of the River Dee running through it. The Scolty Hill monument is a 20 m tall tower, built in 1840 as a memorial to local man, General William Burnett, who campaigned with Lord Wellington. The tower was restored in 1992 and a viewing platform added. If open (not on the day we walked the route), it is worth ascending the steel spiral staircase to enjoy even better views over Banchory, the Dee and Feugh valleys, and the Grampian Mountains, near and far. The town of Banchory, at the gateway to Deeside, makes for a pleasant refreshment stop after the walk. For more information about the Scolty Woodlands, see: https://forestryandland.gov.scot/visit/scolty

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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