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Showing posts from October, 2011

Mounthooly Doocot

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Mounthooly Doocot stands on a hillock a mile or so from the Aberdeenshire coastline and Rosehearty village. It was built by a local estate owner in around 1800 and he clearly had plenty of cash to splash: considering that the purpose of a doocot is to house pigeons (for harvesting their eggs and meat), the building looks much too grand. Constructed in mock-Gothic style, it's a worthwhile stop if you're passing through this neglected northern part of the county.


📌Mounthooly Doocot ★★☆☆☆
Location: Minor road just off B9031 a mile south of Rosehearty, G.R.: NJ 925659 ///huddling.lofts.mandates
Open: Always (exterior only)
Cost: Free

Linn of Muick

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The Linn of Muick is only a few miles from the busy tourist town of Ballater and next to the popular road to Loch Muick, but remains unknown to most due to a lack of signposting and space to park. The river's large, high catchment area collects water from the expansive White Mounth plateau (including Lochnagar), making the waterfall here a sight to behold after heavy rain or snowmelt. Our photo was taken during more normal conditions.


📌Linn of Muick ★★★☆☆
Location: Off minor road to Loch Muick, 4 miles south of Ballater, G.R.: NO 333895 ///diver.goal.woof
Anything else? Limited space to park nearby - don't block passing places. The waterfall should just be visible through the trees from the roadside, and is reached by an short climb down on grass.

Walk: Dark Lochnagar

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Lochnagar (Little loch of the noisy sound) is one of the Cairngorms' great icons - Lord Byron even wrote a poem about it in 1807. This lofty summit's northern side is riven by a magnificent coire, cradling a teardrop-shaped lochan with a series of smaller ones leading away from the cliffs like a string of pearls. The cliffs are renowned for winter ice climbing, with extreme skiing in the intervening gullies. For walkers there's a surprisingly straightforward (in good conditions) path from nearby Glenmuick, with the classic view only revealed at the last minute. Returning along the Glas Allt takes in a majestic waterfall and the peaceful shoreline of Loch Muick; for sheer variety, this must be one of Scotland's very best day walks.


📌 Walk: Dark Lochnagar ★★★★★
Length: 20 km / 12 miles
Ascent: 990 metres
Main summits: Meikle Pap (980 metres); Lochnagar (1156 metres, Munro)
Points of interest: Corrie of Lochnagar; Falls of the Glasallt; Loch Muick
Start / finish: Car park at …

Walk: Clachnaben rocks!

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Clachnaben (Rock of the Hill) is second only to Bennachie as Aberdeen's most interesting nearby hill. The huge granite tor decorating the summit is so distinctive that ships in the North Sea once used it along with Bennachie to take bearings. The tor is popular with rock climbers, but you can creep around the back to avoid resorting to hands. The easiest (and probably most scenic) approach path is up Glen Dye from a car park on the Cairn o' Mount road. Taken on a rather murky day, our photos don't really do the excellent views justice.


📌 Walk: Clachnaben rocks! ★★★☆☆
Length: 9 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 510 metres
Main summits: Clachnaben (589 metres)
Start / finish: Car park on B974 5 miles south of Strachan, G.R.: NO 649869 ///slipping.pursue.weekends

Route: Car park - Miller's Bog - Black Hillocks - Clachnaben by main path - Black Hillocks via Slack of Dye - return to start by outward route
Terrain: Good paths (track for middle section), though rougher for return route option.

Walk: Best o' Bennachie

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Overlooking the town of Inverurie on its western side is Bennachie, an open area of heathery high ground standing tall above forested lower slopes. The plateau is dotted with several granite tors, of which the highest is Oxen Craig, roughly at the centre. Meanwhile, cone-shaped Mither Tap is by far the most distinctive of the tops, visible from all over Aberdeenshire and crowned with an ancient hillfort. Starting at the Forestry Commission's visitor centre on the eastern side makes a circular route possibly which takes in both. Paths are generally excellent, meaning that - coupled with the relatively dry climate this far east - bog is unlikely.


📌 Walk: Best o' Bennachie ★★★★☆
Length: 10 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 550 metres
Main summits: Oxen Craig (529 metres, sub-2000'); Craigshannoch (480 metres); Mither Tap (518 metres)
Points of interest: Bennachie Centre
Start / finish: Bennachie Centre car park, minor road 2 miles south-west of Chapel of Garioch, G.R. NJ 698217 ///snow.evenly…