Walk: Lower Deeside delights - Banchory, railway, castle

[River Dee near Milton of Crathes]

The beautiful stretch of the Dee downstream from Banchory is perfect (apart from the bit by the sewage works) for an easygoing stroll, following one of Scotland's great salmon rivers through beautiful surroundings right to the gates of Crathes Castle. Allow time for several diversions along the way: perhaps take a steam train on the restored Royal Deeside Railway, or stop for lunch (or shopping) at the nearby Milton of Crathes complex? Even if you don't want to pay for the castle itself, the estate's free grounds are very much a key part of this walk, also taking you much of the way back to Banchory before suburban footpaths and cycleways finish the job.

[It's hard to believe that Banchory town centre lies on the other side of this wall]

📌 Walk: Lower Deeside delights - Banchory, railway, castle ★★★☆
▶ 12 km / 7 miles | ▲ 200 metres | ⌚ Full day walk
Points of interest: Banchory; River Dee; Royal Deeside Railway; Crathes Castle & grounds
Start / finish: Tillybrake Road, Banchory, G.R.: NO 704962 ///cook.centuries.compacts

Route: Start - A980 / A93 junction - River Dee - follow riverside path to Milton of Crathes - Royal Deeside Railway - Crathes Castle via forest walk through Carleith Wood - West Lodge exit gate - Burn of Bennie - Hill of Banchory School - start
Terrain: Pavements and urban paths in Banchory; good bankside paths along the Dee; forest paths and tracks in Crathes Castle grounds.
Wildlife today: Grey squirrels and lots of birds.
Weather today: Cloudy at start but soon brightening up - hot and sunny by Crathes Castle.

>> Crathes Castle ★★☆
>> Go Ape (Crathes) (not yet featured)

📌 Royal Deeside Railway ★☆☆
Description: Short heritage railway with steam and diesel trains running along the River Dee.
Location: A93, Milton of Crathes, G.R.: NO 740962 ///exploring.dance.belt
Open (2019): Irregular dates (mostly weekends), March to December - see website
Cost (2019): £7.50 (adults), £4 (children) for day ticket

[Woodland trails lead through Carleith Wood in Crathes Castle's grounds on the way to the tower house]

Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track


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