Walk: The one true summit of Morven

[Abandoned farmhouse at Balhennie]

Morven perfectly embodies the spirit of Aberdeenshire (unless you're thinking of the hill with the same name in Caithness). The domed, heathery summit is typical of this part of the Cairngorms, rising prominently but undramatically out of rolling farmland. (Less typical were the dozens of wasps which had colonised the summit cairn on our visit!) 872 metres of height is respectable for this part of the county, and consequently commands wide views from Lochnagar in the south to Bennachie in the east. Beware the numerous false summits, many with cairns to rival the final one, which make the objective appear closer than it really is.

[Wasps on Morven's summit cairn]

Name: Walk: The one true summit of Morven ★☆☆
Length: 8 km / 5 miles
Ascent: 660 metres
Main summits: Morven (872 metres, Corbett)
Start / finish: Track junction (space for several cars) on minor road 2 miles west of Logie Coldstone, G.R.: NJ 410044 / reshaping windy cure

Route: Start - Balhennie - Little Cairn - Mid Cairn - Morven - return to plateau between Little Cairn and Balhennie - bridge over Coinlach Burn at G.R.: NJ 394033 (don't cross) - Balhennie - start
Terrain: Fields to Balhennie then steep, narrow hill path, becoming wider and gentler with height. Fainter, occasionally boggy but gentler paths for return loop.
Wildlife today: Bizarrely, scores of wasps on the summit cairn. A couple of basking lizards on the ascent; sheep appear to have taken over the abandoned buildings at Balhennie!
Weather today: Warm sunshine, but windy higher up and very thick haze.

[Hazy views today - seen from where the path forks for the return loop]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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