Showing posts from March, 2014

Walk: Climbing the Ladder Hills

Moray | Ladder Hills | Full day walk | ★★★

Where are the Ladder Hills? Hidden behind the main bulk of the Cairngorms and close to the world's whisky capital of Speyside, this gentle range of heather-clad summits take their name from The Ladder pass historically connecting Moray to inland Aberdeenshire. The remote location allowed Catholicism to continue uninterrupted during the Reformation, with the hidden College of Scalan and the (later) Our Lady of Perpetual Succour the surviving outposts today. This circuit passes both, also climbing the old pass en route to the highest summit in the area. Most people seem to overlook these rolling hills just as Protestantism did - the result should be a peaceful walk with grouse and mountain hares for company.

📌 Walk: Climbing the Ladder Hills ★★★
Start / finish at minor road end just south of Chapeltown of Glenlivet, G.R.: NJ 245205 ///luggage.enable.mysteries

▶ 15 km / 9 mi | ▲ 520 m | ⌚ Full day | ⬤ Tough
Summits: Dun Muir (754 m); Carn Mor…

Walk: A Fare wander in the Cairngorm foothills

Aberdeenshire | Banchory | Full day walk | ★★

Head due west from Aberdeen and the Hill of Fare is the first extensive area of high ground you'll find. This sprawling, heathery plateau is surrounded by roads but its interior offers relative peace and quiet as well as extensive views over eastern Aberdeenshire, admittedly without anything overly dramatic. Apart from the slightly tricky-to-locate summit cairn (not quite on the main path - keep a close eye on the map), tracks make a longish circuit achievable in a shortish amount of time. If you're feeling lavish, Raemoir House Hotel is an option for breakfast, lunch or dinner near the start or finish.

📌 Walk: A Fare wander in the Cairngorm foothills ★★
Start / finish at layby (can get busy) on A980 half a mile west of B977 junction, G.R.: NO 687993 ///explorer.vague.crouches

▶ 18 km / 11 mi | ▲ 430 m | ⌚ Full day | ⬤ Moderate
Summits: Craigrath (435 m); Hill of Fare (471 m, sub-2000')
Terrain: Good tracks, with a short section …