NEW EDITION APRIL 2018
Walks Aberdeen & District – Author: Richard Hallewell
Rewalked 2018 by Richard Hallewell and Becky Coope
It was exciting to be heading north-east over the Glenshee road on a stunning day in late May to rewalk Walks Aberdeen & District. This was the second book that we published in the series – way back in 1997 – and this is the 3rd edition for the guide.
Our base for the week was the bustling town of Banchory on the banks of the splendid River Dee – perfect for accessing all of the walks.
The area has undergone many changes since the book was first published, but many of the walks were found to have only minor changes. The one exception was the walk around Girdleness, in the harbour area of the city, which we had to remove. Although the oil industry has slumped somewhat in recent years, the city is still booming with trade from other sea-based activities, and a major new harbour is being constructed south of the city which made this walk impossible at this time.
We replaced this with a walk around the grounds of Craigievar Castle (see left) – one of the great ‘Castles of Mar’ which are a prime attraction of the area. We list a walk at each of the castles in the area covered by the book (Crathes, Craigievar, Drum and Fraser plus the marvellous formal garden at Pitmedden – all now managed by the National Trust for Scotland). The castles are all well worth a visit in their own right – Crathes has magnificent painted ceilings and formal gardens as well as the extensive grounds and a great coffee shop, and Craigievar has wonderful ornate plaster ceilings and a quiet woodland setting. Perfect if the weather is not conducive to walking!
The area covered in the book is very varied, with walks around the city of Aberdeen as well as the surrounding coast and countryside. Highlights of the city walks are the walk around the University town of Old Aberdeen, the charming old fishing village of Footdee near the harbour and a visit to Duthie Park and its magnificent glass houses (all best done on a Sunday, if you can manage, to avoid traffic). The coastal walks include the cliffs and beaches for which the area is known – particular favourites are the circuit of the Sands of Forvie Nature Reserve north of Aberdeen, and the walk to the coastal ruin of Dunnottar Castle from the busy harbour town of Stonehaven.
The area is not famed for its hill-walking but the moorland peaks of Bennachie are criss-crossed by a fine network of paths and car parks which provide excellent walking with superb far-reaching views over the surrounding farmlands (see left).
What was very clear from our visit was how quiet the rural roads are compared to the honeypot tourist areas on the west, and what a superb range of facilities are available to visitors and locals. If this is an area that you haven’t visited before then we can highly recommend it.
For more details or to buy a copy click here.