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Tomnaverie Stone Circle

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Tomnaverie Stone Circle
Author: Deeside Walks, Published: 04 Oct 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guide
Aberdeenshire, Tarland
Walk Type: History trail
Tomnaverie Stone Circle
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guide boot Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guide
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A circular walk of just over 2 miles, from the village of Tarland in Aberdeenshire. If you have ever read the time-travel novel Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (also called Cross Stitch) or seen the TV series and fancy seeing a real Scottish prehistoric stone circle, then this walk is for you. It takes walkers on a route to discover the Tomnaverie Stone Circle, which is thought to date from around 4,000 years ago. For Outlander fans, this walk author does not guarantee that visitors will be transported back to Jacobean times – but nor does the author guarantee they won’t.

The walk is relatively flat for most of the route, with one climb up to the stone circle. It follows well-made paths and grass paths, with some stretches that can be muddy or overgrown at times. You will need to negotiate several footbridges, gates and one stile. The stile is really a low set of steps over a stone wall and should be easy for both people and dogs. Allow 1.5 hours.

Tarland is located about five miles northwest of Aboyne and 30 miles west of Aberdeen. The walk starts and finishes in the centre of Tarland village, in The Square. If you are coming by public transport, there are bus stops at the junction between Bridge Street and The Square. If you are coming by car, there is free parking in The Square. Approximate post code AB34 4TX.

Walk Sections

Start to Bridge Wall Gap
Start to Bridge Wall Gap

Start point: 57.1275 lat, -2.8588 long
End point: 57.1261 lat, -2.8582 long

The walk starts from The Square in Tarland, at the junction with Bridge Street. Turn right to head south on Bridge Street, past the Tarland Pharmacy and Coffee Shop. The road signs will be saying you are going towards Aboyne, or Dinnet. After 100m or so, but before you leave the village, you will approach a bridge over the Tarland Burn (which means stream). On the left-hand side of the road there is a gap in the low stone wall. Go through this gap in the wall on the left-hand side of the road, just before the bridge.

Bridge Wall Gap to Second Footbridge
Bridge Wall Gap to Second Footbridge

Start point: 57.1261 lat, -2.8582 long
End point: 57.1239 lat, -2.8477 long

Once through the gap, follow the footpath through the trees. The footpath leads onto a wooden footbridge over the Tarland Burn. Cross the wooden footbridge. At the far end of the footbridge turn left. Follow the wide footpath which heads east, along the side of the Tarland Burn and alongside fields.

The path leads east, the Tarland Burn is on your left. There are fields on your right. In case you are wondering where the Tarland Burn flows - it flows all the way to the village of Aboyne where it joins the River Dee. I know because I used to play in it when I was growing up in Aboyne. After a couple of hundred yards the footpath comes to a second wooden bridge (ahead). Cross this wooden bridge ahead.

Second Footbridge to Road Crossing
Second Footbridge to Road Crossing

Start point: 57.1239 lat, -2.8477 long
End point: 57.1198 lat, -2.8422 long

Continue to follow the footpath in the same direction, keeping the Tarland Burn on your left. After another hundred yards or so, you will approach a third wooden footbridge (this one is on your left). Do NOT take this footbridge, instead turn right and follow a narrow footpath up the hill. Now you are walking up a gentle slope, along a narrow footpath between fields. Depending on the time of year it might be quite overgrown. The path approaches a road - there is no gate, so keep a close eye on children and dogs. Carefully cross over the road to reach the footpath at the far side.

Road Crossing to Circle Car Park
Road Crossing to Circle Car Park

Start point: 57.1198 lat, -2.8422 long
End point: 57.1198 lat, -2.8452 long

Turn right to follow the footpath which continues on the opposite side of the road, running between fences with the road on your right. This is only for a short distance. You arrive at the entrance to the car park for the stone circle. Turn left and follow the roadway up the hill towards the stone circle car park. Walk across the car park, being careful of cars of course.

Circle Car Park to Stone Circle
Circle Car Park to Stone Circle

Start point: 57.1198 lat, -2.8452 long
End point: 57.1195 lat, -2.8494 long

The footpath continues ahead at the far end of the car park. When you reach a fork in the path, take the left-hand branch, heading up the gentle slope. This leads you to the stone circle.

You will note that the circle is positioned where it commands an excellent view of the surrounding terrain. The stone circle is several thousand years old, from before what we normally understand as 'history' and before writing. The prominent hill nearby and behind the recumbent stone (the one that is lying on its side) in this photograph is Morven. There is a plaque nearby giving some theories as to what the stone circle was for, or why the recumbent stone is positioned where it is. One theory is that the recumbent stone was used for sacrifices, but it is no more than a theory. If you are wondering whether there is still magic in the stones - almost certainly. If you are wondering whether the villagers of Tarland ever come out on Samhain eve to dance around the stones with candles and long cloaks - I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Stone Circle to Land Rover Track
Stone Circle to Land Rover Track

Start point: 57.1195 lat, -2.8494 long
End point: 57.1202 lat, -2.8502 long

After you have finished looking at the stone circle look for the footpath heading back down the slope towards Tarland. It doesn't matter precisely which way you go as long as you end up at a gate in a fence. Go through the wooden gate. There is no path at this point in the walk. Don't panic. There is a trail marker pointing you in roughly the right direction. Walk across the Land Rover track and continue over the grass.

Land Rover Track to Stile
Land Rover Track to Stile

Start point: 57.1202 lat, -2.8502 long
End point: 57.1206 lat, -2.8518 long

You should be bearing roughly perpendicular to the Land Rover track, going gradually downhill towards the road and towards the far end of the field. You need to look for the marker post, the path or the stile at the far end of the field. The marker post is hidden in the gorse. Even if you miss it you should find the flattened grass of the path beginning again, and if you miss that you will find the stile over the wall. Go over the stile. Now you should be close to the road again.

Stile to Roadside Path
Stile to Roadside Path

Start point: 57.1206 lat, -2.8518 long
End point: 57.1225 lat, -2.8582 long

Follow this stretch of enclosed path, running parallel to the road (which is on your right). Pass through the gate ahead and then turn right to cross over the road with care. Once you have crossed the road, follow the footpath ahead, leading away from the road and between the fields. The footpath crosses a wooden footbridge. Continue to follow it. The footpath runs alongside the road into Tarland for a short distance, so take care with children and animals again.

Roadside Path to End
Roadside Path to End

Start point: 57.1225 lat, -2.8582 long
End point: 57.1276 lat, -2.8588 long

You will come to another wooden footbridge. This is the one you crossed at the start of the walk. Go across this footbridge and follow the footpath until it comes out on the road via the stone wall gap. Cross the road to the pavement on the far side, turn right and walk back to Tarland village square.

Congratulations, you have finished the Tomnaverie Stone Circle Walk! Take time to explore Tarland village should you wish. There is a coffee shop in the Tarland Pharmacy (although the opening hours are a bit restricted) or you can get bar snacks at the Commercial Hotel. One shop I'd really recommend you try is the Krafty Neuk sewing and crafts shop. Another great shop in Tarland is the Toy Shop. Finally, no visit to Tarland is complete without a visit to Wm Blackhall, Tarland's resident kiltmaker, and now run by Pam Blackhall. It doesn't just sell kilts, there are gloves and pins and jackets, socks and ties. My own kilt comes from Pam and you can't get a much better recommendation than that!

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author deesidewalks and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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11830_0deesidewalks1538676732 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guide Image by: Deeside Walks
Uploaded: 04 Oct 2018
If the stone circle transports you to Jacobean times you may be seduced by a hunky highlander (image courtesy of TV series).
11830_0deesidewalks1538676809 Tomnaverie Stone Circle - Deeside Walking Guide Image by: Deeside Walks
Uploaded: 04 Oct 2018
The Square in Tarland is the starting point for the walk

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