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Around Ballater Golf Course

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Around Ballater Golf Course
Author: Deeside Walks, Published: 08 Oct 2018 Walk Rating:star0 Around Ballater Golf Course - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Around Ballater Golf Course - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Around Ballater Golf Course - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Around Ballater Golf Course - Deeside Walking Guidestar0 Around Ballater Golf Course - Deeside Walking Guide
Aberdeenshire, Ballater
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Around Ballater Golf Course
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Around Ballater Golf Course - Deeside Walking Guide
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8 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 4 mph SE
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A 2.5 mile circular walk from the village of Ballater in Aberdeenshire. The walk performs a simple circuit around the edge of Ballater Golf Course on beautiful riverside paths with lovely views. There is even a chance for a paddle in the River Dee at a pebble beach, great for dogs, kids and those of us that are kids at heart.

In terms of accessibility, this is a walk for all the family as it follows easy paths, however due to flooding damage a few years ago the second half of the route is more uneven underfoot and probably not suitable for anyone unsteady on their feet. Part of the route takes you along the side of the golf course, so please show consideration for the golfers by passing quietly if they are playing nearby and watch out for any stray flying golf balls. You will need to negotiate a simple gate and some gateways, but there are no stiles or livestock on route. Allow 1 hour.

Ballater is located on the River Dee, within the Cairngorms National Park and about 15 miles east of Braemar. The walk starts and finishes from the car park on Provost Craig Road. Approximate post code AB35 5NR.

Walk Sections

Start to Dundarroch Path
Start to Dundarroch Path

Start point: 57.0502 lat, -3.042 long
End point: 57.0499 lat, -3.049 long

Leave the car park via the pedestrian exit to reach the pavement of Provost Craig Road and turn left for a few metres to reach a T-junction with the main Braemar Road. Cross over to the far pavement with care and turn right along this. Take the first road on the left, Invercauld Road, passing the Auld Kirk on this corner. This old granite church now houses a (dog-friendly) coffee shop and as well as some guest rooms.

Continue along Invercauld Road and then take the first right turn into Dundarroch Road (a no through road). At the end, the road narrows into a footpath between two stone posts. Continue along the footpath.

Dundarroch Path to Riverside Car Park
Dundarroch Path to Riverside Car Park

Start point: 57.0499 lat, -3.049 long
End point: 57.0513 lat, -3.0552 long

The footpath emerges onto Old Line Road. This was the proposed route of the railway line west of Ballater, although despite a route being chosen and prepared, no trains ever ran west of the village. Continue straight ahead along Old Line Road. The road forks. Take the left fork which leads you down to a car park just in front of the river. There are several picnic tables around the car park that have a view of the river.

Riverside Car Park to Side of Fairway
Riverside Car Park to Side of Fairway

Start point: 57.0513 lat, -3.0552 long
End point: 57.0474 lat, -3.0565 long

Take the footpath that leads from the far end of the car-park to the edge of the river and turns left along it (pictured). Follow the footpath along the river, with the river to your right. After a short distance you will come to a pedestrian metal gate ahead, pass through this. The next part of the footpath leads along the side of Ballater golf course. As I said in the introduction, be a bit careful here and don't stray onto the golf course. One short part of the path leads alongside one of the holes. At this point look out for people driving on the tee. If one of them hooks their shot severely it is possible the ball will come over the path - but it is very rare. Although you are at the base of the valley, the views are still great. Across the river you can see the peaks of Carn a Bheataidh, Creag Liath, Tom an Lagian and Creag Phiobaidh.

Side of Fairway to Raised Embankment
Side of Fairway to Raised Embankment

Start point: 57.0474 lat, -3.0565 long
End point: 57.0431 lat, -3.05 long

Now the path veers right away from the golf course. You may see many fallen trees on the left side of the path, washed there by the floods several years back. The path continues past a stony gully on the right. This of course is the old river bed before it moved to its current course (which is beyond the small island). The path then re-joins the side of the golf course. Now comes a trickier part, where there has been a bit of flood damage. To begin this stretch, the path becomes raised and runs along an embankment.

Raised Embankment to Pebble Beach
Raised Embankment to Pebble Beach

Start point: 57.0431 lat, -3.05 long
End point: 57.0426 lat, -3.0409 long

At the end of the embankment, there is a slope down to the left. Go down the slope, taking care. To the right, there is a narrow footpath through the grass, follow this footpath. After a few twists and turns, the footpath reaches an area of denser undergrowth on both sides with trees on the right. Keep going on the path. You will pass close to the golf course again. As before, please be quiet if people are trying to play their shots. A short distance later there is a slope down to an opening in the trees on the right. Beyond that is a pebble beach and an area suitable for paddling on a sunny day.

Pebble Beach to Caravan Site
Pebble Beach to Caravan Site

Start point: 57.0426 lat, -3.0409 long
End point: 57.045 lat, -3.0391 long

After passing this beach, the path reaches a caravan site. (A sharp left would lead up to the Ballater golf clubhouse, the tennis courts and the bowling green). Do NOT turn left, instead continue straight on, across the caravan site. You will pass a children's play area on your right.

Caravan Site to End
Caravan Site to End

Start point: 57.045 lat, -3.0391 long
End point: 57.0503 lat, -3.0418 long

On the far side of the caravan site, go straight on through the metal gateway on a footpath leading to the river. You will cross a grassy area and pass some lovely old Ballater houses. Take the next road on your left, which is Dee Street. This leads back towards the village. Take the first right off Dee Street (onto Dee Bank Road) and it will take you to the village main street. Turn left along the main village road and follow this past the church and station square. Just beyond this, turn right into Provost Craig Road to reach the car park where the walk began.

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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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