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iFootpath Discovers Deeside

iFootpath has teamed up with the creator of Deeside Walks, to bring you a new collection of 12 walking guides centred around the village of Ballater in Aberdeenshire. The area is famous for its summer Highland Games along with serious hillwalking, but through these walking guides you will discover so much more, from royal connections and to Jacobean heroes…

climbing mainThe River Dee rises in the Cairngorms and flows through southern Aberdeenshire to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen. The area it passes through, particularly around Braemar and Ballater, is known as Deeside or Royal Deeside because Queen Victoria came to love the place and built Balmoral Castle there. Today Deeside is a popular area for tourists, due to its scenic beauty and historic and royal associations.

The 12 Deeside Walking Guides are between 2 and 9 miles in length and range in difficulty from simple strolls along the former rail line to serious climbs into the surrounding hills. There are beautiful woodlands, idyllic lochs, riverside paths and high moorland to explore, often with stunning far-reaching views. There are plenty of points of interest to discover along the way too…

ballater east gallery royal carriageBallater was once home to the railway station that was used by the Royal Family when visiting Balmoral Castle. In 1886 the Royal Waiting Room was built to a design approved by Queen Victoria, whilst in September 1936, Edward VIII was seen meeting his mistress, Wallace Simpson from a train at Ballater Station. The station and line closed in 1966 but the buildings were restored and today you can view both the Royal Waiting Room and a Royal Carriage.

The Tomnaverie Stone Circle is a real Scottish prehistoric stone circle which is thought to date from around 4,000 years ago. Included within the circle is a recumbent stone and one theory is that this was used for sacrifices.

muir gallery kinord stoneBurn O’Vat is a large granite cauldron, home to the Vat Burn and its beautiful waterfall. A walking route leads you through the pretty woodland alongside the stream to reach the cauldron entrance, a rocky tunnel through large boulders that leads you into the geological wonder.

Within the wooded slopes of Pannanich, you will discover the site of a 1940 lumber camp. It was established during World War II by Newfoundland lumberjacks who had volunteered to help the war effort and produce the timber the country needed.

The Kinord Stone is an intricately carved Celtic cross which stands overlooking Loch Kinord, with interesting connections to Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The author of the twelve Deeside Walks goes by the pseudonym of Fear Liath Mor. Fear Liath Mor, or The Big Grey Man, is one of Scotland’s most enduring and puzzling legends. It follows an incident reported by an experienced international mountaineer when he climbed to the summit of Ben MacDui in 1890. Professor John Norman Collie reported being followed for several miles by mysterious footsteps… “For every few steps I took I heard a crunch, and then another crunch as if someone was walking after me but taking steps three or four times the length of my own.” The creature Collie described was given the name Am Fear Liath Mor, although we will never know if it was a mountain-dwelling creature, a supernatural presence or just a trick of the mind due to the isolated nature of the Cairngorms.

Either way, our thanks go to Fear Liath Mor for allowing us to share these Deeside Walks with the iFootpath community…

Explore the Deeside Walks on iFootpath

26 October 2018

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