Duration: 2 hours.
This is a very pleasant ramble around and about the hamlet of Bellabeg in the remote area of Upper Donside known as Strathdon, where hill farming and forestry are the main local industries. There are fine open views to appreciate throughout most of the walk. Bellabeg, once called Invernochty, sits at the confluence of the Water of Nochty, running down from the Ladder Hills, and the River Don, flowing from its source in the mountainous Ben Avon moorlands. De-population has been a feature of Strathdon for the last 150 years, with the term “Land of the Lost” playing on the name of Lost Farm, near Bellabeg. Each year, in late August, the Lonach Highlanders gather here in highland dress to celebrate their neighbourly cohesion and the history of their community. Their annual “march” through the parish is famously punctuated with drams of whisky at friendly stops along the way! Our more sober route makes an early visit to the churchyard of the impressive Strathdon Kirk where there are some interesting early gravestones and a curious mausoleum in Egyptian style. A diversion onto a bluff overlooking Bellabeg in the Bunzeach Forest provides not only a wonderful view over the settlement and Glen Nochty but also the opportunity to participate in the Cairngorms National Park “Photo-Posts” Project which aims to record changing landscapes over the seasons at a number of locations in the Park. The next point of interest is crossing Poldullie Bridge, a rare and captivating example of a single arch stone bridge, constructed in 1715. Unlike many of its neighbours, the bridge survived the catastrophic “Muckle Spate” of August 1829. Rising through mature pine forest, the walk then achieves a fine viewpoint over the upper Strathdon valley and the high moors above Deeside, to the south. Near the end of the walk we pass the Doune of Invernochty, the massive earthwork “motte and bailey” remains of a 12thC Norman fortress.
Basic Equipment for Hiking
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Kit para bolhas
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.