Duration: 3.5 hours
We often enthuse about the wonderful views we enjoy on our walking expeditions. However, undertaken on a clear day, this walk must rank as one of our very best routes for all-around scenic quality. There are very few points on the track where there are not extremely fine views of the Howe of Cromar, and towards Mount Keen, (“Dark”) Lochnagar, and the distant Cairngorms. Much closer, and ever-present, are constantly changing views of the imposing “whale’s back” mass of Morven Hill (“A' Mhòr Bheinn”, in Gaelic), immortalised by Lord Byron: “…when I rov'd a young Highlander o'er the dark heath, And climb'd thy steep summit, oh Morven of snow …”. At the summit cairn of Pittenderich, extensive views open up to the north, east and south-east, with the Bennachie range being most prominent. Although the overall ascent (363 m) is not inconsiderable for a low hill-walk, the gradient is generally spread throughout the ascent in a pleasant environment characterised by mixed farmland and woodland, making the walk far easier an experience than anticipated. At an early stage in the route, the walk passes the former country mansion of Douneside House, set in open parkland and gardens. Douneside now operates as an hotel and health club, within a wider estate managed by the MacRobert Trust which follows the wishes of the late Lady MacRobert for the House to remain a place of tranquillity and peace [see the notes at Waypoint 3 for a brief account of the MacRobert family tragedies around WW II]. The focal point of the walk is the summit cairn on Pittenderich at 508 m, a southern spur of Pressendye. The cairn is assumed to be a pre-historic burial location, perhaps used by different communities, at different times, over the millennia, but, as far as can ascertain, no excavation has ever taken place at the site to shed more light. The walk starts and ends at the village of Tarland, which has a fine old Square with some buildings dating back around 300 years.
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.