Duration: 2 hours.
This is an enjoyable ramble around and about the large Deeside village of Aboyne, offering many opportunities to enjoy views of the pleasant Strathdee countryside. With its large open “green” at the centre, and well-preserved and re-vitalised railway station square, the settlement has a very relaxed ambience, making it particularly popular with summer visitors. After passing the expansive Charlestown Green, the walk heads for the banks of the River Dee, taking a path under the impressive concrete bridge before passing a couple of very scenic “islands in the stream”. Pine woodland and village sections then follow before entering open parkland in the immediate environs of Aboyne Castle. The castle originates from the 13thC when its position provided strategic advantage for the “Mounth” crossings of the Grampian Mountains, particularly important for military purposes and for drovers herding upland “black cattle” to markets in the south of Scotland. The building has been extended and rebuilt at various times, most recently by the current Marquis of Huntly, whose family has owned it since the early 15thC. The walk then crosses the attractive undulating fairways of Aboyne golf course*, before hugging the western bank of the beautiful Loch of Aboyne. A stone and earth dam wall was constructed here around 1834 to retain the loch. At that time it also served as a reservoir for a nearby mill. The loch is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest owing to its aquatic flora and fauna and rich reed-bed and fen vegetation. It is also an important site for butterflies. It provides a valuable habitat for waterfowl, including widgeon, goosander and whooper swans, with osprey regularly seen fishing. Finally, after a section on the old Deeside railway line, now part of the Deeside Way, the route returns to the centre of Aboyne, passing through the old station square.
*Note: Aboyne Golf Club have asked us to emphasise the following”...this is an active golf course and warning signs are situated warning of the dangers...”. More details here: https://t.ly/0LZqG . See also the Scottish Outdoor Access Code guide to walking on golf courses: https://t.ly/KlwYp
Track typesShow elevation profile
(1) Start the walk at the info board by the A93-Charlestown Road junction(57.07570; -2.78035) https://w3w.co/thatched.unscrew.floatStart the walk at the information board by the A93 North Deeside Road junction with Charlestown Road, in the centre of Aboyne. With the Charlestown Green park on your right side, pass the fountain and park gates before crossing the road and walking along the pavement on Charlestown Road in a southerly direction.
(2) Left off Charlestown Road down steps to riverside path(57.07071; -2.78658) https://w3w.co/ample.reflector.loadedIn about 730 m, just after passing the Boat Inn on your right side, go left off Charlestown Road down steps to the riverside path. Turn right at the foot of the steps and walk along the riverside path, with the river on your left side. Follow the path under the Dee bridge and continue taking the riverside path. (733 m)
(3) Right onto woodland path(57.06727; -2.79672) https://w3w.co/darting.shuffles.mossIn another 750 m, or so, after passing an old iron fence post, turn sharp right into the wood. (1.5 km)
(4) Veer right at paths y-junction in woods(57.06847; -2.79750) https://w3w.co/loved.unite.limoIn 100 m, at a fork in the path, carry on taking the main path, veering slightly right. (1.6 km)
(5) Right along Rhu-na-Haven Road(57.07037; -2.79840) https://w3w.co/cemented.campfires.skippedIn 200 m, you will emerge from the woodland onto Rhu-na-Haven Road. Turn right and walk down the pavement to the end of the road. (1.8 km)
(6) Left up Bridgeview Road(57.07188; -2.78940) https://w3w.co/shin.graph.excavatedIn 600 m, at the end of Rhu-na-Haven Road, go left up Bridgeview Road. In 200 m, where the road splits, veer right up the Old Tollhouse Road (note there is no pavement on this section). At the end of Old Tollhouse Road, go straight across the A93 North Deeside Road to walk along a short section of the B9094 road, looking for a path on your right just after crossing the old railway bridge. (2.4 km)
(7) Right off B9094 road onto Deeside Way path(57.07675; -2.79221) https://w3w.co/rocked.handlebar.mistedIn 600 m from the last waypoint, turn right off the pavement on the B9094 road through a signposted gate to descend to the Deeside Way path. Turn immediately left to take the woodland path on your left (1 of 3 possible paths), running parallel with the wall along the B9094. Walk along this path with the wall fairly close on your left side. (3.0 km)
(8) Veer right - then sharp right into wood(57.07830; -2.79186) https://w3w.co/doghouse.amounting.showsIn about 200 m, the path splits. Take the path veering slightly right which soon turns sharper right. Follow this woodland path going in an easterly direction with a fence fairly close on your left side. (3.2 km)
(9) Left to continue on path with fence on left side(57.07849; -2.78940) https://w3w.co/round.springing.dropletIn 100 m, or so, where a slightly indistinct path carries straight on, turn left to continue on the main path towards an area of sliver birch trees, with the fence continuing on your left side. After passing a gate, this path swings around to complete a half circle, then swings to the left to continue on in an easterly direction. Keep going until this woodland path meets a rough access road. (3.3 km)
(10) Out of wood and sharp left along rough road(57.07869; -2.78533) https://w3w.co/sugar.backs.outgrownIn 300 m, the woodland path meets a rough access road for the Aboyne Castle estate. Go left here. (3.6 km)
(11) Right along tarred access road(57.08161; -2.78529) https://w3w.co/trapdoor.done.oilsIn 400 m, where the rough road meets a tarred estate road, go right. (4.0 km)
(12) Straight through x-roads onto rough woodland road(57.08167; -2.78126) https://w3w.co/haunt.yesterday.goatIn 200 m, after passing a good view of Aboyne Castle over open ground on your left side, you will arrive at a x-roads. Go straight through the x-roads onto a rough woodland road. Keep following this rough road as it eventually become more like a path, with a field on your left side. When it meets an access road for a row of houses, turn left and head for the junction with Golf Road. (4.2 km)
(13) Left at Golf Road junction - then quickly veer left up Golf Club access road(57.07975; -2.77319) https://w3w.co/boil.guideline.strappedIn 600 m, turn left at the junction with Golf Road, then quickly veer left up the narrow Aboyne Golf Club access road. (4.8 km)
(14) Veer left at y-junction by golf club car-park(57.08359; -2.77224) https://w3w.co/finishers.encodes.saddensIn 500 m, veer left at a y-junction by the entrance to the golf club car-park. Follow this rough road into the golf course area*. (5.3 km)
*Note: Please beware of flying golf balls on the golf course. Take care to observe golfing activity. Look left and right and give way to golfers taking their shots. Do not speak loudly if close to golfers playing their shots. Aboyne Golf Club have asked us to emphasise that - “...their course is an active golf course and warning signs are situated at all entry points warning of the dangers of being hit by a ball. We will not be liable for any accidents and our safety notices reflect that. When crossing the golf course, stick rigidly to the pathway and be aware you are in an active golfing area where golfers are hitting ‘blind shots’ so may be unaware of your presence. Do not stop till you reach the Loch side...”. More details here: https://t.ly/0LZqG . See also the Scottish Outdoor Access Code guide to walking on golf courses: https://t.ly/KlwYp
(15) Go right to cross golf course fairways(57.08578; -2.77129) https://w3w.co/scornful.subsystem.speedingIn 200 m, go right to cross the golf course fairways*, heading towards the Loch of Aboyne (take care, and defer to golfers playing their shots). (5.5 km)
*Note: Take care, and defer to golfers playing their shots. See guidance given for Waypoint 14.
(16) Go right to leave golf course road - then cross bridge(57.08646; -2.76960) https://w3w.co/internal.irritable.motivationsIn just over 100 m, go right and gently downhill to leave the golf course road you are on, then cross the footbridge just ahead of you at the dam on the Loch of Aboyne. Follow the path as it skirts the edge of the golf course, with the loch on your left side (take care, and defer to golfers playing their shots). Eventually, the path leads you around the loch to a belt of trees where there is a stile to leave the golf course area. (5.6 km)
(17) Over stile to leave golf course - then right along Deeside Way path(57.08413; -2.76494) https://w3w.co/mash.faster.crinkledAfter 500 m, following a path around the edge of the loch, you will arrive at a stile. Cross over the stile to leave the golf course, then go right along the Deeside Way path, heading back towards Aboyne. Eventually the path crosses over an open area then passes a modern house where a wooden fence on your left side separates you from the access drive to the house. After passing under an old railway bridge you soon arrive at the main A93 North Deeside Road where you turn right onto the pavement and walk back in the direction of the centre of Aboyne for about 100 m, looking out for the access to Low Road on your left, across the main road. (6.1 km)
(18) Left to cross A93 North Deeside Road onto Low Road(57.07770; -2.77150) https://w3w.co/careless.diverged.aboveAfter 900 m from the golf course stile, go left to cross the A93 North Deeside Road onto Low Road. Do not follow the dead-end access road as it bends left, but instead, go straight ahead onto the pedestrian walkway that descends to a footbridge over the Tarland Burn. Follow the path right, after the bridge, towards Aboyne centre, as it soons joins the continuation of Low Road. From here, make your way back to the start-point at the entrance to Charlestown Green park in the centre of Aboyne. (7.0 km)
(19) Finish walk back at the fountain and gates by Charlestown Green park(57.07571; -2.78029) https://w3w.co/thatched.unscrew.floatIn 600 m, you will have arrived back at your start-point at the fountain and gates by Charlestown Green park, near to the A93 North Deeside Road. (7.6 km)
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