Duration: 2.75 hours.
This is a straightforward but energetic there and back walk to the summit of Clashmach Hill overlooking the town of Huntly, nestled in a howe on the banks of the Deveron and the Bogie. On a clear day, the views from the top are far-ranging although walkers should be aware that for a good a part of the way up, with occasional clear viewpoints, the path has a high bank of gorse on either side. In spring and early summer the heady scent of coconut from the gorse flowers will infuse the air as you climb up the hillside. After a fairly relentless ascent, you will arrive at the grassy summit area of Clashmach Hill where there is a cairn and a trig point. On a clear day you will rewarded by views of many prominent hilltops. For example, The Knock, Tllymorgan, Foudland, Bennachie, Tap o'Noth, Morven (Deeside), Ben A'an, The Buck of Cabrach, Ben Rinnes, Ben Wyvis (beyond Inverness), Morven (Caithness - 100 kms away!), and the Bin of Cullen. The current stone cairn is of fairly modern origin, likely built by walkers, but many of the stones may belong to a nearby ancient ring cairn, the foundation stones of which are now covered by turf. It is just distinguishable that the ancient cairn still has at least 4 kerbs in place in a footprint at least 6m wide and 0.4m at the highest point. After the walk we suggest that you consider taking a stroll through the attractive town centre of Huntly which probably dates back to a castle, the Peel of Strathbogie, built in the late 12th C, and later replaced by Huntly Castle. A modern planned town was established in 1769 to support industrial and agricultural changes, with the original name of Milton of Strathbogie finally dropping from use during the 19th C. A circuit of The Square takes in the main points of interest: the Memorial Fountain; the Duke of Richmond statue, the Gordon Arms building, the Huntly Hotel building, the Brander Library and the old Post Office.
Tips and hints
Duration: 2.75 hours.
Transport/Parking: Frequent rail service from/to Aberdeen. A number of Stagecoach bus options. Check timetables. Free Market Muir car-park at the start/finish of walk.
Surface: Moderate. A mix of tarred surfaces and grassy track. May be muddy in places after heavy rain. The complete route is not suitable for off-road mobility scooters due to narrow gates near the summit area.
Child Friendly: Yes, if children are used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Huntly.