Duration: 3.5 hours.
This is a varied walk amongst the undulating countryside that characterises the Buchan area. The circular route starts in Old Deer, an attractive little village that can trace its roots back to the Christian missionary St Drostan in the mid 6thC. Leaving the village, the route soon joins a section of the Formartine and Buchan Way, a linear pathway that uses the former railway line linking Dyce to the village of Maud where it splits into two - eastwards to Peterhead and northwards to Fraserburgh. From the path, we gain a sighting of the ruins of Deer Abbey, built in the 13thC, but abandoned after the Protestant Reformation in the 16thC. After a short section on the public road, our route ascends Aikey Brae, where there is a new path and helpful information boards. For a hundred years, from the mid 19thC to the mid 20thC, the Horse Fair at Aikey Brae was one of the most popular summer events in whole of NE Scotland, and attracted the travelling community from far and wide. Making our way over the hill, we soon arrive at the impressive “main event” on the walk, the Aikey Brae Recumbent Stone Circle, dating from the early Bronze Age, where there are fine open views. The whale-shaped recumbent stone is exceptionally large and there are five stones still standing. Next, a fairly long but enjoyable section on a quiet country lane between fields leads down to Stuartfield, an unpretentious but pleasant planned village, established in 1763, when it was known as New Crichie. Here, a new track avoids the busy road, and takes us to the wooded walks network in Aden Park, home of the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, and close to our start point in Old Deer where we advise checking out the interesting remains of the original church located in the graveyard of the current Deer Parish Church. The old church was established in the 15thC, the site possibly having an association with Deer Abbey from the 13thC, and earlier Christian missionaries may have used this site from the 6thC.
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.