Amazingly this is my first time in Deeside: why haven’t I gone before? Anyway, suffice to say we’ll be back soon and often as it is simply gorgeous with so many walks to tempt us. The tourist info centre in Braemar had a leaflet that suggested a couple of short walks that could be joined together to give a half-day of variety and lovely scenery. We bolted two together: the Moronne Birkwoods and a bit of river path along the Dee and Clunie to give a circuit around Braemar whilst never more than a couple of miles away from a coffee shop (yes, the Missus was with us again). We’d strongly recommend this to you.
The Birkwoods 1 are on the north side of Morrone – the hill rearing up above Braemar. The route starts in the village and heads up past the park where the Games are held (fortunately we missed them by a couple of days) and then onto the hill. Apart from the eponymous birches the area is famous for the Juniper trees and the combination of them and the heather works well. The path climbs to a viewpoint and then is level as the views to the Cairngorms opens up over the moor.
We followed the good path 2 over the moor as it circled back to the village. We then branched off to take our second path that headed down to the Dee. Apart from the sublime Tilt I don’t think I’ve seen a cleaner river: the water was almost invisible. Well, until a certain Spaniel went for a bathe… We followed the path until it met the Clunie where we turned back towards the village 3. Apart from the initial climb to the viewpoint this was an easy walk in stunning scenery: it gets a coveted 5-star rating. You’d be an idiot not to do it 4
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