Braemar is an excellent centre for hillwalking and acts as the southern access point to the Cairngorm mountains. There are about 40 Munro’s (mountains over 3000 feet) which can be accessed from Braemar and they include 4 of the 5 highest mountains in the UK. Another famous mountain, Lochnagar, lies on HM Queen’s Balmoral estate and if arriving from Aberdeen direction you glimpse views of its magnificent north facing coire (cirque) as you travel up Royal Deeside.
Braemar isn’t just for mountain climbers however, there is a vast network of local paths and tracks around the village and in the beautiful pine clad glens. These provide stunning low level walks often beside pure running rivers and burns (streams) with great opportunities for wildlife watching. There is also a download for a village history walk with geocache waypoints available here.
Below is a selection of some of our favourite walks, follow the links for detailed descriptions and maps.
Braemar Local Walks Map to the right is available to buy online at this link Braemar Map or from the Visitor Information Centre in the Braemar Mews.
Creag Choinnich is the diminutive but beautiful little hill rising to the east of Braemar, clothed in beautiful pinewoods. The ascent makes for a short but very steep walk, which can easily be combined with the Lion’s Face circuit.
Morrone birkwood (birk is Scots for birch) is one of the finest examples of ‘downy’ birchwoods in the UK and has vast areas of juniper. This fine circular walk explores the nature reserve and gives some wonderful views.
5km/3 mile, 1.5 – 2 hour, Easy, Rough riverside paths and tracks. This pleasant circular walk from Braemar takes in the confluence of the two main rivers, the Dee and the Clunie and then climbs gently through birch woods to return to the centre of the village. There are good open views towards the Linn of Dee and the chance to explore the pretty centre of Braemar.
Lion’s Face and Cromlins
A fair amount of ascent is involved. This excellent circuit through the pinewoods and fields has some superb views and much of interest, including the opportunity to visit Braemar Castle.
Morrone is a Corbett – a hill between 2500 and 300 feet – that rises directly above Braemar and makes a lovely hillwalk on a fine day. With 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains, the climb combined with an attractive riverside return route makes a great half day excursion
Linn o’ Quoich circuit
Water rushes through the narrow Linn of Quoich making a picturesque stopping point on this short walk. Queen Victoria was fond of this place and it became a popular attraction, nowadays it is much quieter than the nearby Linn of Dee.
Clais Fhearnaig circuit
This circular walk starts by visiting the impressive Linn of Quoich, then heads up the hidden Glen Quoich before crossing the Clais Fhearnaig pass to descend into Glen Lui. The route returns down the Glen and back along the road.
Craig Leek circuit
This pleasant waymarked walk makes a circuit around the prominent little hill of Craig Leek, on Invercauld Estate. There are excellent views up and down Deeside.
This walk, from just south of Braemar, follows a good track to Callater Loch, a high loch, hemmed in by mountains and with good views. It is possible to lengthen the walk by going round the loch and wading the inflow river which makes a pleasant but more demanding circuit.
Sgor Mor Circuit
The initial climb, however, is through deep, pathless heather, and the descent crosses some extensive boggy areas. Viewed in isolation, Sgor Mor would be an unassuming hill – a rounded heather moorland crowned by several summits. However, its position on the southern fringe of the Cairngorms makes it one of the finest viewpoints for looking in towards this great range, and combined with the always magnificent pinewoods it makes for a grand days walking