Feed on

Today I was supposed to be writing stuff on quality management – even duller to write than it is to read, and that’s saying something

. But the sun was shining for the first time this month and after a couple of hours, I could take no more and I decided to get out for a while. It was a bit late to head west to Braemar (my first preference) so I decided on the 40 minute drive to Bennachie.
Bennachie is a wee granite hill in Aberdeenshire with good paths and easy access. The main top (the Mither Tap) is a bit busy but once you head for the other tops, you rarely see more than a handful of people. I started at the visitor centre near the Chapel of Garioch. Garioch is one of these north east names that don’t look like they sound – it is pronounced Geerie-o. Another place where you can slip up is Strathan near Banchory, which is pronounced Straan not Strath-Ann.

The path is signposted up the hill and the first bit isn’t that attractive really – it goes through a clear felled area. But it has the benefit that you get a view of the top.

Mither Tap of Bennachie

The Mither Tap of Bennachie. Viewed from the forest path from the visitor centre.

After this area, things improve. The path goes through open forest – larch and some other generic conifer then Scots pine. On leaving the forest, the path steepens and it seems like a real, albeit short hill walk. About 45 minutes after leaving the car, I was on the top. A Pictish (I think) hill fort was built on the Mither Tap of Bannachie and the signs of it are still there (although I suspect the wall has been restored)

Hill fort on the summit of Bennachie

Hill fort on the summit of Bennachie

I’d been in the lee of the wind on the way up but it was blowing a hoolie on the top – hard to hold the camera still. But 10m below, I sat and enjoyed lunch in the spring sun, with a view over Aberdeenshire. Being Aberdeenshire, of course, you can’t get away from horrible wind turbines.

View of Aberdeenshire

Lunchtime view of Aberdeenshire

Wind farm

Blot on the landscape

After lunch, I headed for Oxen Craig, a bit more than a mile away. The Forestry Commission have created paths for biking so they are a bit obtrusive but they make for easy walking. I only met one couple on the way.

Oxen Craig from the Mither Tap

Oxen Craig from the Mither Tap

There’s a indicator on top of Oxen Craig and the view was a wee bit better than my indicator non-view last week on Allermuir.

Oxen Craig Indicator

Indicator on the summit of Oxen Craig. Looking towards Lochnagar

From both the Mither Tap and Oxen Craig you could see to Lochnagar – I was surprised that there wasn’t more snow on it. I preferred the view from Oxen Craig as it included a wee bit of the River Don.

The River Don and Lochnagar from Bennachie

The River Don and Lochnagar from Bennachie

There were views back to Craigshannoch (on the left) and Mither Tap. I headed back via Craigshannoch where there were some incredible granitic lava flows and more Aberdeenshire views.

Granitic lava flows on Craigshannoch, Bennachie

Granitic lava flows on Craigshannoch, Bennachie

Looking north from Craigshannoch

Looking north from Craigshannoch

Back to Mither Tap then down to the car park for 3.30.  A great wee walk in the sunshine.

2 Responses to “A springtime dauner on Bennachie”

  1. Susie Clark says:

    Enjoyed this blog, Iain. The third pic from the bottom is a great view to Lochnagar from Bennachie, and a view of part of my Grand-dad’s estate that I’ve never seen before.

    Been enjoying reading other posts in your blog, bringing back loads of memories. My main memory of the mountains and you is the trip we did with Ross for his last munro. Hope you’re keeping well.


  2. […] on the top and once you get away from the main top (the Mither Tap), you don’t meet many people. I’ve written about it before so I’ll say no more but just include a few […]

Leave a Reply