Feed on

Unfortunately, yesterday’s sunshine didn’t continue and it was misty as I set off this morning. The bit up to the plateau was easy on an estate road with views down Glen Muick.

Looking back to Glen Muick

Looking back to Glen Muick

The mist was still down as I came to the end of the road to be faced with a featureless landscape. I’d never been up here before but my vetter Colin had warned me about the bogs and peat hags. I should have paid more attention to this. The mist was clearing but everything looked the same and there was no way to navigate without a map and compass. I headed east for the estate road on Hare Cairn – it wasn’t far, about 3.5k, but it took more than 2 hours ploughing through bogs and peat hags. I don’t think I’ll be back.

Peat hags and bogs

Peat hags and bogs

Eventually, I reached the estate road then it was pretty quick down to the head of Glen Tanar where I had lunch on the bridge looking down the glen.

At the head of Glen Tanar

At the head of Glen Tanar

While I wouldn’t recommend the plateau, I do recommend Glen Tanar which changes in character from a highland to wooded lowland glen. There were lots of Butterwort – insect-eating plants – at the head of the glen. I met Peter from Holland who had come over from Ballater (a far more sensible route) and we walked together for a while and checked out the unusually but accurately named Halfway Hut before he headed off for the Forest of Birse.



I had originally planned to camp in the glen but my new plan meant that I needed to get to the Bridge of Ess then to Potarch. The path by the river to the Bridge of Ess was delightful but the road walk to Potarch was awful. I was fed up with tarmac, tired, hungry, it was getting late and I really wanted just to get there. Thankfully, the last mile or so is through the forest rather than on the road and at 7.45 I eventually arrived at Potarch.

This was my chosen destination as it has a pub and I had fantasised about fish and chips and Guinness for most of the long road walk. The portions in the Potarch are Challenger-sized and it was fantastic after such a long day. Three other Challengers came in – Roger, Peter and David, who I had met on the train on Day 0. We chatted for a while and then I set up my tent with theirs on the green just outside the pub. An ideal site.

6 Responses to “TGOC-13. Day 11. Glen Muick to Potarch”

  1. Liz Bibby says:

    Hi Ian,
    Am enjoying your blog-but your insectivorous plants on day 11 are Butterwort,and not butterbur!(which is a large and spiky plant!)
    Sounds great!

  2. Scott Rae says:

    Came across this while looking to see if I could wild camp easily in Potarch.
    The Aberdeen Kiltwalk finishes there this Sunday. Outside the pub sounds ideal!

  3. JimSinger says:

    There is an alternative from Glen Tanar to Potarch or vice versa. The Deeside way does go from Potarch to Aboyne in fact goes to Ballater although that means crossing over the bridge in Aboyne to the South Deeside road or further out still at Dinnet, it would I suppose add extra walking distance. I plan to walk from Aberdeen to Stirling next year and I will most definitely be using these routes

    • admin says:

      Thanks Jim

      As far as I know, there is still a gap in the Deeside Way between Aboyne and Kincardine O’Neill although I believe that there are minor roads for part of the way. It may also be possible to get onto the old railway somewhere though I haven’t tried it.

      When I was there, I was pretty tired and simply wanted the shortest route. Aberdeen to Stirling sounds a fine walk.

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