Next week the Cairngorms National Park is celebrating it’s annual Wee Walks Week.
The week-long event is aimed at encouraging everyone to get out in the fresh air, stretch their legs and enjoy the beauty of the National Park. We asked the Rothiemurchus Rangers for their favourite walks and tips on turning them into Wee Walks.
Hard to believe it’s September already, and that the summer (what little we had of it!) is drawing to a close. However, what better way to make the most out of the last few weeks of light evenings and warm(er!) temperatures than by heading out for a ‘wee walk’.
Here at Rothiemurchus, our friendly Rangers encounter lots of people out and about enjoying the benefits of taking a stroll. There’s no better feeling than donning your walking shoes, grabbing a rucksack and heading into the great outdoors to take in lungfuls of clean Highland air and bask in the peace and serenity of our breathtaking natural heritage.
At Rothiemurchus, there are plenty of routes to take you through the magnificent natural surroundings of this part of the Cairngorms National Park, and our Rangers and front desk staff at the Rothiemurchus Centre will be only too happy to point you in the right direction for a walk that will suit your needs, just come in and ask.
LOCH an EILEIN WALK
- One of our (and our visitors’) favourites is the circular loop of Loch an Eilein:
- A walk of approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres). Starting and finishing from Loch an Eilein car park. The path has no long or steep gradients but depending on weather or time of year underfoot conditions can be muddy or icy, so sturdy footwear is recommended. Loch an Eilein has featured on tv or film on numerous occasions; its ruined castle was the island graveyard in Series 1 of BBC’s ‘Monarch of the Glen’ and more recently was the site of a 14th medieval village in the Netflix film ‘The Outlaw King’. As you make your way beside pine clad shores, there’s always a chance of spotting a red squirrel.
If you’re short on time or energy then you can make this a ‘Wee Walk’ by taking a gentle stroll of around 700 yards (650 metres) to a point opposite the castle, home of nesting ospreys over a century ago. You can retrace your route to the Loch an Eilein gallery for a cup of coffee and well-deserved piece of shortbread (April – October) and toilets, sited near the car park.
LOCHAN MOR WALK
Alternatively, why not take a walk from our Rothiemurchus Centre at Inverdruie and take in the sights and sounds of a woodland walk past the picturesque Lily Loch (Lochan Mor)?:
- Approximately 3 miles (5 kilometres). This starts at the Rothiemurchus Centre, Inverdruie. From the front door go directly to the road. Cross over on to the pedestrian/cycle track and turn left. Walk 70 metres or so and turn 1st right on to a narrow slip road. Follow this road for 100 metres and then the walk begins at metal gates on left. The path has no long or steep gradients but depending on weather or time of year underfoot conditions can be muddy or icy, so sturdy footwear is recommended. The route leads you through the woodland and onto a section of open moorland with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and the hills behind Loch an Eilein in the distance. The path continues past the scenic Lochan Mor – an ideal stopping point for a picnic lunch and a rest of the legs, before continuing through the woods and emerging onto the road to Loch an Eilein. Following the road for ¾ of a mile, you take a left just short of the Loch an Eilein car park bridge and head on to an estate track. This takes you past some of Rothiemurchus’ more secluded farmland, where you will quite possibly see some of our red deer herd, as well as our fold of shorthorn beef cattle. This section of the track, known as the croft road, offers you some beautiful views out over the Lily Loch and beyond to the hills of Kinrara estate. The track ultimately brings you out onto a tarmac road, which leads you downhill for about half a mile and back to Inverdruie and the Rothiemurchus Centre.
- To make this a ‘Wee Walk’ turn back when you reach the Lily loch and retrace your steps back to the Rothiemurchus Centre and Druie Cafe where you can sit in and enjoy lunch, a hot drink and a fabulous selection of home baking.
For more information and countryside assistance, contact the Rangers directly on 01479 812 911 or via the Rothiemurchus Centre – 01479 812 345. Our Rothiemurchus Explorer map, available from the Rothiemurchus Centre and Loch an Eilein car park, contains further information on these and other walks on Rothiemurchus. We look forward to seeing you here!