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    Beinn a’Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Hard
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    29.0 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    878 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk

    The Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk is an extensive hillwalk that requires endurance and a keen sense of adventure. The 29.0 km trail is a full-day voyage, featuring stunning views and formidable climbs. While some complete the trail in one-go, wild camping is an option for those looking to spread it out over two days.

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    Route Description for Beinn a’Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk

    The Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk is a wilderness lover’s paradise. The scenery of Glen Derry paired with the views from atop the summits of Beinn a'Chaorainn (1,052 m) and Beinn Bhreac (931 m) make for a brilliant day in the Cairngorms National Park. Beyond some boggy sections on the hills, there are well-defined paths for your approach. A river crossing of the Glas Allt Mòr could pose a challenge if conditions are exceedingly wet, but with some sheer determination, shouldn’t pose too much of an issue.

    To begin the walk, head to the back of the Linn of Dee car park and join the footpath with signs for “Glen Lui”. Set out across the boardwalk that enables you to avoid some serious boggy grounds, and the path will soon make way for a track up ahead. Head left on the track and enjoy the smell of the pines as you continue just over a mile to cross the Black Bridge, arching over the Lui. Then, follow the track that leads towards Derry Lodge turning left to head up the glen.

    Enjoy the impressive Derry Lodge as you continue on the next section, once a Victorian shooting lodge and frequented by Queen Victoria. When a bridge is reached beyond the lodge, don’t cross it, and instead continue on the path that leads on the east side of Glen Derry. The track soon becomes flanked by forest as you press on north up the glen.

    With your sights set on the bleach between Meall Lunndain and Beinn Bhreac, continue on the track that weaves in and out of the tress. When you reach the plateau between Beinn Bhreac’s two tops, spot the easterly top and head there to reach the true summit. Enjoy the views of Glen Derry and Lochnagar as you breathe in the fresh air of the Cairngorms having completed your first summit climb.

    To continue, join the path found between Beinn Bhreac’s two summits and maintain a course on the east side of the dense, peaty land that unfolds. Up ahead, you’ll lay eyes on Beinn a’Chaorainn’s southeastern shoulder, making your way towards it to embark on your second climb. Continue up the slopes to reach the summit of Beinn a’Chaorainn, marked by another sizable cairn. With the likes of Ben Macdui, Beinn Bhreach and Beinn Mheadhoin rising in the distance, you’ll likely want to spend some time here revelling in the remarkable views.

    When you’re ready to descend, head down the hill’s southwest shoulder, then continue the steep descent to reach the Lairig. From the Lairig, you’ll continue left down a path that unfurls into the upper Glen Derry. Continue along the floor of the glen and then join the wide path that later leads alongside the Glas Allt Mòr’s sidestream. Cross wherever possible, ideally on stepping stones, and continue through the glen towards the Derry pinewoods. Stick to the eastern bank and make your way back to the Derry Lodge to join the outward route leading back to the start of the walk.

    Getting to the Beinn a’Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk Trailhead

    To get to the Beinn a'Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk from nearby Braemar, head southwest on Invercauld Rd/Old Military Rd toward Balnellan Road then continue onto Mar Road. At the roundabout, head straight onto Linn of Dee Road then keep right to stay on the same road. Continue around 6 miles to reach the Lin of Dee car park, where the walk begins.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Wild Camping

    • When to do

      Year-round access

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Beinn a’Chaorainn and Beinn Bhreac Walk Elevation Graph

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