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    Glen Tanar Walk

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    Very Easy
    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.
    8.0 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.
    50 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Glen Tanar Walk

    The Glen Tanar Walk is a pleasant 8km waymarked route that unfolds on the Cairngorms south side near Aboyne. The easy trail follows scenic forest paths and tracks and is suitable for the whole family. Keep your eyes peeled on the walk for an array of wildlife, including red squirrels, crested tits, and if luck is on your side, even Capercaillie!

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    Route Description for Glen Tanar Walk

    Explore a Scots pinewoods wonderland on the Glen Tanar Walk near Aboyne in Aberdeenshire. This pleasant walk is a great choice for families looking to explore the Cairngorms together and is suitable for all skill levels due to the waymarked forest paths and tracks.

    The Caledonian pine forests of Glen Tanar form the largest collection of this type of woods on the Cairngorms south side. The abundance of wildlife that call these towering trees home makes for a spectacular walk with plenty of opportunities to spot animals. You can also pop into the information centre prior to beginning the walk for details on what wildlife to look out for and and also of the estate itself.

    To begin the walk, set out from the Braeloine car park then make your way across the gorgeous arched Bridge of Tanar. To make a stop at the information centre, spot the building on the far side and head there before continuing the trail. When you’re ready to make your way to the woods, follow the green waymarkers, heading up the path that runs upstream on the same riverbank as the information centre.

    The path soon veers left, away from the river for a short time leading you to the small Chapel of Lesmo dating to 1870 and constructed by Sir William Cunliffe Brooks. Passing the chapel, you’ll soon reach a T-Junction where you’ll turn right, continuing on the path headed for the woods and waymarked in green.

    For a brief time, you’ll be following the old Firmounth right of way (leading to Glen Esk), as the track rises gently to reach a viewpoint known as Knockie. Pause here to enjoy splendid views of the upper glen and make use of the view indicator if you wish. You’ll then turn right to head downhill where you’ll join another track which leads up the glen floor nearby the river, at this point turn left.

    Maintain the green waymarked track as you approach another junction found nearby a charming old stone bridge suspended above the Allachy water. Turn right and cross the bridge, staying on the main track which soon guides you to a second bridge over the River Tanar. Spot the track on the far side (The Mounth Road) and turn right at the t-junction to begin walking back down the glen.

    Enjoy a lovely stretch alongside the river, passing by the relics of an old stone shed, and continue until you reach a signed junction. Continue by turning right here following the waymarked trail which leads past a forest lochan and a small dwelling on your far side. The route continues and soon reaches Knockie bridge which you’ll cross and then turn left.

    Nearing the end of the walk you’ll make your way across a grassy field and continue on the path that hugs the River Tanar. A grand stone cottage enveloped in towering pines soon comes into view on the far bank as well as an ancient granite mill-stone. The route soon opens onto another track which you’ll continue on straight ahead to return to the car park where the walk began.

    Other Great Walks in Cairngorms National Park

    Check out our trail guides to Ben Magdui, Loch Muick, Ben Vrackie, Loch an Eilein, and the Mount Keen Walk. Or see all of our Cairngorms walks.

    Insider Hints for Glen Tanar Walk

    • The Braeloine Visitor Centre where the walk begins is a charge car park.
    • Toilets are available inside the Braeloine Visitor Centre during hours of operation.
    • The Braeloine Visitor Centre features a picnic area, perfect for enjoying a bite, either before or after the walk.
    • If birdwatching is your thing, bring some binoculars along with you on the walk to better spot some of the glen’s array of birdlife.

    Getting to the Glen Tanar Walk Trailhead

    To get to the Glen Tanar Walk from Aboyne, take Ballater Road/A93 headed southwest towards Charlestown Road/B968 then turn left onto Charlestown Road/B968. Continue 1.1 km then turn right onto B976, after 2.1 km continue straight and drive 2.4 km. Then continue straight again to enter Braeloine car park where the walk begins.

    Route Information

    • When to do

      Year-round access

    • Backcountry Campsites

      Tarland Camping and Caravanning Club Site

    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Glen Tanar Walk Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Glen Tanar Walk Reviews

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