Ben Rinnes

Ben Rinnes is the highest peak in Speyside and a great climb! It is a corbett at 814 meters and certainly feels very steep at points, making for a good challenge. The mountain can be found 8km south-west of Dufftown. Although this is not quite in Aberdeenshire, it is relatively close so very accessible for those visiting from the area.

Ben Rinnes has a fun history, as there is a race which takes part on the mountain as part of the Dufftown Highland Games. Runners cover Ben Rinnes and 4 other nearby hills on a 14 mile route!

There is a clear path to the top but we definitely recommend wearing good footwear and cosy clothes – it can get very windy! From the summit, the views over Speyside are extensive. On a clear day, you can see up to 8 counties from the top! We went during a winter sunset and the lighting over the hills and valley was spectacular.

Distance: 4.75 miles
Time Taken: 2-3 hours

Parking: Parking is limited so we recommend visiting early on weekends and holidays. Drive down the unnamed minor road just off the B9009 near Glenrinnes. There is space to park on your left just before the Ben Rinnes footpath. Please make sure you are not obstructing the road. The coordinates for this area are (​57.408200, -3.192070) and what3words location is ///tramps.backpacks.insisting.

Terrain: There is a great path all the way up! It is steep at some points and reaching the trig point at the top involves a bit of climbing up and over rocks. However this is nothing too difficult if you are used to walking.


  1. From parking the car on the minor road, head through the gate onto the clear path. This path immediately begins rising and zig-zagging uphill. It begins to level off and you can see the peak of Ben Rinnes up ahead. 
  2. Head along the path which soon starts to take you further uphill. After some time, the steep climb levels off again before briefly dipping into a brief descent.  
  3. You are now on the final stretch uphill! The path zig-zags up again and is the most challenging section of the climb. However, the path is in great condition with pitched stone steps aiding you as you ascend. 
  4. As you come close to the top, the rocky tors at the summit become visible and you are almost there. Climbing this end part is the most tricky underfoot as you navigate over the rocks to reach the trig point. However it is still very manageable. 
  5. From the trig point, you are greeted with amazing views across the area. You should be able to see Bennachie and Ben Avon if it is a clear day. The summit is very exposed and the wind was pretty crazy when we went, so do be careful! 
  6. Once you are ready to return, follow the trail back in the way you came.

There are some other Ben Rinnes routes which can make the walk longer, however this is the most straightforward and popular one to take. It is a very good walk if you are wanting to start Munro Bagging but want some practice hiking first. This walk is also great to do with fit and healthy dogs who can manage a hike.

Other Walks Near Ben Rinnes

Speyside has a lot to offer if you are staying for a holiday and looking for other things to do. As Ben Rinnes will only take 2-3 hours of your time, you may also want to make the most of your day and enjoy the area further.

The Speyside Way is a beautiful 82km long distance route, part of which runs near Ben Rinnes and Dufftown. The path will take you along the River Spey and through the countryside. Heading to this and enjoying some of the route is a great way to add more walking into your trip.

Furthermore, Dufftown is known as the Whisky Capital of The World as it produces more whisky than any other town in Scotland. You can spend time wandering around the town and checking out these distilleries! There are also some organised tours you can book if you are interested in hearing more of their history.

Places to Eat and Drink Near Ben Rinnes

After climbing Ben Rinnes, you will definitely deserve some post-hike refreshments! Dufftown is the nearest town and has a few options.


If you want something fun and quirky, head to Slidings Cafe. This is open during peak months from 10am-4am and you sit in a traditional train carriage to enjoy your lunch or coffee and cake!

The other great cafe to try out is the Glenfiddich Distillery Malt Bar & Barn. Here you will get an excellent lunch with some traditional Scottish options such as cullen skink. And of course if you’re not driving… you can even get a dram of whisky!

Sit in Dining

The Seven Stills in Dufftown is a Bistro and Pub, and is open for meals for 4pm. It is therefore a great place to enjoy a proper dinner if you have been walking in the afternoon. The pub has a very cosy and atmospheric feel to it which is great for warming you up on a cold day! The food is absolutely delicious and the owners will always welcome you in. It is worth noting that the meals are fairly up-market and are slightly more expensive than average.

Written by Anna Gill

Anna is the founder of the Aberdeenshire Walks social media blog, sharing local walks and encouraging people to get out and explore the places on their doorstep!

Visit Website
View Photos
I've been here