Clachnaben Walk, Glen Dye

Length of Walk: 5.5 Miles
Time Taken: 2-3 hours
Parking: Park at Clachnaben Quarry Car Park, also known as Glen Dye Car Park. This is quite small, so we recommend arriving early!


Clachnaben is a great hill just south of Banchory in Aberdeenshire. It is iconic for its prominent granite tor which sits on the summit and can be seen from many points in Lower Deeside. This tor is so distinctive that along with Bennachie Mither Tap, it was historically used by ships in the North Sea to take bearings! This gave way to the old Aberdeenshire rhyming couplet, “Clachnaben and Bennachie, Are twa landmarks frae the sea.”


If you are looking to get into hiking but are not yet ready to try out a Munro, Clachnaben is a great start! The walk is challenging but not as long as some of the larger mountains close by, and there is a good path the whole way up. In recent years, the path has been developed and improved by the Clachnaben Path Trust, but it can still get muddy underfoot.

The most popular and easiest route to climb Clachnaben is by starting at Glen Dye, walking through Miller’s Bog before ascending. This is an out and back route.


  1. From the car park, head southwest and follow the path almost parallel to the road. You walk through forestry until a clearing, at which point you continue straight ahead over a track. Continue following the path which runs to the right of the stone wall.
  2. Go over the stile and keep following the path which leads you down into the glen. There is a bridge to cross over and you then fork right to keep on the trail through Miller’s Bog.
  3. The main path through the glen is clear but you will have to fork right again to keep on the track near the glen floor. There are a few picturesque bridges to cross which help you over the streams.
  4. As you walk through the moors, you will be able to see the summit of Clachnaben in the distance. Below the peak there is a forestry area you want to reach, so keep walking until you reach these trees and go through the gate into the forest.
  5. Follow the path which sticks to the left of the trees. You will also see Mill Burn just down to your right for most of the section. This path is a little rougher underfoot and can get muddy so do watch out!
  6. Once you reach the top of the forest path, you are ready to properly begin the ascent up Clachnaben! There is an obvious and well-maintained path to follow uphill, and you begin by heading to the right of the summit.
  7. After a fairly steep hike, you will have reached the iconic granite tor at the top! If you are brave enough to climb the tor, there are a few different ways to get up. The easiest way is taking the path on the right side round the back and having a small scramble up. You do need to be careful though as it is rocky and steep!
  8. The summit of Clachnaben gives you some incredible views over Aberdeenshire, and you can see Bennachie’s Mither Tap in the distance. After the steep climb, you also feel a great sense of achievement.
  9. Return back to the car park down the way you came. This continues to give you beautiful views as you descend!

Wanting an Even Bigger Challenge?

While Clachnaben is an excellent hike on its own, there is the option of heading to the next level…

Some people choose to head over to Mount Battock after reaching the summit of Clachnaben. Mount Battock is the most easterly of the Corbetts and including this as part of your walk will take you around 6-8 hours. The total length of the walk is 15 miles, so it is definitely a hike to prepare for!

Refreshments Near Clachnaben

If you have visited Clachnaben from Aberdeen or north and west Aberdeenshire, it is likely that you will have driven through Banchory to reach the hill. Banchory is an excellent stopping point for food and gives plenty of options for everybody! It is also only 15 minutes from the car park at Clachnaben, so you will not need to drive for long.

Ride Coffee House is great for coffee, cakes and lunch. The food is always excellent, and the café has a good, relaxed atmosphere. This is a popular stop for walkers as the café is dog-friendly and there is parking on-site.

Birdhouse Café is another lovely café in Banchory serving up delicious meals! They use local suppliers and cater very well to different dietary requirements.

If you are looking for a more substantial dinner, Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant is charming, serves excellent pizza and pasta, and is very reasonably priced.

Only a 5-minute drive from Banchory is the beautiful Hidden Scotland Shop. Here you will find a curated selection of goods created by Scottish local businesses. You can find this in the Milton of Crathes complex just off the A93 near Crathes Castle, so it is very convenient for popping into before or after your walk up Clachnaben!

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!

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