Glen Tanar can be found in the heart of Royal Deeside, set among the Cairngorms National Park. The land is of national importance as the estate is home to part of the ancient Caledonian Forest. Therefore, the beautiful trees directly descend from the first Scots Pines to arrive in Scotland around 9,000 years ago!
The walk is very much a forestry walk with paths running alongside the Water of Tanar. There are a few different trails of varying lengths at Glen Tanar so this an excellent option for all ages. Accessibility is also generally good with the paths being well maintained and clearly waymarked.
At various points in the walk, you will see there are small areas you can stop by the river to sit and enjoy the serenity of the estate. These points are very popular for photographers capturing the Water of Tanar and its surrounding forests.
Length of walk: 5 miles for longest waymarked trail (Old Pines), however can easily be made longer or shorter
Time taken: 2-2.5 hours for longest waymarked trail
Parking: Park at the Braeloine Car Park on the estate, costs £3
Facilities: Toilets at information centre
These are the directions for the longest trail which is Old Pines marked path (green). The Chapel path (yellow) and Knockie Viewpoint path (red) are both shorter variations of this route.
This circular route is very beautiful the whole way around, and you’ll finish having really enjoyed the day! While the walk is fairly popular, it never feels overcrowded.
If after finishing you decide to make the walk longer, there is the Fairy Lochan trail (white) which heads the opposite direction of the main walk. This is around 3 miles long.
Other Activities at Glen Tanar
Not only is Glen Tanar filled with beautiful walks which they encourage the public to enjoy, they also have a range of other exciting activities going on around the estate.
If you want to venture further off the beaten track around the land, there are a variety of tracks suitable for mountain biking. Some people even cycle from Glen Tanar up to the top of Mount Keen, the most easterly Munro! Up for a cycling challenge but need a mountain bike? You can locally hire one at Cycle Highlands in Ballater.
Glen Tanar are also famous for their country sports such as Salmon Fishing, Deer Stalking and Grouse Shooting.
Refreshments Near Glen Tanar
As the walk is just beside Aboyne, this is your best place to stop for some post-walk refreshments.
Spider on a Bicycle is an extremely popular café near Glen Tanar. It’s quirky, fun, and serves great coffees and cakes. They are also dog friendly, so you can take your pup in for a well-deserved refreshment.
If you are looking for something a little more formal and filling, The Boat Inn serves up delicious meals. Their menu is varied and includes meals such as fish and chips, burgers, and nachos so there will be something for everybody!
If you are heading back from Glen Tanar in the direction of Aberdeen, you are close to the Hidden Scotland Shop which is located in Milton of Crathes just off the A93. It’s a great opportunity to come in and see a range of what Scotland has to offer!
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!