Walks & Climbs

Walking & Climbing in Invercauld Estate - Walkers Welcome
Numerous walks start a short distance from Braemar - at the Linn of Dee, Inverey, Linn of Quoich, Glen Callater and the Keiloch. For further information please refer to “Walking in Grampian”, “Short Walks and Cycle Routes Around Braemar” and Ordnance Survey “Landranger 43″ - all available from the Tourist Information Centre, Braemar. A Hillphone service is also in use.

The Estate has a large car park with toilets, picnic benches and information boards at the Keiloch grid ref no 187914.

There are many kilometres of Estate tracks around Braemar which can be followed on foot or on bike. Many of these are ancient Rights of Way passing old crofts, mills and steadings and giving opportunities to delve into the rich history of the area. Several of the Estate tracks are suitable for cycling and for the more adventurous multi-day mountain bike routes can be planned overnighting at remote bothies. There are over 30 Munros in the immediate vicinity of Braemar giving weeks of pleasure to the more energetic walkers.

Rock climbing in the area boasts some of the earliest recorded climbs in Scotland. The mountain crags of the Cairngorms, Lochnagar and the Creag an Dubh Loch are justifiably famous for hosting superb, well protected granite slabs and cracks. Lower crags also are popular, with the Pass of Ballater offering excellent climbs in a roadside location. In winter the climbing really comes into its own; Lochnagar and the remote corries in the Cairngorms offering challenging ice and winter routes that are truly world renowned.

The Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust can also provide further information on walking in the Invercauld area. www.cairngormsoutdooraccess.org.uk

Click HERE to Visit the Walk Highlands Website for Walks around Braemar:

Ordnance Survey Maps

Landranger Series 1:50,000 scale
(2cm to 1km or 1 3/4 inches to 1 mile)

Landranger 43 Braemar & Blair Atholl
Landranger 44 Ballater, Glen Clova and Surrounding Area
Landranger 36 Grantown & Aviemore, Cairngorm Mountains
Landranger 37 Strathdon

Explorer Series 1:25,000 scale
(4cm to 1km or 2 1/2 inches to 1 mile)

Explorer 387 Glenshee & Braemar
Explorer 388 Lochnagar, Glen Muick & Glen Clova
Explorer 394 Atholl
Explorer 395 Glen Esk & Glen Tanar
Explorer 403 Cairn Gorm & Aviemore
Explorer 404 Braemar, Tomintoul & Glen Avon
Explorer 405 Aboyne, Alford & Strathdon
Explorer 420 Coreen Hills & Glen Livet

Harvey Maps

Cairn Gorm Superwalker (1:25,000) &
The Walker’s Map (1:40,000)
Lochnagar Superwalker (1:25,000)
Munro & Corbett Chart Mountain Chart

Wild Camping

Camping wild in open country is one of the best ways to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the hills. When done responsibly it has little impact on the environment but increased numbers of campers mean that we must all now take more care than previously. A little thought and effort can pre-empt many of these potential harmful impacts.

Plan ahead, and consider not only your own impact, but the repeated impact by others.

    People go to the hills for solitude. Keep groups small.
    Remember that people have to make their living from the land.
    Camp as unobtrusively as possible.
    Remember that noise travels from tents disturbing wildlife as well as humans.
    Minimum Impact Camping
    Commit yourself by following this code and encourage your friends to do likewise.
    Enjoy the freedom of wild camping without leaving a trace of your passage. Protect our country’s outstanding scenery and biodiversity as well as the wilderness experience.
    Always find a spot at least 30 metres from fresh/running water when going to the toilet.
    Bury excrement in a small hole (not under boulders). A trowel or ice axe can be used to lift a flap of turf. In areas of sensitive upland vegetation, such as the Cairngorm plateau, vegetation takes a long time to recover, so holes should not be dug at all.
    Be particularly careful to bury excrement properly when the ground is snow covered.
    Burying tampons and sanitary towels doesn’t work as animals dig them up. Please carry them out.
    Remove all litter (even other peoples!) Carry out what you carried in. Think ahead and only carry in tins, bottles or gas cylinders if you are prepared to carry them out. Do not bury or hide them under stones as it offends those who visit after you and can harm wildlife.
    Choose a dry site to pitch on rather than resorting to digging drainage ditches and removing vegetation and boulders. In replacing boulders, return them to the same place, same way up.
    Under current Scottish Access Legislation everyone, whatever their age or ability, can exercise access rights over most land in Scotland for “Recreational Purposes”. It is taken to include wild camping and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (see www.outdooraccess-scotland.com) gives the following guidance on wild camping.”Access rights extend to wild camping. This type of camping is lightweight, done in small numbers and only for two to three nights in any one place. You can camp in this way wherever access rights apply but help to avoid causing problems for local people and land managers by not camping in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals and by keeping well away from buildings, roads or historic structures. Take extra care to avoid disturbing deer stalking or grouse shooting. If you wish to camp close to a house or building, seek the owners permission. Leave no trace by:

    • taking away all your litter;
    • removing all traces of your tent pitch and of any open fire (follow the guidance for lighting fires);
    • not causing any pollution”

    For more detailed guidance on wild camping please see the Mountaineering Council of Scotland website http://www.mcofs.org.uk/assets/pdfs/wildcamping.pdf

    Roadside camping is not normally considered to be wild camping. Nevertheless there are sites around Braemar that are very popular with roadside campers. As a result there have been issues - such as litter and rubbish being left behind, unsightly fire pits and pollution of water courses - associated with this practice. By following guidance on roadside camping in the above MCofS leaflet these problems can be reduced to the benefit of all those visiting and living in Braemar.

    This is not Wild Camping
    Use an official campsite with sanitation facilities if there is one available.
    If you wish to camp near houses, seek permission before pitching.
    Remember vehicles have a great impact on vegetation. Park on hard ground or on a safe metalled area. It is better to walk to your car than to drive to your tent.
    Avoid sites which are at risk of being overused.
    Take particular care with toilet hygiene.
    Pitch late and leave early. Be unobtrusive.
    Camping on the same spot harms vegetation. Aim to move frequently.
    Vegetation is more sensitive at higher altitudes. Aim to camp lower down in glens where vegetation recovers more easily.
    Dead wood is an important habitat for insects and many small animals, so it is best to avoid fires even for cooking.
    Lighting fires poses a high fire risk on peaty soils and close to tinder dry grass. A high risk of fire can exist at any time of year, and not just in times of drought.
    Watercourses and loch sides are important sites for birds and animals. Avoid the temptation to camp immediately beside them. Look around for other sites if possible.
    Food scraps (even when buried) attract scavenging birds and animals which prey on more sensitive nesting birds. Carry all scraps of food out with you.
    Be prepared to move if you become aware that you are disturbing nesting birds or animals.