Cairngorms National Park
For many, this is why they stay at Acorn Bothy. It would take a month to write about all the amazing walks in this iconic national Park.
Check out maps, walks and routes from our favourite walking website, Walk Highlands.
Linn o' Dee
If you are a waterfall fan it's a good idea to visit Royal Deeside. The Linn of Dee is up there with the best. Drive to Braemar and then follow a B road for a few miles till you come to the bridge. Keep on driving up to a NTS car park (with toilets!) The first thing you notice when walking down to the gorge is the Scots Pine, then you hear the crashing of the water as the River Dee tries to thread through a metre wide needle. Magic! Not for the faint hearted as you have to tip toe to the edge of the gorge to get the full effect.
Directions: Head to Braemar... then ask for directions!
The distinctive shape of Bennachie is a landmark that’s meant ‘home’ for thousands of years. People have lived in a fort carved into the hill top, and in radical farming settlements on its slopes. They’ve quarried its stone to build houses, and spun yarns about devils and giants who built its tracks or threw its giant boulders in fits of anger.
Bennachie Centre is the perfect place to start exploring this much-loved hill and the forests that surround it. Trails vary from a gentle route though the woodland to demanding treks in open country, and in the visitor centre you can find out all about Bennachie’s history and wildlife. The centre is one of four sites around Bennachie, each with their own distinctive character and different trails to try.
How to get there: From Inverurie, take the A96 north towards Huntly. After about 5 miles (8 km), take a road on the left signposted to Chapel of Garioch. At Chapel of Garioch turn left, signposted to the Bennachie Centre. Follow this road for about 2 miles (3.2 km) to reach the car park at grid reference NJ 698 216.
Using SatNav: AB51 5HX is the nearest postcode.
Only a few miles from Acorn Bothy, this is a recommended walk, with its own stone circle, with walks from a few miles to a 9 mile circular.
Pitfichie’s trails lead through varied forest and across open hill tops, with wide views of the Vale of Alford and Bennachie.
How to get there: Follow the B993 out of Monymusk towards Alford. After about two miles turn right at the sign for Whitehills Cycle Trails. Follow this road for about half a mile to the car park at grid reference NJ 655 132.
Using SatNav: AB51 7SS is the nearest postcode.
Just five minutes from bustling Banchory lies Scolty Hill, flanked with quiet woodlands and topped by the iconic Scolty Tower. Forest trails wander through tall larch and pine trees and are perfect for families and visitors. You can climb the hill for panoramic views over Royal Deeside and the Grampian Mountains and – if you still have energy – tackle the Tower's dizzying staircase for an even better lookout.
How to get here: Scolty is a five minute drive or a 30 minute walk from the Aberdeenshire town of Banchory, on the opposite (southern) side of the River Dee. To get to Scolty by car or by foot, start at the traffic lights in Banchory town centre. Take the B974 south (Dee Street) and cross the bridge over the River Dee. Take the first public road right (a switchback turn) and then the next public road to the left.
Near the top of the hill, turn right along a track. You'll see the Scolty welcome sign. Take the next track to the right.
Using SatNav: AB31 6PT is the nearest postcode for Scolty. The car park is at grid reference NO 691 950.
Foresty Commission walks
Take a walk in a secluded woodland, picnic by a glittering loch or feel the wind rush by your ears as you tackle a new mountain biking trail.
There’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re planning a holiday or want to explore your local woods, you’ll find peace, adventure and inspiring nature in equal measure in the forests and woodlands that stretch across Scotland.
At Forestry Commission Scotland we look after the forests so you and your family can enjoy them, for now and for years to come.
Don't just think of a walk in a forest... the website hosts top 10 archeological sites, beaches and bike trips.
There's an excellent search facility, where you'll find (including the above) some 15 excellent walks within 20 miles of Aberdeenshire.
The Gordon Way
Local 11 mile one way walk. From Bennachie this trail in Eastern Aberdeenshire partly follows the old peat extraction routes on the Bennachie forests. You walk the length of Bennachie and then continue west to Suie Car Park and takes in forests, farmland and moorlands across several hills. Currently the available publication covers the route to Suie car park, with the intention to extend to Rhynie in due course.