Date/TimeDate(s) - 13/01/2008
Walk DetailsPub Stop?: No O/S Map Sheet No.: 38 Grid Ref. Start: Grid Ref. Finish Walk (Miles): 9 Walk Hours: Bus Time to Walk: Bus Time from Walk: Departure time from walk:
Today’s walk explores tracks around the southern side of Bennachie. Circular routes taking in the summits of Millstone Hill , the Mither Tap and. Oxen Craig may be chosen or shorter circular walks in the woods below the tops.
The walks all start at the Forestry Commission Visitor Centre at Lower Woodend (NGR.671.190), on the secondary road from Blairdaff to Keig, and the bus will remain parked here all day.
(1) Take the path northwestwards uphill through the trees round the west shoulder of Millstone Hill. At NGR.666.200 a path branches right and climbs the slopes to reach the summit of Millstone Hill (408metres,1338 feet),with its views over the woods in the Don Valley, if clear, towards Monymusk. Continue north eastwards for a short distance before dropping down into the trees to reach a junction of tracks and paths at the headwaters of the Clachie Burn, known as the Heather Brig. (NGR.679. 212). If not heading for the Mither Tap take one of the tracks from here heading eastwards for about a mile before turning southwards and heading back round the east side of Millstone Hill and Scare Hill. Then take a track heading westwards south of Scare Hill which leads back eventually to the car park at Lower Woodend.
Walking distance = 7 miles + ascent of 1000 feet.
(2) For those heading for the Mither Tap take the path northwards from the Heather Brig through a gap in the trees,known as the Monymusk Triangle, and then continue northwards toward the summit rocks. To reach the top bear right just before the rocks. In a hollow in the summit rocks is situated. an O.S. pillar along with a direction indicator erected by the Baillies of Bennachie.
From the summit drop down through the remains of an Iron Age fort before deciding whether to head for the highest point of the range = Oxen Craig. If not take a path eastwards down into the trees and turn south westwards to pick up the track heading westwards south of Scare Hill back to the bus as in (1).
Walking distance =7 miles + ascent of 1400 feet.
(3) From the Mither Tap those wishing to take in the Highest point of Bennachie drop down through the Iron Age fort and pick up a path to the left,past the rock outcrop known as the Nether Maiden,and head westwards across the moss called the Averon Knap. The climb to the summit of Oxen Craig heads westwards from there (528m.,1732ft.). On the way towards it a path branches right heading northwards for another top- Craigshannoch (480m.,1574ft.) . Taking in both these latter tops from the Mither Tap adds an extra mile and 250 feet of climbing.
The descent route is eastwards back to the Averon Knap and from there picking up a path which heads down into the trees as in (2), before heading south westwards round Scare