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corrie. On the other side the road
crosses the head of Glentanmr, a
fine glen joining Deeside at Aboyne,
where Mr. Cunliffe Brook has a
house, an old shooting - lodge en-
larged, then crossing Corrievruach,
it falls into the Ballater road near
the Bridge of Muick.
35 m. Ballater (Rte. 52).

ROUTE 51c.

Brechin to Bancliory, by Edzell,
Fettercairn, and the Cairn-

This is another very pretty route,
by which a cross-cut may be made
into Deeside without going round by
Montrose and Aberdeen, while it
affords an excellent opportunity of
seeing more closely the Forfarshire

To Edzell, 6 m., see last Eoute ;
but, instead of turning off at the
Glenesk road, keep straight on.

[8. m. rt. is the road to Montrose,
so remarkable for its direct line of
4 m., that it is called " The Lang
Straight."] The country now be-
comes very open, and in the extreme
distance on rt. the Montrose Lunatic
Asylum at Dubton can be seen some
10 m. off. 10 m. 1. Balbegno, an

old-fashioned house, built about

11 m. Fettercairn (Inn : Ramsay
Arms ; Eagle), a quiet little town,
or rather village. The Eagle was
the quarters of Her Majesty and the
Prince Consort during one of their
incognito excursions, Sept. 1861.
Their visit has been commemorated
by a handsome Tudor arch of red
sandstone erected over the bridge.
The village Cross was brought from
the extinct town of Kincardine.

The road now passes rt. Fetter-
cairn House, and 1. Fasque, the seat
of Sir Thomas Gladstone, Bt., built
1809. To the rt., in a wood, are
the ruins of Kincardine Castle, where
the helpless King John Balliol signed
his abdication in favour of Edward
L, who visited the castle 1296. In
an earlier age Kenneth III., enticed
into this stronghold by Finella, was
slain here.

13 m. the road divides, one passing
in front of Finella Hill to Fordoun.

15 m. at Clattering Brig another
road is given off to the rt. to Auchin-
blae, passing 2 m. Drumtochty Castle,
the beautiful seat of Major Gammell.

4 m. Auchinhlae {Inn: Fordoun
Arms), a village prettily situated on
the steep banks of the Luther Water.
The modern ch. has a fine tower ;
but in the ch. -yd. there is a portion
of the old ch. remaining. Some
little distance from the village a
fair is held, kno^^^l as St. Paddy's
Fair. This is a corruption of St.
Palladius, who is supposed to have
come over with the earl}'' mission-
aries to lona, and who died 452.
Dr. Beattie was parish schoolmaster
here, and describes the scenery in
his " Minstrel." From Auchinblae
the rly. may be joined at Laurence-
kirk (Rte. 50), 3 m. farther.

Before leaving Clattering Brig the
geologist should pay a visit to the


Route 52. — Aberdeen to Braemar. Sect. Y.

Birnie Slack, where tlie stream
issues from a deep corrie in the hills
and flows for some distance under-
ground, or rather under a tremend-
ous accumulation of debris of quartz
and felspar from the hill. At Clat-
tering Brig commences a long tedi-
ous ascent (4 m.) of the Cairn o'
Mount, from which, however, on a
clear day the view is most magnifi-
cent. On the other side the road
descends to the valley of tlie Dye, a
river rising in Mount Battock, and
flowing eastward under Clochnabane,
2370 ft. high. The Dye is crossed
at 21 ra. Bridge of Dye. Leaving
the conical hills of Mount Shade on
1. the road is joined at 23 m. by an-
other from Tillyfamry, Auchinblae,
and Glenbervie. A little beyond
this point the road to Banchory is
given off", passing the shooting-lodge
of Boggendrip and the hamlet of
Strachan, where it crosses the Feugh
Water, which is followed down to
the Dee at

30 m. Banchory {see p. 335). Stra-
chan Manse was the birthplace (1710)
of thelearned Dr.Thomas Reid, author
of "An Enquiry into the Human
Mind." Should the tourist be inclined
to prolong his walk he may take the
road to the 1., which leads to the
banks of the Feugh, and the little
inn of WMtestones, where a night's
lodging can be had. From thence
the Feugh may be explored in the
upper part of its course as far as the
ruined castle and deer foi-est of Birse,
whence a road crosses a gap in the
hills and descends to (Rte. 52).

Ahoyne by the old Dinny Burn.
Should the tourist wish to reach
Aboyne by a shorter way he may go
direct from Whitestones, passing 1.
Finzean and Ballogie House (Dyce
Mcholl, Esq.)


Aberdeen to Braemar, by Ban-
chory, Aboyne, Ballater [Rail],
and Balmoral.

Deeside Ely., 43^ m., 3 trains
daily, in 2^ brs., between Aberdeen
and Ballater, whence a coach, meet-
ing the first train, runs to Braemar,
in 24 hrs., 18 m.

The line runs for the most part
near the river Dee, which drains the
S. half of Aberdeenshire, and takes
its rise in the highest basin of
the Grampian mountains, of which
Ben Muich-Dhui is the principal.
The entire course of the Dee is
about 90 m., and as its source is
at a great height the current in
some places is extremely rapid. The
country watered by it is mostl}'-
moorland, though diversified by
plantations and natural woods of fir
and beech. As compared with the
northern part of the county watered
by the Don, it is said —

" Ae rood o' Don's worth twa 0' Dee,
Unless it be for fish or tree."

Quitting the General Stat, at Aber-
deen (Rte. 50), the rly. soon leaves
the line to Forfar and' Perth 1. , and
turns sharp to the rt., in view (on 1.)
of the rly. bridge, and the Dee Bridge
of 7 arches, built in the 16th cent,
by Bishop Elphinstone.

The ch. on the hill above is that of

2 m. Buthrieston Stat., o]iposite
which is Banchory House (late A.
Thomson, Esq.), where the Prince
Consort stayed in 1859, when he
came to Aberdeen to preside at the
British Association meeting.

4 m. near Cults Stat, is Cults
House (George G. S. Gibb, Esq.),
and on the opposite side of the
river the Kirk of Banchory Dav-
enich. Opposite Murtle Siat. , 65 m. ,


Pioute 52. — Aberdeen to Braemar.


is Blairs College, endowed 1829 by
John Menzies, Esq., of Pitfodels, for
the education of candidates for the
Roman Catholic Priesthood. The
college contains portraits of Mary
Queen of Scots and Cardinal Beaton.

6g m. Milltimher Stat. Amongst
the residences in this neighbourhood
are, onl., Kingcausie House, (Mrs. Bos-
well), and on rt. Culter (Pt. Duff, Esq).

74 ni. Culter Stat. Near this are
paper mills, and rt., the ch. and
manse of Peterculter, and 1. those of
Maryculter, with Maryculter House
(Col. Cosmo Gordon of Fyvie). Near
this is the Corbie Den, or Pot, a
little i)icturesque rent in the rock,
Avith a brook, a cascade, and a deep
pool, abounding in botanical speci-
mens which are usually to be found
only on high mountains. The rly.
ascends a steep incline to

10 m. Drum Stat., near which, at
Drumoak, the Dee is crossed by a
bridge. Drum Castle (A. F. Irvine,
Esq.) is finely situated on the slope
of a hill, and is a simple square peel-
tower (some 600 years old), with
bartizan, turrets, and walls 12 ft. to
15 ft. thick. The hall on the 1st
floor has been converted into a lib-
rary, the groined ceiling of which is
adorned with armorial bearings. The
lower storey is called the dungeon.
The family of Irvine of Drum is of
great antiquity, and played a con-
spicuous part in the battles of the
loth centy., and particularly in that
of Harlaw.

1. Durris House (pron. Dores) (A.
Young, Esq.), and beyond it is a
tower, built upon an eminence in
honour of the last Duke of Gordon.

rt. Drum Loch.

11 m. Park Stat, and Park House
(A. Kinloch, Esq.). Bridge over

[8 m. to the N. is the village of
Edit, and I'm. beyond that is the
Barmckyne (a corruption of Barbican
of Dunecht). It is a conical hill
covered with fir-trees, but having on
it 5 concentric lines of fortification,
2 of which are still of considerable
height. The ramparts are built with
a regularity approaching to a face of
masonry, and not mere heaps of
stones ; it is the most perfect ancient
fort in the N. of Scotland. Near
the fortress are several stone circles.
Dunecht is the seat of Lord Crawford
and Balcarres (Lindsay). There is
neither history nor tradition belong-
ing to it. A little farther on is Mid-
mar, formerly called Ballogy, in-
habited only by a keeper. It exhibits
a mixture of the Baronial with the
native Scottish architecture.

15 m. Crathes Stat., and on rt.
Crathes Castle (Sir James Burnett
Bart.), on the slope of a wooded
hill. The original portion is the old
square tower, Avith turrets, to which
additions have been made at various
times. Its top is surmounted by
conical turrets, and has a number of
dormer windows ; but the lower
storeys exhibit the old precautionery
style of building, plain and dark.
A branch of the house of Burnett
produced Gilbert Burnett, Bp. of
Sarum, Author of the "History of
His Own Times. " Bridge over Dee
here. On 1., about 2 m. S., is
TilquMllie Castle (J. Sholto Douglas,
Esq.), backed up in the distance by
the mountains at the head of Glen-
esk, conspicuous amongst which is
Clochnaben, 1906 ft.

174 m. Banchory- Ternan Stai.
{Hotel : Burnett Arms, good) is a
neat and picturesque village, includ-
ing many villas and a modern Gothic
Episcopal ch., well situated above
the river at its junction with tlie
Feugh, both rivers being crossed by
bridges. It is about 1 m. from the
stat. Excursions can be made —


Route 52. — TorjMns; Ahoyne.

Sect. V.

a. To Whitestones, 6 m., and the
Feugh Water (Rte. 51c).

h. To Glen Dye and Fettercairn,
20 m. (Rte. 51c).

Quitting Banchory, an d leaving on 1.
Blackhall (A. D. Campbell, Esq.), very
prettily placed among woods on the
S. side the river, and Inchmarlo (P.
Davidson, Esq.), the train parts com-
pany for a time with the Dee, and

21| m. Glassel Stat. [A little to
the ]^. of it is the Hill of Fare,
1794 ft., between which and the rly.
is Corrichie, the scene of a fight in
1562 between the Earl of Huntly
and the Earl of Murray, in the pre-
sence of his sister, Mary Queen of
Scots, in which Huntly, the gi-eat
potentate of N.E. Scotland, was de-
feated and slain, and the power of
the House of Gordon broken. A
well near the place is still called
Queen Mary's Well. On the S. slope
of the Hill of Fare is Campfield
(Miss Scott), and on the northern
side is Midmar {ante), charmingly
situated in a w^ll-wooded recess.]
Leaving on rt. Cragmyle (J. Gordon,
Esq.), the traveller reaches

24 m. Torphhxs Stat, the rly. hav-
ing diverged from the line of the
old road, passes out of sight of
Potarch Bridge and the -village of
Kincardine-O'' Neil {Inn ; Gordon
Arms), a favourite resort of those
who wish pure and bracing air. At
Potarch Bridge, 2 m. (a comfortable
little Inn), where a road runs S.
through Kincardineshire to Fetter-
cairn, 10 m. (Rte. 51c), the scenery
is very picturesque, the Dee becoming
excessively contracted in its channel,
more so, indeed, than at any part of
its course.

From Torphins the line runs
southward to Lumphanan, crossing
the pretty dingle of the Beltie Burn,
and having on rt. Pitmurchie (Mrs.

Lamond), and Findrack (F. G. Eraser,

27 m. Lumphanan Stat. (Railway
Inn), to the rt. of which, and close
to the line, is the " Peel Bog,'^ a cir-
cular earthwork, about 120 ft. in dia-
meter and 18 ft. high, surrounded
by a moat. It was probably con-
structed about the 10th centy., and
Lord Hailes supposes that Macbeth
made his last stand here. Farther
on is Macbeth's Cairn, supposed to
mark the place where Macbeth, flee-
ing from his castle at Dunsinane,
met his death at the hands of Mac-

Burn ; and Desswood (A. Davidson,

32| m. Aboyne Stat. {Inn .-
Huntly Arms, good), sometimes
called Charleston of Aboyne — a pretty
village, surrounded by plantations
and green fields. Ahoyne Castle, the
seat of the Marquis of Huntly, dates
back to the 11th cent., though there
is little left of that period. It was
repaired, or perhaps restored, in
1671, and the E. wing was added in
1801. The bridge over the Dee at
Aboyne was swept away by the floods
in 1829, and was replaced by the
present suspension bridge.

[On rt. a road runs to Strathdon
through Tarland, to which place
there is a coach 3 days a week. At
Tarland (Migvie), fair Inn. In the
ch. -yard is a sculptured stone monu-
ment, and near it a wecm or Pict's

Glentanner, running S.W. from
Aboyne, is highly picturesque, and
will repay a visit.

From Aboyne the rly. runs across
the Moor of Dinnet — a bleak un-
promising tract of country — to

Dinnet Stat., at the foot of Loch
Kinnord, a very pretty lake, fringed
with wood, and a good "find" for
aquatic plants. One of its islands

Aberdeen. Roide 52. — Burn of the Vat ; Ballater.


contains a small fort, once used as a
place of confinement.

[2 m. from Dinnet, to the rt. of
tlie line, is seen the fine range of CuJ-
hlecn, which was the scene of a battle
in 1335 between David Bruce and
the Earl of Athole, and the cairns
in the neighbourhood are said to
cover the slain. In the face of the
mountain is a small gully, at the
entrance to which (a short distance
from the road) is a very singular
hollow or cauldron, scooped out by
the torrent's action stirring round
stones and pebbles, called the
" Burn of the Vat. " " In this place
the rocks are about 60 ft. liigh on
one side, though lower on the other.
A mass of rock blocks up the fissure,
leaving on one side a small passage
for the brook, and on the other an
aperture 2^ to 4 ft. broad and 9 ft.
high. The water is thus impeded,
and accumulates in the fissure, where
it has scooped out the lower part of
the rocks on either side in the form
of a concavity, like half the top of a
dome. The breadth is 24 yards below,
but only 16 above. " There is a small
cave behind the little waterfall,
through which a rapid entrance must
be forced, when a small hollow will
be discovered. It is a pleasant walk
of 5 m. from the Bm-n of the Vat
to Ballater.]

On the opposite side of the river
is the village called Castle of Dec,
from the Castle of Candacaile, once
a stronghold of the Earls of Huntly,
but of which there are now no re-

Near this, the grand mountain
mass of Morven (2860 ft.) becomes
conspicuous, N.

At Ballatrich, also upon the oppo-
site side of the Dee, Byron spent
some weeks of his boyhood, and the
beauty of the scenery seems to have
made a lasting impression on the
mind of the young poet —

" When I see some dark hill point its crest
to the sky,
I think of the rocks that o'ershadow
Culbleen ;
When I see the soft blue of a love-speak-
ing eye,
I think of those eyes that endear'd the
rude scene."

The cottage in which he and his
mother lived is still pointed out, and
the cupboard bed on which he slept
is shown at the farmhouse.

The line now x>^sses an obelisk
memorial to Farquharson of Monal-
trie, and the Pannaiiich Wells, a
long white building, capable of
accommodating about 30 patients.
The water is strongly impregnated
with iron. The scenery now im-
proves as the tourist nears Ballater,
the bleak moorland giving place to
mountain scenery of the most pic-
turesque description.

42 m. Ballater. — Terminus of the
Deeside Rly. Coach twice a day to
Braemar, 18 m. The village of Bal-
later {Inn : Invercauld Arms, very
good) is finely placed on the 1. bank
of the Dee, just below the junction
of the Muick burn, descending
through a grand glen from the S.
flanks of Lochnagar. It is sur-
rounded by wooded hills and distant
mountains. A wooden bridge crosses
the Dee, a substitute for the fine old
granite bridge which Avas swept away
by the flood of 1829.

In the summer Ballater is very full
of visitors, who resort to it partly for
the sake of the minwal waters of
Pannaninch (which are good for dys-
pepsia), but still more for tlie purity
of its air and the beauty of its situa-
tion. The principal amusements are
mountain excursions, although it
must be remembered that in the
shooting season the passes are jeal-
ously watched by the keepers, in
order that the deer may not be dis-
turbed. Good salmon-fishing may
be had by people staying at the
hotel who choose to pay for it. On
the N. of the village rises Craig-an-



Boute 52. — Ballater to Braemar.

Sect. Y

Darroch (1 400 ft. ), covered with trees
and coppice, commanding a yery
pleasing view, and easily accessible.
At its foot is Menaltrie Honse.
There is a fine view from the sum-
mit of the hill, which is easy of
access, a path running up from about
j m. on the Braemar road. Behind
it is a precipitous wooded ravine,
called the Pass of Ballater, a veiy
charming excursion on a hot day.

To the ^L rises Morven (2880 ft.\
remarkable for having scarce!}'' any
heather upon its sides, tliough the
lower portions are thickly clad with

" When I roved a young Higlilander o'er
the dark heath.
And climbed thy steep summit, Mor-
ven, of snow !
To gaze on the toiTents that thundered
Or the mist of the tempest that gather-
ed helovr ." —Byron.

[Loehnagar, 12 m. from Ballater,
to the top, is one of the most promi-
nent features in Byron's Highland
reminiscences, which neither time
nor distance effaced from his me-

" The infant rapture still survived the

And Loehnagar with Ida looke-d o'er

Mixed Celtic memories with the

Phiygian mount,
And Highland linns with Castalie's

fair fount."

The mountain is 3800 ft. above the
level of the sea, but Ballater itself is
780 ft. at the bridge. The road,
crossing the bridge, stretches S. out
of the Valley of the Dee, about a
mile above Ballater, and ascends by
the rt. bank of its tributary, the
Muick. The ascent is fatiguing, and
at the latter portions difficult. A
guide can be procured at the hotel
(charge 5s.) The road {by Loch
Muick) will be found in Ete. 51,
but the generality of visitors prefer
as(?ending Loehnagar from Castleton
of Braemar (see p. 341).]

SJiort Excursions from Ballater —

a. Pass of Ballater, round Craig-
an-Darroch, 5 m.

h. Ballatrich, Byron's Cottage, 5
m., and Pannanich Wells, 2 m. [see

c. Burn of the Vat, 5 m., and
Loch Kinnord, 5 m. on the road to

d. Linn of Muick, 5 m. ; Loch
Muick, 9 m., the Royal Domain.

e. Cairn of Morven, 6 m.

Longer Excursions —

a. To Dhu Loch, 13 m. ; Loeh-
nagar, 12.

^. Balmoral, 9 m. ; Forest of Bal-
lochbuie (Falls of Garrawalt), 17.
(Ete. 52a).

y. Capel Mount, 12 m. ; Clova
Inn, 18 (Ete. 51).

5. Mount Keen, 9 m. ; Loch Lee,
15 ; Edzell, 29 ; Burn, 27 ; Brechin,
35 (Ete. 61b).

The road to Braemar, a.scendiug
the k bank of the Dee, winds round
Craig-an-Darroch, passes Craig-an-
Darroch Cottage, with the Dee brawl-
ing beneath, and the entrance to the
Pass of Ballater, to

44 m. Tordarnicli, where the Gairn
is crossed.

[Braemar to Strathsjyey. — A very
hilly road ; requires 9 hrs. with the
same horses, which must be rested
(no change) on the way. A branch
road on rt. to Grantown (35 m.),
through Gairnshiel and Tomantoul.
It is the usual post road, but pre-
sents no object of interest.

4 m. Rienloan Inn, on the Gairn
Water (whence a loop road is given
off to Braemar). At Abergairn are
lead mines on Marquis of Huntly's

13 m. at Corgarff Castle, a dreary
looking 4-storeyed fortress, last occu-


Route b2. — Balmoral.


pied as a baiTack (Cock Bridge Inn)^
the road crosses Strathdon (Rte. 54).

22 m. Tomantoul [Inn : Eiclimond
Arms, fair) is an miinteresting
wretched village on the banks of
the Avon. Thence the road con-
tinues westward to Grantown, by
the Bridge of Bruan (Rte. 52a). ]

From Tordarnich the road to Brae-
mar lies through a district pleasantly
diversified with wood. On 1. is Craig
Youzie, " Hill of Firs, " a charming
bit of scenery. In front may now be
seen the Prince's Cau-n.

49 m., on the opposite bank, 1.,
Ahergeldie Castle, an old turreted
square tower, enlarged by modern
additions, which used to be inhabited
by the Duchess of Kent, is now occu-
pied by the Prince of Wales when
visiting Scotland. The river is cross-
ed here by a rope and cradle-bridge.
Next comes into view (1.) the white
spire of the Parish Church of Crathie,
often attended by Her Majesty, who
has presented it 'with stained glass
windows commemorative of the
Prince Consort and Rev. Dr. Norman
Macleod. Just beyond is the obe-
lisk to the memory of the late Prince
Consort, put up by his tenantry.
Above this is the Cairn and monu-
uiental Statue, of the Prince. A mag-
nificent view is obtained of Lochnagar,
rising behind and above two nearer
and lower peaks. There is a suspen-
sion foot-bridge over the Dee at
Crathie. Near the Free Ch. is the
Lochnagar Distillery.

A private bridge crosses the Dee
to Balmoral, but there is no public
road south of the river from Balmoral
to Braemar.

On a slightly elevated plain, at
the foot of the hill of Craig-an-
Gowan, and bounded by a curve of
the Dee, stands Balmoral Castle, the
Queen's Scottish residence. The re-
version of the lease of the property

was acquired in 1848 by Prince Albert
from the trustees of the late Sir Ro-
bert Gordon, and on its expiry the
estate itself was purchased from the
trustees of the Earl of Fife for
£31,500. It is a castellated palatial
mansion in the Scottish style, with
a tall and picturesque tower at one
end, flanked by bartizan turrets.
The whole is of white granite, and
was designed and planned by the
Prince Consort, to occupy the
place of an older building. The in-
terior is not shown ; nor, indeed, is
there anything within to excite curio-
sity, the whole arrangement being
simple in the extreme, but in perfect
good taste, and suited to a Highland
residence. The chief ornament is a
statue (by Theed) of the Prince Con-
sort, in his Highland dress, in the
corridor ; which is also studded with
stags' horns and other hunting deco-
rations. The Queen's retirement
from State and public affairs will
be respected by all who approach,
and protect her from any attempt
at intrusion. The castle and grounds
are well seen from the high road,
together with the model farm and
schools built by Her Majesty. The
ball-room, for occasional festivities
of the Queen's retainers, occupies a
detached wing to the N. The gar-
dens and half wild grounds, very
picturesque, stretch to the base of
the fine wooded hill, Craig-an-Gowan.
Besides a bronze statue of the Prince
in this Park, near the entrance, there
are on different heights commemo-
rative Cairois. The estate comprises
10,000 a^es, and about 30,000 of
deer forest, including Birkhall,
Abergeldie, and Lochnagar.

Beyond Crathie the road passes
on rt. the remains of the old house
of MoiutUrie, burned in 1745 ; and
on 1. is a cairn on a hill, to comme-
morate the .marriage of the Princess
Alice, and, farther on, of the Prin-
cess Royal. In the valley between
them is the Home Farm of Balmoral.


Route 52. — Inverccmld ; Braemar.

Sect. V.

Just at the edge of the river is a
small mound, on which is a group of
firs. This is the Cairn-iia-cidmhnue,
or Cairn of Reckoning, it heing the
custom of the Farquharsons to as-
semble here previous to an expedition,
and deposit each man a stone. On
their return they each picked one
off, and the number left on the cairn
marked the loss of the clan. On 1.
is Invergelder, where the Gelder
runs into the Dee. A lodge has
been built for Her Majesty in Glen
GelcUr. A little farther on the coach
stops to bait at Liver Inn. The hills
now begin to close in as the road
enters the dark precincts of Col.
Farquharson's Forest of Ballochhuic,
a grand amphitheatre of woods that
extend for miles, nearly to the sum-
mits of the mountains, and present,
probably, the finest example of a
forest in Great Britain.

[The walks and drives through it
are private, but at the lodge, close to
Invercauld Bridge over the Dee,
there is a walk across the old bridge
and through the forest to the Falls
of Garrawalt. Although exceedingly
beautiful, they are not remarkable
for depth or height, the sti'eam de-
scending by a number of small leaps,
overhung by dark firs or graceful
birches. A bridge has been thrown
over the Falls, which are best seen
from the summerhouse on the oppo-
site side. Tourists must keep the
prescribed road, as otherwise the
deer may be disturbed. The Garra-
walt Falls are 5 m. from Braemar.]

At Invercauld Bridge the road to
Castleton of Braemar crosses the Dee,
while that to Invercauld and Linn of

Online LibraryJohn Murray (Firm)Handbook for travellers in Scotland → online text (page 53 of 73)