Days off Around Braemar – Muir O’ Dinnet

20 11 2015

Mon 28 Sep 2015
Now I’m getting older and my joints are wearing, I can’t hillwalk every day – I generally take every other day off. The first two hillwalks I did at Braemar on the last visit were big days so we both took a day off to be tourists the day after. This was the first of them and was to Muir O’ Dinnet and the famous Burn O’ Vat.
Burn O'Vat(scaled-B)
this photo was taken by me of my parents at the Burn O’ Vat with my mother’s Zenit B camera – my camera’s older brother

(click on photos for full size/resolution)
You park at the same carpark for both the Burn O’ Vat and Muir O’ Dinnet. The walk to Burn O’ Vat is pretty short so you can do both in a day. We’ve been a few times to both including, the first time, with my parents.

The link the Wiki page for the Burn O’ Vat is here – a pretty interesting place…

The Vat is entered through what looks like a ‘fairy entrance’ and you have to duck down to get through…

Burn o'Vat entrance

At the back there is a waterfall which you can clamber up the side of – the best photos are got from the top of it…

Burn o'Vat waterfall

Looking back down…

Burn o'Vat fm falls

One of my Mum coming in through the entrance – unfortunately the light was coming in too! This shot was taken with her Zenit B as well as she wasn’t supple enough to clamber up above…

Burn O'Vat(Mum entering-B)

Burn o'Vat(scaled)
Richard stood at the bottom

Returning to the carpark, the paths for the Muir O’ Dinnet walks are immediately across the road. I prefer these to the Burn O’ Vat as they’re longer, very peaceful and very beautiful and there are antiquities which give some parts a lovely atmosphere (for those who are sensitive to atmosphere). Richard and I both took photos this time so his are marked…

I was fascinated by how drenched in lichen and fungi the trees were but didn’t want to risk a film shot so got Richard to take this one…

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He also took these two of the winding path:

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Near the far end of the walk, there is a ruined farmhouse off on an extension to the route – it’s also an area of old dwellings from way before that. The atmosphere here is so peaceful we just had to sit for a while on a log – not sure how anyone could have abandoned a house in such a lovely spot. In summer there’s a rosebush growing up the side of the farmhouse.

Muir of Dinnet Old Farmhouse

Older shieling ruins…

Muir of Dinnet Old Shielings

We then came to the Iron Age hut circles and I stood on a tall boulder with Richard’s camera to take this shot. Unfortunately, although there’s about three circles in the photo, you can’t really make out more than one…

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The path then doubles back to Loch Kinord which has brochs on the islands of the loch but you can’t see them for the trees growing rampant on the islands…

Loch Kinord

Loch Kinord1

Loch Kinord3

There had been signs about dangerous blue-green algae at the start of the walk and all around the loch. Here we saw it was not only plentiful, but also sometimes made beautiful patterns – I had to get a photo of course!

Loch Kinord Blue Green Algae

I took these two photos on a previous visit when I walked the route alone – the loch was more whipped up that day…

Muir of Dinnet, Island Broch

Muir of Dinnet-whipped up loch

We then left the loch shore to visit a carved standing stone which Richard took a photo of…

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and soon after we saw a wild black bunny so I got him to get a photo of that with his great zoom…

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Unfortunately, just then, two large and noisy groups with dogs came along so the bunnies scattered and we changed our plans for the route back. I decided we’d go off piste and headed back to follow a rough little path through the trees back along the loch shore. Richard got another nice photo of the reeds around the loch shore from here…

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We eventually made it back to the main path and back to the car where we decided to go onto Tarland so Richard could go in a pub there. We saw on the map there was a recumbent stone circle near there so had a quick visit to it…

Tomnavie Recumbent Stone Circle, Tarland
Tomnavie Recumbent Stone Circle

This whole area is worth a visit for a nice, relaxing day. It lies between Ballater and Aboyne on a road heading north just after you leave Ballater and is well signposted.

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27 responses

17 12 2015
fedup

Been on my todo list for a while, might have to bump it up a bit! Looks an amazing place, may even be able to enitce the kids away from their phones!

Cheers Simon

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18 12 2015
mountaincoward

I know what you mean about kids nowadays and their phones. I still laugh when I go to a pub and see them all sat around a table on their phones and ignoring each other!

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26 11 2015
chrissiedixie

I do love a bit of history on a walk ๐Ÿ™‚

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27 11 2015
mountaincoward

I do on a walk but don’t seem so keen to visit museums.

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23 11 2015
tessapark1969

Looks a nice walk – the standing stone looks worth a look – like that sort of stuff.

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27 11 2015
mountaincoward

It’s a truly great place for a day off – really relaxing. It doesn’t have to be good weather either ๐Ÿ™‚

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23 11 2015
Caroline

Loved the algae patterns and the carved stone – both fantastic photos

Liked by 1 person

27 11 2015
mountaincoward

I was well impressed with the algal patterns – never seen more than a slight hint of blue-green on water before – certainly never seem patterns!

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23 11 2015
Rowena

Oh you were very close to me here! Had I known I would have asked to meet you – although I was likely away anyway.
I love Burn o Vat – we studied it on a geography field trip when I was at school and I was up there only a few weeks ago. Ally was wanting to practice some rope work for his upcoming mountain leader assessment and a mutual friend (who lives in Tarland) took us there. You can follow the rocks up past the waterfall onto a faint path that takes you into this wonderful jungle-like gorge. There is good climbing all along there apparently.
I love Tarland! What pub did you go to? I like the Commercial – I was also there very recently on an evening out.

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27 11 2015
mountaincoward

I can’t remember what pub it was as I don’t take much notice – it’s Richard who does the pub-collecting ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had no idea you were near to there either – I’d have been keen to call round or meet up too. Always nice to meet fellow bloggers and hill walkers ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll probably go further up the gorge behind the Burn O’ Vat waterfall next time for an explore…

Liked by 1 person

22 11 2015
Blue Sky Scotland

It’s a nice area. It was so cold there on my last visit it felt like the arctic so I was keen to find any shelter out the wind. Good place to visit if it’s wild on the heights.

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27 11 2015
mountaincoward

It really is a lovely place to go for a relaxing day off or when the weather’s poor.

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22 11 2015
Mark

Another intriguing post of an area I only know faintly. I’m hoping to put some of that to rights as I pursue the Eastern Grahams. Thanks for that.

Liked by 1 person

22 11 2015
underswansea

Thanks Carol! What a fantastic place! Such incredible history. In this part of Canada it is rare to see signs of human history (buildings, monuments) older than 100 years. Aboriginal history is prevalent but difficult to spot. Really enjoyed your report and photos. Bob

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27 11 2015
mountaincoward

I like that the atmosphere remains behind at the old ruins – not so much at the old hut circle remains but the old shielings had amosphere a’ plenty! ๐Ÿ™‚

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27 11 2015
underswansea

Sometimes you can feel the place.

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21 11 2015
smackedpentax

That is fantastic Carol, and I would love to see the Tomnavie Recumbent Stone Circle

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21 11 2015
mountaincoward

It’s very conveniently right by the roadside ๐Ÿ™‚

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21 11 2015
smackedpentax

yes, near a layby too. I didn’t go too far as it was ‘getting on’ but was good to get out…quite cold too.

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21 11 2015
McEff

There’s some very interesting stuff there, Carol. I didn’t know of any of those features. That Burn o’ Vat is an incredible place. And that carved stone is impressive, to say the least.
Alen

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21 11 2015
mountaincoward

The carved stone’s a beauty and very unspoiled as it has iron railing around it.

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21 11 2015
Gaslight Crime

Well, I know the Muir of Dinnet but not the burn

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21 11 2015
mountaincoward

same carpark – just go the other way past the information building and toilets. It’s a much shorter walk – about a mile each way I think – if that…

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21 11 2015
Gaslight Crime

Don’t know that at all, looks incredible, John

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21 11 2015
mountaincoward

Basically a collapsed cave – well worth a look.

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21 11 2015
bowlandclimber

Burn o’Vat — what an amazing place, another world.
Thanks for letting me into the secret.

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21 11 2015
mountaincoward

It really is and, with the other walk straight opposite from the same (free) carpark, you can’t go wrong! ๐Ÿ™‚

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