Featured Walk: Tomintoul Circular

Yesterday evening I set off on one of the Glenlivet Estate’s shorter marked routes around the village. The leaflet ‘Tomintoul Trails’ is available from the Glenlivet Estate Office and outlines a few walks around the village which each last no more than a couple of hours so are perfect for walkers without a whole day to dedicate to Cairn Daimh or a similar route. Please forgive the small photos, which were taken with all I had to hand – a phone!

The route begins in the village square and leads along Cults Lane and down towards Fordmouth Farm. From there it is a handy path between fields where the ground isn’t at all boggy (fortunately, since I wasn’t really equipped for a hike in my trainers). There are beautiful views of the Avon Valley. The path takes you through a small woodland before emerging on the other side and beginning the steps to Victor Gaffney viewpoint.


The view back across the fields

If you’re walking this route, make sure to be careful as you head up to the viewpoint. You’ll need to cross the main road into Tomintoul from the north, and it may seem quiet, but the cars can come flying round! Just below the road here is a great place to spot some deer. I saw four on this occasion, and I’ve seen them in that spot from my car before, so it’s obviously a favoured location! There was also a very bold rabbit nibbling at the grass who didn’t even lift its head when I asked it why it wasn’t running away.


From Victor Gaffney viewpoint

The view from the Victor Gaffney viewpoint really is spectacular, with Tomintoul on one side and the River Avon wending down from the Cairngorms on the other. As you can see from this picture, the sun had already started going down behind the hills, and half of the valley was already in shadow.

From here it’s down a farm track until you meet the road again, but you’ll need to turn left towards the Speyside Way Spur. The good people at the Crown Estate have marked the entire route with white arrows on a blue background, so look out for those. A short way along this track you’ll turn right into some trees, which soon open out into moorland as you walk alongside Conglass Water, and finally turn back up into the village.

I deviated from the route a little to get this view of Tomintoul from above as the sun was setting.

I deviated from the route a little to get this view of Tomintoul from above as the sun was setting.

The whole walk took me about an hour and a half, and I really did dawdle, so I’d guess it wouldn’t take much longer than an hour if you were walking with purpose! I recommend strong shoes and a hat and scarf until spring settles in properly. It is the perfect walk if you just want to get out of the village for a little while and see it from all different angles. Highly recommended. Alex

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