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At present there are 13 walks to choose from, from around Ballater and Loch Kinord - and with more walks added regularly.

Pannanich Wells

Pannanich Wells is the site of a natural spring that has attracted visitors for hundreds of years to sample the waters.

Pannanich Burn, near Ballater, Deeside
Water from the spring still flows into the Dee.
It is reported that the spring was visited around 1245 by the Knights Templar on their journeys through Deeside.

While it's hard to say whether this is true, there is strong evidence of a connection between the Knights Templar and the North East of Scotland. In around 1187 William the Lion granted part of the lands of Culter on the south bank of the River Dee to the Knights Templar and between 1221 and 1236 Walter Bisset of Aboyne founded a Preceptory (a headquarters) for them. 

More recently, around 1760, the wells gained renown when an account was given of a local woman, Elspet Michie who it was claimed was cured of "the King's Evil" (scrofula - or tuberculosis of the lymph node) by the water. According to the story she took to bathing in the water, her neighbours thought she was mad - it not being very warm - but she continued and eventually was rewarded with her health being restored. 

As the fame of the wells grew people travelled from far away to sample the waters after hearing of their health-giving qualities. In 1795 the Reverend Dr John Ogilvie, minister at nearby Midmar and a noted writer, wrote of the wells:

"I've seen the sick to health return, 
I've seen the sad forget to mourn, 
I've seen the lame their crutches burn, 
And loup and fling at Pannanich.

I've seen the auld seem young and frisky, 
Without the aid of ale or whisky, 
I've seen the dullest hearts grow brisky 
At blithesome, helpful Pannanich."

In 1843 another writer described: 

"These at all times but more especially in summer, is a most immense concourse of people, afflicted with all manner of diseases, so that it may almost be compared to the "Pool of Siloam". People afflicted with rheumatism - people in a consumption - rickety bairns... people ill in the typhus, scarlet and other fevers, all flock here to drink the waters in whose efficacy they have great faith."

Now the wells have been developed into a commercial mineral water venture, Deeside Mineral Water, but some of it still flows into the Dee.

Pannanich Wells features on:

Ballater to Cambus o May and back through Torphantrick Wood

For more information see:


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