Welcome to, a website for people looking for walking routes on Deeside in Scotland, in partnership with

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

Creagan Riabhach

On a still, sunny day, this walk gives some awesome views...
Starting point: Ballater village centre, the Old Railway Station square
Distance:  long (7 miles / 11.2 km)
Climb: 347m, steady climb
Difficulty: medium
Underfoot: ok, along good paths, Landrover tracks or roads
Estimated time to complete: 3 hours
Scenic value: 9/10
Overall rating: 9/10

View Creagan Riabhach in a larger map

Comments: This is a cracking walk up the hill to the north east of Ballater that you can see from the village and which is distinctive because of the aerial on top. In fact the summit you can see is just a shoulder of Creagan Riabhach, a peak behind it. 

This walk takes you from Ballater village centre up Creagan Riabhach. There is a very pretty walk across the top of Creagan Riabhach where on clear days you have a view to Morven to the north and all the way to Lochnagar, 12 miles to the south west. 

Alternatively, instead of starting from the village you can drive to a lay by on the Pass of Ballater. If you do that it takes about 2 miles off the walk's length.

The only downside of the walk is the slightly boring last half mile along the B972, the Pass of Ballater, back into the village, but I suggest taking a detour along the river at the end which is a bit more interesting and which passes the Queen Mother's fishing hut on the Dee. 

A strongly recommended walk for a sunny day.


  1. Great, detailed directions and a lovely walk with terrific views. I would, however, recommend an alternative finish - instead of coming off the old railway line and walking through the streets to the end, turn down to the riverside walkway and walk round the golf course back to the village - this is a fine end to the walk and takes the total distance covered from the start at the car park back to the town centre to 13 kms - exactly 3 hours of comfortable walking time for us pensioners, with just short of 400 m of elevation.

  2. Thanks for the comment Ian, I'm glad you enjoyed the walk. Good suggestion to go round by the golf course. Did you find the way down to the Old Railway Line by the Hilton Hotel ok, or would it be better to direct people round by the less steep path from the layby just a bit further out of Ballater?

  3. It was a bit of a scramble down the trail to the railway line - dangerous even - and I wouldn't have liked to try it if it was wet. I don't know the other path, but, if it's less steep and safer, then I'd say this must be a better option.

  4. Thanks Ian, I'll amend the route to take a longer, but easier route onto the old railway line shortly. For anyone reading this in the meantime: when you come onto the A93 main road towards the end of the walk, instead of turning left to Ballater, turn right and walk along the A93 heading away from Ballater. You will pass a layby on your left. Keep going. After a few hundred yards there is a turn off to the left down to a farm. Take that turn off and immediately look for a grassy footpath on your left. Take that. It will lead you onto the old railway line and back into Ballater (see the steps along the old railway line above).

    1. We discovered an even better solution as to how to get down to the old railway line towards the end of the walk - take the small opening at the start of the layby, down the zig-zag path. It's an easy walk and not dangerous at all.

  5. Thanks Ian, that is the best option. I'll use that one to add to the walk if I may.

  6. Thank you - great route for an early morning run! Only place I got a bit lost was at the right hand fork - there looks like a track to the right of the Welcome to the Moors sign - don't follow it! It peters out quickly, and it was a shot scramble back to the correct track, fortunately.

  7. Thanks Jeremy, glad you liked the walk. I must look out for the bit that you found a bit puzzling and see if I can make things clearer.

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