deesidewalks.com

Welcome to Deesidewalks.com, a website for people looking for walking routes on Deeside in Scotland.


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

Tomnaverie Stone Circle

Tomnaverie Stone Circle, Tarland, Deeside Walks
Tomnaverie Stone Circle with Morven behind it. No-one knows what the stone table was used for. 
Starting point: Tarland village square, B9119
Distance:  short (2.2 miles / 3.6 km)
Climb: 30m, largely flat except on approach to stone circle 
Difficulty: medium
Underfoot: generally good, some walking on grass footpaths
Estimated time to complete: 1.5 hours
Scenic value: 7/10
Overall rating: 7/10



Comments: Have you read the novel Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (also called 'Cross Stitch') ? Or seen the TV programme? Would you like to see a real prehistoric stone circle? Then this walk is for you (Deesidewalks.com does not guarantee that any visitors will be transported back to Jacobean times - but then Deesidewalks.com does not guarantee that they won't either). 

If the stone circle transports you to Jacobean times you may be seduced by a hunky highlander.
Route

I've picked a starting and end point of Tarland village centre. There is a car park at the stone circle itself but then there wouldn't be much of a walk(!). So,  I suggest you drive to Tarland village centre and park in the free car park spaces there. 

Begin in Tarland village centre. There's free parking and good shops. 

There are some good shops in Tarland - more about them later. My route starts going south out of Tarland towards Aboyne or Dinnet. At the south east corner of Tarland village square you'll find a map of the local area which you can consult. In fact the walk I'm going to suggest isn't one of the ones shown on this map - it's just my suggestion of what seemed a good route to me. 


The map displayed on the south east corner of the village square shows some local walks. 
From the village square head south, past the Tarland Pharmacy and Coffee Shop. Road signs will be saying you are going towards Aboyne, or Dinnet. After 100m or so, but before you leave the village, you will approach a bridge over the Tarland Burn (which means stream). On the left hand side of the road there is a gap in the low wall. 

Walking past the Tarland Pharmacy, look for a gap in the wall on the left side of the road. 
Go through the gap in the wall on the left hand side of the road, just before the bridge. 


Go through the gap in the wall. 
Now you will come onto a footpath through the trees. The footpath leads onto a wooden footbridge over the Tarland Burn. Cross the wooden footbridge. 


Cross the wooden footbridge over the Tarland Burn.
 At the far end of the footbridge turn left. Follow the wide footpath which heads east, along the side of the Tarland burn and by the fields. 


Turn left after the footbridge and follow the path alongside the fields.
 The path leads east, the Tarland Burn is on your left. There are fields on your right. In case you are wondering where the Tarland Burn flows - it flows all the way to the village of Aboyne where it joins the River Dee. I know because I used to play in it when I was growing up in Aboyne. 


Follow the footpath with the Tarland Burn on your right. 
 After a couple of hundred yards the footpath crosses a wooden bridge. Cross the wooden bridge. Continue to follow the footpath in the same direction, keeping the Tarland Burn on your left. 


Cross the footbridge, keeping the Tarland Burn on your left. 
 After another hundred yards or so, you will approach another wooden footbridge. This one is on your left. At this footbridge, turn right and follow a narrow footpath up the hill. 


When you reach a footbridge on your left, turn right up the hill.
Now you are walking up a gentle slope, along a narrow footpath between fields. Depending on the time of year it might be quite overgrown. 

Follow the narrow footpath up the hill, there will be a farm ahead on the right. 
The path approaches a road - there is no gate - so keep a close eye on children and dogs. Carefully cross over the road. The footpath continues on the opposite side of the road, turning right. Follow it. 

Carefully cross the road and turn right. 
Follow the footpath along the side of the road. This is only for a short distance. 

Follow the footpath alongside the road, heading towards the farm. 
You arrive at the entrance to the car park for the stone circle. Turn left and follow the roadway up the hill towards the stone circle car park. 

Turn left at the entrance to the stone circle car park. 
Walk across the car park, being careful of cars of course. The footpath continues at the far end. 

Walk acros the car park. Follow the footpath at the far end. 
Take the left fork in the footpath, up the gentle slope.

Take the left fork in the footpath. 
You're at the stone circle! The prominent hill nearby and behind the recumbent stone (the one that's lying on its side) in this photograph is 'Morven'. There is a plaque nearby giving some theories as to what the stone circle was for, or why the recumbent stone is positioned where it is. The stone circle is several thousand years old, from before what we normally understand as 'history' and before writing. One theory is that the recumbent stone was used for sacrifices but its no more than a theory. 

One thing you'll note is that the circle is positioned where it commands an excellent view of the surrounding terrain.

The recumbent stone appears to be positioned in front of the hill called 'Morven'.
If you are wondering whether there is still magic in the stones - almost certainly. If you're wondering whether the villagers of Tarland every come out on Samhain eve to dance around the stones with candles and long cloaks - I wouldn't be at all surprised.

After you've finished looking at the stone circle look for the footpath heading back down the slope towards Tarland. It doesn't matter precisely which way you go as long as you end up at a gate in a fence. Go through the wooden gate. 

Find your way down the hill going back towards Tarland. Go through the gate. 
There is no path at this point in the walk. Don't panic. There is a trail marker pointing you in roughly the right direction. Walk across the Land Rover track and over the grass. You should be bearing roughly perpendicular to the Land Rover track, going gradually downhill towards the road and towards the far end of the field. You should see another marker ahead and you'll pick up the trail there. 

This is a short section without a path. Just walk across the grass, looking for the marker at the far end. 
The marker post is hidden in the gorse. Even if you miss it you'll find the flattened grass of the path beginning again, and if you miss that you'll find the stile over the wall. Go over the stile. 

Look for the marker post, the path or the stile at the far end of the field. 
Go over the stile. Now you should be close to the road again. 

Go over the stile.
There is a footpath that leads to another gate and which then crosses the road. Follow the footpath. Take care with children and animals. 

Follow the footpath through a gate, Cross the road. 
Once you've crossed the road. Follow the footpath away from the road and by the fields. 

Follow the footpath away from the road. 
The footpath crosses a wooden footbridge. Continue to follow it. 

Cross the wooden bridge. 
The footpath runs alongside the road into Tarland for a short distance. Take care with children and animals again. 

Follow the footpath as it runs alongside the road. 
You will come to another wooden footbridge. This is the one you crossed at the start of the walk. Go across this footbridge again and follow the footpath until it comes out on the road. 

Cross the bridge and follow the footpath to the road. 
Cross the road to the pavement on the far side, turn right and walk back to Tarland village square. 

Cross the road to the pavement and turn right. 
Congratulations, you've finished the Tarland Stone Circle Walk! Now, there are a few things in Tarland you might want to check out. First of all there is a coffee shop in the Tarland Pharmacy (although the opening hours are a bit restricted). 

There is a coffee shop by the Pharmacy.
Or you can get bar snacks at the Commercial Hotel.


You can get bar snacks at the Commercial Hotel. 
One shop I'd really recommend you try is the Krafty Neuk sewing and crafts shop.

The Krafty Neuk crafts shop is great.
There's a wide variety of gift ideas inside the Krafty Neuk.
Another great shop in Tarland is the Toy Shop, which I would also recommend to anyone. 

The Tarland Toy Shop is highly recommended. 
And if the kids have still got energy to be burnt off there is a good play park a short walk away - see the map at the top of this guide. 

The playpark is only a couple of minutes walk north of the village square. 
Finally, no visit to Tarland is complete without a visit to Wm Blackhall, Tarland's resident kiltmaker, and now run by Pam Blackhall. 


Pam Blackhall's kilt shop is a must-see.

I've marked Pam's shop on the map above. It doesn't just sell kilts, there are gloves and pins and jackets, socks and ties. Fear Liath Mor's own kilt comes from Pam and you can't get a much better recommendation than that!




3 comments:

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  2. I think this stone circle has some mystery! thanks a lot for sharing!

    ReplyDelete