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The best countryside walks around the north-east, and where to treat yourself for tea after

One of the paths through the forests at Cambus O' May
One of the paths through the forests at Cambus O' May

The north-east countryside is filled with enticing forests, great estates and expansive moors waiting to be discovered by walkers.

Not only are there an abundance of lochs to visit and Munros to bag, but there are plenty of paths and trails winding their way below the mountains and through woodland.

As part of VisitAberdeenshire’s Rediscover Your Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire campaign, we’ve rounded up a selection of forest walks to try out, as well as nearby food and drink suggestions. But be sure to check for the opening hours of the business ahead of your visit.

The campaign – involving The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 – also has its own dedicated section on the VisitAberdeenshire website, where people can explore blogs with ideas for things to do.

Among the beautiful walks is Aden Country Park, a 230-acre attraction in the heart of Buchan offering a warm welcome, beautiful surroundings, and a wide range of opportunities for relaxation and recreation for individuals, families, and groups to enjoy.

Aden, often referred to as “the jewel in the Buchan crown”, has been recognised year-on-year as one of the country’s best green spaces with the prestigious Green Flag Award.

Food and drink suggestions in the area for those making a day of it include the Saplinbrae Hotel in Mintlaw, the Beach Cafe in Fraserburgh and The Coffee Apothecary in The Square, Ellon.

Banff is another area with rich forestry to explore, including the surroundings of Duff House.

Although the attraction itself is currently closed to the public, there are a number of outdoor walks available for people to discover nearby.

For post-walk refreshments, people can visit the Fife Lodge Hotel on Sandyhill Road in  Banff, The Old Kirk Café/Bistro on Church Street, Fordyce, Annie’s Cakery in Macduff or the Knowes Hotel in the town.

Heading south, Aboyne boasts the picturesque Glen Tanar Estate. From rugged heather moorland to towering Caledonian pine forests to the majestic River Dee, Glen Tanar is a destination for exploring the best of natural Scotland.

Off the beaten track, people can explore by foot, bike, or on horseback.

There are miles of tracks throughout Glen Tanar, making it an ideal location for exploration.

It is also a fantastic spot for budding photographers to catch a glimpse of local wildlife.

After working up an appetite, people can try The Lodge on the Loch in Aboyne, the Loch Golf Centre in Aboyne, Buchanan Bistro at Woodend Barn on the Burn O’Bennie Road, Banchory or Finzean Estate Tearoom, Balnaboth Steading, Finzean for a meal.

Cambus O’May is a place visitors will want to visit again and again if they are interested in family walks.

It has lochans, bridges and winding trails through the Scots Pine on waymarked routes, offering terrific views up Deeside to the mountains beyond.

There are a number of bustling restaurants and cafes in the surrounding area.

People can pay a visit to Roaring Stag Coffee Roasters at Ballater Business Park, Douneside House in Tarland, The Commercial Hotel in The Square, Tarland or The Fife Arms on Mar Road, Braemar.

For more information on the walks listed, visit

Social Media Campaign

Aden Country Park,

VisitAberdeenshire, The Press and Journal, Evening Express, Society and Original 106 are encouraging people to share an image of their favourite part of the north-east throughout the #RediscoverABDN campaign. To take part, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Take a picture of your favourite north-east attraction, venue, product or landmark
  2. Upload the image to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter including the hashtag #RediscoverABDN and tag @visitabdn

Social Distancing Guidelines

When visiting these locations, it’s important to adhere to the social distancing guidelines currently in place across Scotland – with regards to outdoor activities. These guidelines are below.

  1. People can meet in groups of up to 15 people outdoors, from up to five different households, including your own household. However, children aged 0-11 should not meet in groups larger than 15 people in total at a time.
  2. Keep two metres apart from anyone you meet from outside your household, and don’t share food or utensils.
  3. You should not meet with more than four different households per day, whether indoors or outdoors.
  4. Follow physical distancing guidance and hygiene rules.
  5. There is now no restriction on travel within Scotland as long as individuals are acting in line with all other guidance that supports the route map.

All guidelines can be viewed at


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