Cairngorms - our Local Area
A picturesque small glen forming an offshoot from the Don valley that is nestled on the south east side of the Ladder Hills which are part of the Grampian Mountains.
On the northwest side of the ridge forming the Ladder Hills lies Glenlivet which leads down to the Spey valley and an important part of Scotland’s whisky industry. The Hills take their name from the Ladder Pass that connects the Glenlivet to the west with Glen Nochty and Glenbuchat to the east. On the southwest end of the main ridge forming the Ladder Hills lies the Lecht ski centre (Lecht 2090) at an elevation of 2090 feet (645m) in the Cairngorms National Park. It is situated on the well known Cock Bridge to Tomintoul A 939 road which rises to 2700 feet (775m) and one of the highest roads in the UK. Lecht 2090 provides full skiing and snow boarding facilities as well as mountain biking trails in summer.
The entrance to Glenbuchat is overlooked by the now ruined Glenbuchat Castle, a late-1500s tower house overlooking farmland and the Bridge of Buchat. It was built for John Gordon of Glenbuchat (or Glenbucket) and remained part of the Gordon family for many years and at one time in the ownership of John Gordon the renowned Jacobite but eventually fell into disrepair. It is owned by Historic Scotland and is closed for restoration but can be seen from outside.
Strathdon, Upper Donside
Nearby Strathdon in the main River Don valley has local facilities (shop, pub) and is noted for its connections to the Lonach Highland and Friendly Society, and the Lonach Highland Gathering held on the fourth Saturday in August.
This is a traditional Highland Gathering of some considerable charm and with heavy sport events such as tossing the caber, hammer etc, and a competition of Highland dancing, not to mention the usual stands selling food and drink and everything tartan.
A highlight of the gathering is the parade by the Lonach Highlanders, not to mention the opportunity to observe an extraordinary number of dogs.
Picture courtesy www.gerardmurphy.co.uk
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
The eastern part of the Cairngorms National Park is situated within Aberdeenshire which offers a very wide range of scenery and activities.
The Cairngorms National Park is noted for its impressive and untouched Scottish beauty, nature and diversity. It offers a unique mix of tranquil lochs, Mountains (Munros, Corbetts etc), castles and historic events and is easily the largest National Park in the UK.
There are plenty of walks enabling exploration of the glens of the Cairngorms. On the eastern side of the Park (and therefore closer to Glenbuchat) are the river Dee and river Don valleys and the Balmoral estate.
The sound of bagpipes will be heard at the various highland gatherings held in the summer season including at Ballater, Lonach and Braemar (which draws thousands of visitors each year including the Royal Family).
Scenic areas within an easy drive from Glenbuchat include:
The very popular walking area at Loch Muick where it is easy to spot the herds of red deer that gather for water and the protected capercaillie that can be found in their natural habitat. Golden eagles can sometimes be spotted in this area
the forest walks explore the winding paths through pine and ancient beech trees at Cambus O’ May forest
The mountain biking areas in and around Glenlivet