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Should I drive thru the Angus Glens or around them?

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Should I drive thru the Angus Glens or around them?

Hi! We will be driving through the towns of the Royal Deeside....Ballater, etc. We will be staying that night in Forfar so I am trying to figure out if we can drive through the Angus Glens (if so, which route) OR... do we need to drive around the Glens past Braemar and then south and over east to Forfar? I am looking for the most scenic route and don't care which takes longer. I'm a photographer and am looking just to get some strong images, if possible. I think through the Glens would be more scenic but feeling pretty clueless here!

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1. Re: Should I drive thru the Angus Glens or around them?


If you look at this map, you'll see the main glens in the Angus area are NOT through roads. They penetrate northwards into the mountains and then terminate. I know you've been told otherwise on another topic. There are old trackways crossing the mountains north to south, originally used by horses and cattle, now the province of hillwalkers.

The map shows half of an obvious circular route taking you from Blairgowrie past Glenshee, Braemar, down the River Dee, then south to Forfar. You have to go as far east as Banchory before you can cut the corner down to Stonehaven, then take the road to Forfar.


Good scenery on this route. Depends if you want touristic shots or something a little more quirky or connected with the landscape. A few suggestions on the described route and also penetrating into a couple of the glens.

North of Blairgowrie. A fruit growing area. You should be able to find landscapes with rows of raspberry bushes etc in the foreground.

Spittal of Glenshee, Glenshee Ski Centre, to Braemar: both sides of the road have high rounded hills, and the road ascends to 2000 ft.

Braemar. A few interesting buildings. Consider taking the road westwards which penetrates a long way into the Cairngorms, passing interesting farm buildings, reaching the Linn of Dee where there are interesting waterslides and waterfalls. Continue on that road as it doesbles back along the north side of the Dee. Walk up Glen Derry, or Glen Quoich. Niehter of these is difficult: there are reasonable roads (but not for cars). I reckon Glen Quoich is one of the most beautiful in the area - if you walk up far enough to see where the river comes down from Ben A'an, the mountain range to the north.

Deeside: All the villages and towns from Braemar all the way down to Banchory are scenic. Nice scottish vernacular architecture against a river or forestry background.

Stonehaven has an interesting harbour, and the nearby Dunnottar castle has a long history as well as being perched on its clifftop.

If you're looking at the Angus Glens the two best are:

Glen Clova: a long drive into the hills, surrounded by farmland, with increasing amounts of forestry as the height rises. Glen Doll: is the continuation of Glen Clova s it penetrates further into the hills: much more enclosed.

Glen Isla: partly roaded, though the main road jinks left into Glenshee. A minor road penetrates many miles into the hills.

Both Glens have ongoing paths but there's no obligation to walk right the way up to the hilltops - that depends on how you feel, and local weather conditions come the day.

If you're going to spend time in just one Glen, make it Glen Clova, going up past Glen Doll House until you can see over the trees to the hills, Mayar and Dreish, the craggy hill to the south. Though I can say the views from the top of Dreish are good ...

Here are a number of suggested walks, easy to difficult, and short to long. You can click through onto fairly detailed maps, and zoom in/out and pan, which might help you get your bearings.



I'm more interested in helping you sort out the topography of the area than in suggesting you leap up the nearest hill!

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2. Re: Should I drive thru the Angus Glens or around them?

Hi Derek, Eliza

Reading Eliza's other thread, St.A to Stonehaven, it sounds like she is looking to take one of the coastal routes to Stonehaven.

Not clear how much of the Royal Deeside she'ss intending to see.

I had gathered from other threads that Eliza is looking at a counter-clockwise route (StA - Stonehaven - B - B - Breamar and now from the sounds of it, Blairgowrie then over to Forfar for the evening.

Eliza, is this correct? Seems like an awefully long day. OR hopefully, you are planning a night stop in one of the B-towns and then the next day carrying on to Forfar.

Derek is correct, there is no through road from say Ballater to the Forfar area, trust me, I scoured the maps looking for one.

Now, if you are taking a coastal road up to Dunnotar and are planning to end up that night in Forfar. You may want to go as for as Banchory (again, hint, hint, Crathes Castle), then bypass all the rest of the Royal Deeside and head south out of Banchory on the B974? or Cairn O' Mount Road. That is very scenic and goes thru Fettercairn. It will deposit you on the highway appx 20m northeast of Forfar.

Eliza, let us know. One night or two?



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3. Re: Should I drive thru the Angus Glens or around them?

Yup, know there's no through road for cars, having walked over many of these hills :-)

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4. Re: Should I drive thru the Angus Glens or around them?

Having been there as a tourist, I took two possible routes.

The big one is westward, Ballater - Braemar - Glenshee - Kirriemuir, turning left off the main road to the A951 a short mile south of Spittal of Glenshee. Then you pass the beautiful Glen Isla on your way to Kirriemuir.

A smaller one - more beautiful IMHO - starts to the east, from Ballater to Aboyne. There, change to the right bank of River Dee and follow a small road straight south to Fettercairn. Don't forget to stop at the sightseeing parkings!

Edited: 19 May 2013, 11:12
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