Loch Muick Circuit
This low level circular walk starts from the Spittal of Glen Muick car park. There’s an informative visitor centre here, which also sells refreshments, so with a promise of an icelolly at the end of the walk, we were soon under way. We decided to do the walk in an anti-clockwise direction, so kept to the left of the path split. Our son is still recovering from his broken leg, so spent a large portion of his time in the back carrier. The path is excellent, so when he wanted he could get out and stretch his legs which at the minute is not for that long at all.
We walked past a modern looking boat house, and past the turning for the Capel Mounth track. With the loch on our right, and the rain coming in we made good progress along this track. Just after crossing a bridge over a waterfall, the track turns right, joining a much smaller path that continued alongside the loch. For me, this part was more interesting than the bigger track, as it was among heather plants and we saw a few baby frogs and beetles.
Soon enough, the talk inevitably turned to dinosaurs, as it usually does when we’re out in the mountains with our son. So birds squawking turned in to pteradactyls. Deer poop was of course dino poop, and prints in the mud were made by all sorts of dinos. Little did he know his daddy was carrying a little surprise with him…
From the smaller path, you will begin to see Glas-allt Shiel House on the opposite shore of the Loch, which was built by Queen Victoria after the death of Prince Albert. At the end of the Loch, you pass some waterfalls which I’d imagine would be beautiful after heavy rainstorms. After crossing a few wooden bridges the path meanders through the trees to the House. There is a well-equipped bothy around the back of the property which is maintained by University of Dundee Rucksack Club. We climbed to the top section of the bothy and ate our sandwiches, thankful to be sheltered from rain and midges.
After lunch, we headed back outside and down towards one of the beaches by the House. While I distracted our son, my husband hid a triceratops toy behind a tree which he had carried in, just for our son to discover. It didn’t take him long at all, neither did it for him to make introductions and start to walk back to the car, talking all the time to baby triceratops.
Follow the main path until you come to the end of the Loch, where you can see a boat house. Turn right and follow the track along the shore edge, before joining the main path back to the visitors centre. When we got there the refreshment stand was shut and our son was absolutely gutted we had missed the chance for lollypops. Luckily, Braemar wasn’t too far away, and it seemed only right to end a summers day walk in the rain with an icelolly!
We took a long time doing this walk, enjoying exploring somewhere new and taking in the surroundings while eyeing up possibilities for future walks. There are a few sandy beaches around the Loch for great picnic spots and wildlife to be seen, information which can be found at the visitor centre. There are several side trips that I’d love to do perhaps as a longer day walk or an overnighter. Our son is still recovering from his broken leg, so this walk was ideal as we thought it would be better focusing on having fun while out and about, rather than miles under the belt. His giggles on the way home and the change in his mood after really proved to us that getting out and about, even if it is the last thing you want to do, really does help!
- Distance…………..12.5km / 7.75m
- Time………………..Took us about 4.5 hours but we were really taking our time.
- Car parking………Charges apply at Spittal of Glen Muick carpark. At time of writing £3 for cars. Facilities at Visitors Centre.
- Path…………………Mostly good path. Small section of narrow path through heather.
- Nearest village….Ballater