Route: Loch Muick Circuit
Date: Saturday 15th September 2012
Company: Myself, Carole, Becky and Beinn
Distance: 12km

The forecast today for the North-East was pretty-good. However, the chance of me getting out on the hills was slim, verging on anorexic.

For a family day out, I put it to the vote: a walk up a hill or a low-level walk.
I was out-voted - a low-level walk it was going to be .

I therefore come up with the idea of walking the circuit of Loch Muick. I knew this was a good walk having walked it circa ten times previously. Carole had also walked it on a number of occasions. However it was going to be a new walk for Becky .

We drove to Ballater and then onto the Spittal of Glenmuick car park.

Grumble time! I really dislike having to pay for parking to access the hills. It is now £3 to park at the Spittal of Glenmuick car park. I would guess these parking charges are the work of some Access Group/Trust. I don’t think this is the Queen trying to rake-in the pound coins for parking on her land.

From the car park we set out to undertake an anti-clockwise circuit of Loch Muick.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Track from car park to Spittal of Glenmuick:

On reaching the visitor centre, we had a look inside. Becky particularly enjoyed hearing a recording of the call of a Capercaillie.

Balmoral Estate Visitor Centre:

Track towards Loch Muick:

The one certainty today was that whenever Beinn saw water he would be straight in it. He adores being in water.

Beinn in the Loch Muick outflow:

Loch Muick:

The walk from the Boat House to Glas-Allt-Shiel seemed to pass really quickly today. As we walked along the track, we spent plenty of time admiring the flora and fauna.

Boat House:

Becky on the track leading towards Glas-Allt-Shiel:

Butterfly watching:

Approaching the Glas-Allt-Shiel wood:

Becky with Broad Cairn in the background:

On reaching Glas-Allt-Shiel we stopped for circa 20 minutes.

Becky at Glas-Allt-Shiel:

We had a look inside the Glas-Allt-Shiel bothy. This was Becky’s first look inside a bothy. I don’t think she was overly impressed .

Becky inside the Glas-Allt-Shiel bothy:

While Carole and Becky had a bite to eat, I spent some time watching Beinn swimming in the loch and even more time trying to get him out of the loch.

The Loch Muick monster:

Beinn refusing to come out of Loch Muick:

While standing at the house, I noticed a dragonfly land on one of the granite blocks. It was kind enough to stay still for long enough to get a few photos.



Dragonfly (zoom):

From Glas-Allt-Shiel, we left the good track and took the path through the wood and then round the far-end of the loch. The path at the far-end of the loch is much improved compared to the mud-fest that used to be there a number of years ago.

Path skirting round the far end of Loch Muick:


Creag an Dubh-loch (zoom):

Stulan burn waterfall:

The next section of path is the worst of the circuit. Narrow and stony compared with the really good track leading from Spittal of Glenmuick to Glas-Allt-Shiel.

Looking down the length of Loch Muick:

Looking across Loch Muick to Glas-Allt-Shiel:

Looking along Loch Muick towards the Spittal of Glenmuick:

It was good to eventually leave the path and get back onto good track.

Loch Muick from start of good track:

Beinn waiting patiently:

Looking back towards Glas-Allt-Shiel:

The walk back to the car was pleasant.

Carole and Becky heading back towards the Spittal of Glenmuick:

This is a good wee walk.