Day 5: Braemar’s Scenic Trails and River Dee
Day 5: Braemar’s Scenic Trails and River Dee

Day 5: Braemar’s Scenic Trails and River Dee

On Day 5 of our Scottish adventure, we embarked on a hiking expedition near Braemar. Our initial plans were altered due to rain, but we quickly adapted and set off on an alternative route. Join us as we recount our journey to Creag Choinnich, a scenic outlook, and our leisurely stroll along the picturesque River Dee.

Ascending Creag Choinnich

Our decision to venture up Creag Choinnich turned out to be a stroke of serendipity. As we left the idyllic pine forest behind, the landscape began to transform, revealing the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands. The path meandered through blooming heather, and the captivating fragrance filled the air as we ascended higher.

With every step, the views became more mesmerizing. Braemar, nestled in the valley below, was adorned with a picturesque charm. The winding River Dee glimmered in the distance, reflecting the sunlight that pierced through the scattered clouds. I always switched between adoring the view and imagining how the whole scene looked in full bloom: with a perfect blend of vivid green, golden hues, and touches of purple from the blooming heather. I’d love to come back in another season!

As we reached the midsection of the hill, the landscape opened up, offering panoramic views of Braemar and the Cairngorms National Park. The majestic mountains loomed on the horizon, their peaks occasionally kissed by drifting clouds. The ever-changing weather bestowed a dynamic atmosphere upon the scene, creating an ever-evolving canvas that kept us captivated.

Upon reaching the summit of Creag Choinnich, we found ourselves in a realm of solitude and tranquility. There were no other hikers in sight, leaving us alone to bask in the awe-inspiring vistas. The summit provided a 360-degree panorama, allowing us to see not just the Braemar valley below, but also the surrounding mountains and glens in their full glory.

The summit itself was a sight to behold. It offered a unique perspective of the Scottish Highlands, revealing the intricate interplay of mountains, valleys, and moors. Isolated single trees dotted the landscape, their twisted and gnarled branches adding an enchanting touch to the already magical scenery.

I couldn’t resist the temptation to capture the essence of the summit with my camera. Each step offered new perspectives and compositions, and we were engrossed in trying to immortalize the beauty we beheld. The challenge lay in selecting the perfect shot, as every direction offered a postcard-worthy view.

As much as we were enchanted by the summit, we knew we had to eventually descend. Reluctantly, we said our goodbyes to Creag Choinnich, leaving its captivating beauty etched in our memories. The descent was as enjoyable as the ascent, with the views continuing to mesmerize us as we made our way back to the town of Braemar.

Exploring the Surroundings

Making our way back down, we retraced our steps through the forest, descending towards Braemar. Instead of heading directly back to the town, we took a detour, following a delightful path above the road. The trail treated us to breathtaking views, including glimpses of the impressive Invercauld House through the trees. Invercauld House, steeped in history and surrounded by majestic landscapes, added a touch of grandeur to the scenery.

After a while, we veered away from the road and reentered the Cairngorms National Park, heading towards Queens Drive. The broad path provided captivating vistas of the hills, including Carn Nan Sgliat and Morrone. Though tempted to hike up Carn Nan Sgliat, we decided to save it for another visit, reminiscing about our previous hike to Morrone. We continued along the path, enjoying the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape, before eventually making our way back along the banks of the River Clunie Water.

Tea for two and Scones!

With the hike completed, we felt it was the perfect time to relax and indulge in a comforting treat. We made our way to “The Bothy,” a quaint tearoom. As we stepped inside, we were greeted by a cozy and inviting atmosphere. We couldn’t resist ordering tea for two and some scones, topped with clotted cream and marmalade. The tearoom’s peaceful ambiance and the fact that it wasn’t crowded allowed us to savor our treats and enjoy our tea in a relaxed manner, truly immersing ourselves in this delightful experience.

As we savored our tea and scones, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the photos adorning the walls of “The Bothy.” The photographs, taken by a talented local photographer, showcased the stunning beauty of the surrounding Braemar area. Each image told its own story, capturing the landscapes and majestic mountains in exquisite detail. It was a delightful addition to our tea break, allowing us to further immerse ourselves in the natural splendor of the place we had come to visit.

Along the River Dee

Wanting to extend our walk, we opted for a riverside stroll along the enchanting River Dee. The river, known for its scenic splendor, offered captivating views along its meandering course. Though we didn’t encounter any standout photographic opportunities, the tranquil ambiance and natural beauty provided a serene backdrop for our leisurely walk. The idyllic setting of Braemar welcomed us back, and we concluded our day with a delightful dinner in the familiar pub we had grown fond of during our stay.


Day 5 allowed us to explore the stunning trails and natural wonders near Braemar. Our hike to Creag Choinnich rewarded us with breathtaking vistas and a sense of tranquility. The picturesque surroundings, from the forests to the riverside, offered glimpses into the captivating beauty of the Scottish Highlands. As the day came to a close, we couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness knowing that our time in Braemar was coming to an end. This charming town and the delightful B&B had captured our hearts. However, the anticipation of the adventures awaiting us in Crianlarich and Loch Lomond filled us with excitement. While bidding farewell to Braemar was bittersweet, we knew that more incredible experiences lay ahead in our journey through Scotland.

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