Some of our favourite storytelling forests
This is the ‘Year of Stories’ and forests can be great places to learn about the past and often have some secrets of their own.
We have put together a list of some of our favourite walking trails that have some amazing stories waiting for you to discover.
Lively community wood in the grounds of Dunnottar House.
Just a short walk from Stonehaven, this woodland is full of surprises and stories about the Kennedy family who once lived at Dunnottar House. Take the 2-mile History Trail through a network of criss-crossing paths that make up the forest around the manor and learn more about its rich history by visiting the Shell House, Lady Kennedy’s Bath, and Gallow’s Hill.
Climb to an Iron Aged hillfort with views over Strathtay.
This part of Scotland was once home to the infamous Picts, a Celtic Tribe who built many prehistoric monuments including Caisteal Dubh at Grandtully. Caisteal Dubh means The Black Castle and overlooks the River Tay, making it clear why this was once an important defensive position. Wade through juniper and heather towards an impressive set of stone cairns that sit just below the castle, making this strenuous walk is well worth the views. These cairns were built in the 1800s, but it is still quite a mystery as to why they’re here.
Look for hidden sculptures in this hillside wood.
Weem wood sits behind Castle Menzies. The Menzie family were keen supporters of King Robert the Bruce, and helped shape forests across Perthshire.
The forest itself has secrets of its own, with hidden rock art of dragons and faces that tell tales of enchanters imprisoning fair maidens in the stone. Even Mr. Menzies himself left his home to live as a hermit at St. David’s Well, a cave located along the forest path.
The Lodge Visitor Centre
The gateway to Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.
With panoramic views, scenic trails and activities for all ages, this Aberfoyle forest is a great place to spend the day.
Take the all-abilities Waterfall Trail through the trees and past the Women’s Timber Corps monument, a tribute to the women who worked in forestry during the wars. Or, take the more strenuous Craigmore View Trail and follow the footsteps of the Duke of Montrose, climbing over the Duke’s Pass for views of the visitor centre and forest.
You can also test your navigation skills and grab a free orienteering map from reception. We have three courses to pick from that vary in length and difficulty.
A deep, woodland gorge with cascading waterfalls.
This magical trail winds along an old Victorian walkway and through a dramatic gorge that is said to be home to mischievous spirits.
The walk is packed with sumptuous ferns, lichen, and tumbling waterfalls, it is easy to see why this is one of the most popular walks on the Cowal peninsula.
While at Puck’s Glen you can also stop and gaze up at the giant redwoods at Benmore, which is also guaranteed to spark any imagination.