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Our visitor centres are currently closed. Our trails for walking and biking, as well as toilets and car parks, remain open. Plan ahead and enjoy your visit safely.

Back o’ Bennachie

Where we are

COVID-19 update

All FLS visitor centres are currently closed. Walking and mountain bike trails remain open, as do most toilets and car parks, but do check below for local updates for closures.

We want to ensure your visit is an enjoyable and safe one.

Make sure you follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice – helping to protect yourself, your family and your local community, and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code helping to keep Scotland beautiful.

Latest forest information

The toilets are currently closed.

A favourite start point for those climbing Oxen Craig

Spilling down the northern slopes of the hill, the forest at Back O’Bennachie is a delight. There’s a large, open picnic area where you can have a barbecue or play a game of forest football, and trails through atmospheric forest.

On the hillside above the forest you can find the remains of the quarry that supplied stone to build local villages, and a superb circuit that takes in three of Bennachie’s summits.

Guide map to Bennachie (2.8MB)

Walking trails

Walking

Larick Trail

From a fresh green burst in spring to an autumn blast of gold, the larick (larch) here provides a different colour for all the seasons.

A moderate to fairly steep trail, with varied surfaces: firm forest roads, earthy paths that can be muddy and rough sections with rocks, roots and large steps.

Strenuous trail grade icon
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

The trail passes through native, naturally-growing trees like Scots pine, as well as forest planted with other species chosen for their timber value.

Walking

Mither Tap Quarry Trail

A great workout on the hill, visiting the Mither Tap and Bennachie’s highest summit - Oxen Craig.

A very steep, rough trail with long climbs, large steps, rocky and some areas on the summits which may be muddy.

Strenuous trail grade icon
5 ½ miles / 9.0 km

Allow
3¾ hours

More information

The longest route to the landmark of the Mither Tap, this trail also visits Bennachie’s highest summit at Oxen Craig. On the way you’ll pass the old quarry at Little Oxen Craig, where stone was cut in the 1800s to build houses in nearby villages. Watch out for the sculpture installed here.

Activities

Going to the top?

It may not be a Munro, but climbing Bennachie can be a real mountain experience with real mountain dangers. Ice and snow make the paths extremely hazardous in winter and spring. Even in summer the wind blows constantly at the top and temperatures will drop suddenly in rain. Don’t get caught out - dress warmly, take boots and waterproofs and be prepared to turn back when the weather changes.

Facilities & access

Toilets
Toilets
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Barbeque
Barbeque
Picnic area
Picnic area

Life’s essentials

The toilets here are open from 1st April to 31st October. You’ll find places to eat in Oyne, Chapel of Garioch and Inverurie.

Car parking charges

Please note, parking charges are as follows:

  • £1 for up to 1 hour
  • £1.50 for up to 3 hours
  • £2 for all day
  • £8 for minibus and coach all day

Annual passes are also available. For more information please contact us.

  • £50 for cars
  • £120 for mini-bus/coach

Stay the Night

Our Stay the Night trial has now ended. The participating car parks have now reverted to no overnight parking permitted, in line with all our car parks.

Getting here

Follow the A96 north from Inverurie for about 7 miles (11.2 km). At the Oyne Fork turn left onto the B9002, signposted to Insch. Follow this road through Oyne village for about 2 miles (3.2 km), then turn left on a narrow road signposted ‘Back o' Bennachie Forest Walks’. The car park is about 1 mile (1.6 km) up this road, at grid reference NJ 661 245.

Using SatNav?

Nearest postcode: AB52 6RH 

Public transport

Buses serve Oyne village, about 1 ¾ miles (2.8 km) away. Check Traveline Scotland for details.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

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