Most of our visitor centres, car parks and mountain bike trails are now open. Check what’s open near you before you travel and enjoy your visit safely.

Skip to main content

Back o’ Bennachie

Where we are

Back o’ Bennachie Forest Notices

COVID-19 has changed lots of things we do. And as we re-open the majority of our facilities and welcome more of you back in Phase 3, we need your help to do it safely. Please check what’s open before you travel; enjoy your visit safely by following NHS and Scottish Government guidance; take your litter home with you; and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

At this location:

  • The car park is open and normal charges (if any) now apply.
  • Toilets are closed while we work to make them safe for you to use. A phased reopening of our public toilet facilities began on Monday, 20 July 2020. For now, please “go before you go” and check helpful apps or websites to find toilets that are open nearby.

Please bear with us and check back regularly for updates. You can also find more information by visiting our COVID-19 page and our FAQs.

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


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.

1 ½ miles / 2.4 km

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.


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.

5 ½ miles / 9.0 km

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.


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

Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Picnic area
Picnic area
Campervan parking
Campervan parking

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

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

Stay the Night

Motorhomes and campervans will be allowed to park overnight at this car park.

This is part of a short-term national trial that will run until later in the year, open to self-contained vehicles only. Motorhomes and campervans can stay for one night only at a time between 6pm and 10am. Camping and overnight parking of cars is not allowed.

Before you visit, please read our Stay the Night guidance, terms and conditions:

Stay the Night

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?

0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

Share your experience

Our website uses cookies.
By continuing, we assume your permission to deploy cookies, as detailed in our Privacy and Cookies policies.