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We look forward to welcoming you safely to our forests and land. Please plan ahead and follow Scottish Government’s FACTS advice.

Back o’ Bennachie

Where we are

COVID-19 update

COVID-19 has changed the way we do lots of things we do. 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

Harvesting and extraction operations will be taking place at Back o' Bennachie between 12th October and 31st December 2020. Please follow all on site signage.

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
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
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
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?

Phone
0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

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