Thursday, 28 September 2023
Countesswells forest is currently closed
2 March: Storm Otto update. Following the most recent storm considerable areas of windblow have occurred throughout the site. The car park and trails remain closed and are likely to remain closed for some time.
Please stay away while we work to clear and repair the damage.
You can search for other nearby forests using our Find a forest tool.
Wide forest paths with views over Aberdeenshire
The wide forest trails at Countesswells give gentle views over Aberdeenshire farmland and towards the city of Aberdeen. They can be combined into a longer circular route passing through the whole length of the forest.
These attractive woods were once part of the Countesswells estate. The huge conifers create a cathedral-like atmosphere near the entrance, whilst colourful beech, larch and pine make up the rest of the woodland.
Beech Tree Trail
A short stroll through the huge conifers and colourful beech trees that line the route.
Mostly firm gravel surface. Section of uneven earthy path with exposed tree roots and muddy areas. Fairly steep slopes.
Allow ¾ hour
The trail goes through groves of smooth grey-barked beech trees. In spring the leaves are vivid green, turning darker in summer before blazing into autumnal oranges and browns. The beech is deciduous which means that it loses its foliage every year, creating a wonderful carpet of crunchy leaves to kick through!
The trail is through trees so can be muddy after rain but is surfaced in places.
The Big Tree Trail
Wander through giant Sitka spruce and majestic Douglas fir on this short jaunt through the forest.
Firm gravel surface with some uneven sections. Moderate slopes. Some parts may be muddy after rain.
Allow 1 hour
This is a great trail for getting a quick blast of fresh air and exercise at any time of day. There are viewpoints over farmland and out to Kingshill Wood.
Gairn Hill Trail
A fine circuit of Gairn Hill Wood, which is home to a variety of trees and some good views across Aberdeenshire.
Firm gravel surface throughout, with some rocky, rooty and muddy parts. Long moderate slopes with some short steeper ramps.
Allow 1½ hours
Facilities and access
The nearest public toilets are in Cults or Kingswells.
Car parking information
Payment options: coin or card
The charges to park at Countesswells are:
- £2 for up to 1 hour
- £2.50 for up to 3 hours
- £3 for all day
- £12 for minibus or coach all day
We recommend you bring both coins and cards with you in case our machine is having an off-day. Please park with care and consideration. In particular please park in designated parking areas only and do not block entrances or gates. Nearby car parks with free parking can be found in our local forest list without the £ symbol.
Annual parking pass available:
Available in advance by downloading the relevant application form and emailing to the Regional Office. Please read our Annual Pass terms and conditions before applying.
Valid at all Forestry and Land Scotland car parks except Tentsmuir.
Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.
The entrance and car park for Countesswells wood is on the west side of an unclassified road, 1 mile south of Kingswells. From the Kingswells roundabout on the A944, follow the turning for Cults. If heading from Cults or Countesswells Road, follow signs for Kingswells.
AB15 8QD is the closest postcode.
Countesswells' smaller and quieter neighbour
Family-friendly trails through towering trees