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.

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Countesswells 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.

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.

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.

Guide map to Forests of Aberdeenshire (PDF 4.1MB)

Walking trails


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.

1 ¼ miles / 2.1 km

¾ hour

More information

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.

1 ½ miles / 2.5 km

1 hour

More information

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.

2 ¾ miles / 4.4 km

1½ hours

Facilities & access

Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)

The nearest public toilets are in Cults or Kingswells.

Car parking charges

  • £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. Please contact us for further information.

Getting here

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.

Using SatNav?

AB15 8QD is the closest postcode.

Get directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

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