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We look forward to welcoming you to Scotland's forests. To enjoy your visit safely please plan ahead, follow local signage and park considerately.

Scolty

Where we are

COVID-19 update

Enjoy your visit safely:

  • Read our COVID-19 Information in advance of your visit.
  • Most of our forests and facilities are open, but use our website to check before you travel.
  • Do not light campfires or use disposable barbecues.
  • Park considerately, taking care not to park on verges or block gates or roads.
  • Take care on or around open water. Find out more on our Water Safety page.

Storm Arwen

We strongly advise that visitors stay away from all forests for now. Many forests all across Scotland have been seriously affected by strong winds over the weekend, resulting in fallen trees blocking roads and trails. In the event of a safety incident, emergency services would be unable to reach many areas. We are working hard to clear obstructions and hope to welcome you back soon.

 

Latest forest information

Harvesting work is taking place and is expected to continue until 30 November 2021. Some routes will be affected as work progresses. Please follow all signage and any diversions.

About

Quiet woodland below a general’s monument

Just five minutes from bustling Banchory lies Scolty Hill, flanked with quiet woodlands and topped by the distinctive Scolty Tower.

The forest trails that wander through tall larch and pine trees are perfect for families. You can climb the hill for panoramic views over Royal Deeside and the Grampian Mountains and – if you still have energy – tackle the Tower's dizzying staircase for an even better lookout.

Scolty route card (PDF)

Walking trails (2)

Walking

Craigloch Trail

Discover the mossy walls of old farms and a fine viewpoint on this shorter loop through the spruce and larch forest.

Wide, firm but uneven gravel surface throughout. Long moderate slopes with some steeper sections. Includes two wide gates. Some parts may be slightly muddy.

Moderate trail grade icon
1 ½ miles / 2.6 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

The trail is named after Craigloch croft, an old farming homestead whose walls have been recently repaired by local folk. You can find their work hidden amongst the tall larches. The people who once lived here knew spring had arrived when they heard the first cuckoo – these solitary birds fly to Scolty from Africa and Asia and, in springtime, the forest is full of their calls.

Walking

March Trail

A longer circuit through the tranquil forest, with the chance to see woodpeckers, roe deer and red squirrels.

Uneven gravel and earth surface with exposed tree roots. Some rocky and slightly muddy parts. Long moderate slopes with short steeper sections. Includes one narrow kissing gate.

Moderate trail grade icon
2 ½ miles / 4.0 km

Allow
1½ hours

More information

This interesting route takes in many of the attractions of this much-loved forest, including old farm walls and field boundaries. Native and conifer trees support a wide range of wildlife all year round: listen out for the hammering of brightly-coloured woodpeckers on dead tree trunks and the scampering of red squirrels in the undergrowth.

Activities

Cycling

Cyclists and horse riders are welcome to use the Deeside way, a long distance path between Aberdeen and Ballater which runs through Scolty. The route is a great way to explore the area and see sights you wouldn't from the car!

Facilities and access

Walking
Walking
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Viewpoint
Viewpoint
Picnic area
Picnic area

The nearest public toilets are in Banchory at the Bellfield car park.

Car parking information

The charges to park at Scolty are:

Payment options: Coin only

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

Blue badge holders park free. Please display your Blue Badge clearly.

More parking info

Getting here

Scolty is a 5 minute drive or 30 minute walk from Banchory.

Head south out of Banchory on Dee Street (B974), cross the River Dee and keep a look out for the signs for 'Scolty Woodland Walks' on the right-hand side.

Using SatNav?

AB31 6PT is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

Regualr buses between Aberdeen and Royal Deeside stop in Banchory. Plan your journey at Traveline Scotland.

Get directions

Nearby forests

Green ferns

Three trails offering different stories of the forest

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Distance from 'Scolty': 3.96 miles
A man walking down a path in a green jacket with trees and grass around.

Countesswells' smaller and quieter neighbour

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking (charge)
Parking (charge)
Distance from 'Scolty': 8.80 miles
A woman in a yellow jacket standing on a wooden bridge over a river underneath a green broadleaf tree at Dunnottar Woods

Lively community wood in the grounds of Dunnottar House

Facilities and activities
Walking
Walking
Parking icon
Parking
Picnic area
Picnic area
Ancient monument
Ancient monument
Distance from 'Scolty': 9.12 miles

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

Find out more

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