Winding Walks Forest Notice
We hope you’ve been enjoying the walking trails at your nearby forests during lockdown. As Scottish Government COVID-19 restrictions ease, we look forward to welcoming you back more fully, and are working hard to reopen our facilities as soon as safely possible.
At this location:
- The car park is open and will be free of charge.
- All mountain biking trails are closed. Before they can reopen, we need to check they are safe, carry out any necessary repairs, clear fallen trees and branches and remove fly tipping and litter.
The gazebo at the Peeps View viewpoint is not accessible at the present time due to structural issues. Please obey all safety signage.
Meander a maze of trails through the pines
The 'winding walks' are a maze of trails through the 19th century gardens of the Duke and Duchess of Gordon. Meander through open pinewoods to find striking viewpoints and monuments, or enjoy a secluded picnic beside a secret loch. Watch out for capercaillie as you explore Whiteash Wood. This is one of the few places left in the north east of Scotland where these iconic forest birds still live.
Peeps View Trail
A short loop through the forest to the gazebo tucked among the pines at Peeps Viewpoint. Enjoy impressive views over Fochabers and Strath Spey.
Wide, uneven gravel and earth surface. Some exposed tree roots and potentially muddy patches. Long moderate slopes with some fairly steep sections. Includes short flight of steps up to viewpoint.
Allow 1 hour
Small Burn Loop
Skirt around the towering firs, pines and cypresses of the 19th century woodland garden along Small Burn.
Mostly wide, firm but uneven gravel surface. Long moderate slopes for half a mile with some steeper parts.
Allow 1 hour
This circuit above the Small Burn’s dramatic steep-sided glen features a variety of exotic conifers planted by the Duke of Gordon 200 years ago. For an adventurous variation, follow the signs from the trail to the Winding Walks themselves – rugged, narrow paths designed by the Duke that criss-cross the gully below.
Secret Loch Way
Wander through the pinewoods to find secluded Longhowe Loch, a former curling pond that is a great place to picnic.
Wide, firm but uneven gravel and grassy surface. Some exposed tree roots. Long moderate slopes for 500m with fairly steep sections.
Allow 1 hour
Relax beside the loch and look out for woodland birds. Can you spot bat roosting boxes in the trees? Bats love lochs like this, where they feed on the insects zooming around over the water.
Climb through the forest to the noble cairn erected on Whiteash Hill in memory of the Duchess of Richmond. There are wonderful views across the Moray Firth.
Uneven gravel surface with slightly rocky, grassy and muddy parts. Long moderate slopes for over half a mile with some fairly steep sections. Includes some exposed tree roots.
Allow 2 hours
The longest of the trails at Winding Walks, this scenic route follows the edge of the Small Burn glen before joining narrower paths to reach the top of Whiteash Hill. Stand at the distinctive pyramidal monument and enjoy stunning views north to the mountains of Sutherland.
Time to hit the trails
Mountain bikers – the Monster Trails start here! Gear up for two of the more challenging Monster Trails, which start at the car park. For easier trails, try the blue graded Monster routes at nearby Ordiequish.
Facilities & access
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.
From Fochabers, follow the A98 east towards Buckie for about 1 mile (2km). The Winding Walks car park is on the right.
IV32 7PG is the nearest postcode.
The nearest railway station is at Keith. Regular buses link the towns and villages along the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen – Fochabers is the nearest stop. You’ll find service details at Traveline Scotland.
Get in touch
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