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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.

Winding Walks

Where we are

Winding Walks Forest Notice

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.
  • All mountain biking trails are open.

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.


The gazebo at the Peeps View viewpoint is not accessible at the present time due to structural issues.

How was your visit to Winding Walks? Tell us in our short visitor survey. Your opinons are a huge help when planning for the future.

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.

You can find out about the history of Fochabers, and the Duke and Duchess' association with the historic Gordon Chapel, at the nearby Folk Museum in Fochabers.

Our guide to Moray's forests (PDF 2.5MB)

How was your visit?

Were you wandering our walking routes? Looking for an adrenaline fix on our mountain biking trails? Or kicking back with some tasty food and drink in our picnic area? We'd love to hear what you thought of your visit to Winding Walks.

Complete our short survey

Walking trails

Walking

Peeps View Trail

A trail notice is in effect

The gazebo at the Peeps View viewpoint is not accessible at the present time due to structural issues.

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.

Moderate
1 ½ miles / 2.3 km

Allow
1 hour

Walking

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.

Moderate
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

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.

Walking

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.

Moderate
1 ¾ miles / 3.0 km

Allow
1 hour

More information

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.

Walking

Monument Trail

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.

Moderate
3 miles / 4.9 km

Allow
2 hours

More information

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.

Activities

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 (charge)
Parking (charge)
Picnic area
Picnic area
Campervan parking
Campervan parking

Car parking

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

From Fochabers, follow the A98 east towards Buckie for about 1 mile (2km). The Winding Walks car park is on the right.

Using SatNav?

IV32 7PG is the nearest postcode.

Public transport

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 directions

Get in touch

Have a question or suggestion for improvement?

Phone
0300 067 6380 (option 2)
More contact information

Share your experience

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