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Glenlivet, Tomintoul and Upper Strathdon

Glenlivet, Tomintoul and Upper Strathdon

To the east of the main Cairngorms are the upper reaches of Glenlivet and Strathdon - still part of the National Park but an area with a completely different character. The landscape here is one of hills rather than mountains - great rounded domes of heather, their sides made into patchwork patterns by heather burning and plantations.

Glenlivet is best known for its many whisky distilleries, this being the heart of the Speyside distilling region, but the estate, owned by the Crown, has waymarked a good number of routes for walkers, varied from wild moors to serene valleys. For walks further down the glens, see the separate Moray section for lower Glenlivet, or Alford for lower Strathdon.


FEATURE: a Black Grouse lek in pictures

FEATURE: a Black Grouse lek in pictures

Once seen, the sight of a black grouse in the hills is rarely forgotten. One of Scotland’s four grouse species (the others are red grouse, ptarmigan and capercaillie), the Black Grouse was a game bird but after years of decline is on the red list for its endangered status – with only 5,100 males left in the UK at the latest survey. There are reasons to be optimistic though, with recovery in some areas following positive land management...

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.