Mount Battock from Clachnaben

Clachnaben and Mount Battock

Clachnaben and Mount Battock from Glen Dye

Heading from Glen Dye to Mount Battock via the granite tor of Clachnaben makes for an enjoyable hike on an elevated expanse. Clachnaben Hill Race is also outlined on this page.

Route outline


Mount Battock

Ascent 1050m (3440ft)
Distance 25km (16m)
Time 8:00hr
Start/finish Glen Dye car park
Grid Ref : NO649869
easy hard
easy hard
easy hard
ok fab

South of Deeside, this route begins from Bridge of Dye, heading up the granite tor of Clachnaben. Beyond this scrambly little rocky wart, the route stays high enabling vast views to be taken in while hiking over an elevated heather-clad moorland expanse to Mount Battock.

Taking place in April, the Clachnaben Hill Race is a tough event tracing faint trods through much muck, marsh and heather over a distance of 14km. Details of the route are described below.

Route map

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Route description

1. Getting to Glen Dye

At the Glen Dye car-park

At the Glen Dye car-park

The B974 travels from the A90 near Montrose, through Fettercairn, over Cairn o' Mount to Banchory on Deeside. Glen Dye car-park is on this road, around 12km south-west of Banchory.

The car-park can accommodate around 15 vehicles. If full, there are a few roadside parking spots to the north, but none nearby to the south. The surface of the car-park can be very mucky after rain !

2. Clachnaben

Mount Battock from Glen Dye

Mount Battock from Glen Dye

In the car-park there is a notice board and to the left of this therre is a wide footpath heading westwards through forestry. Hike along this path as it climbs gently, then drops down to meet a track by the boundary wall of Glendye Lodge. Continue down the track, through a gate in a deer fence and cross Mill Burn .

Turning right (west), the track heads towards woodland, crossing a few footbridges on the way to meet a gate . Through the gate, there's a information board just before entering woodland. A path continues through the woodland (ignore any fainter paths on your right), towards Mill Burn once more.

The path begins to turn north-west and trace the edge of the woodland up to the source of Mill Burn. Now out of the woodland and suffering from erosion, the path climbs more steeply through heather aiming for the col between Clachnaben and Mount Shade. Higher up, the path veers away from the col, instead making a direct line for Clachnaben's summit tor .

Approaching Clachnaben's granite tor, there doesn't seem to be an easy line up the rock, but stick with the path as it turns around the back (west) of the tor, to where an obvious and easy line leads up. If wet and windy a fair bit of care will be needed to clamber up this !

Clachnaben summit

Clachnaben summit

An airy viewpoint indeed, giving an uninterrupted vista of all around. Mount Battock looks a fair distance away !

Clachnaben summit

Clachnaben summit

3. Mount Battock

Mount Battock from the east

Mount Battock from the east

Around 100m west of Clachnaben's granite tor is a trig point - to make a start on the journey to Mount Battock, aim for this on a rough path. Beyond the trig point, head to a small collection of granite lumps, then downhill, south-west on the path, aiming for Hill of Edendocher.

On the gentle climb up Hill of Edendocher, the path meets the start of a track and this is followed to the top of this minor summit , where there is a junction. Turn right and follow the track westwards for 1km to another junction, this time on of the top of Sandy Hill .

At the junction, keep right, aiming west, follow the track for a further 2km to come to yet another junction . This junction is worth noting as the track heading off left could be used as an escape route in bad weather down to Glen Dye.

Continuing west, the track passes a gillie's shelter with Mount Battock now in full uninterupted view ahead. The track meanders for a bit, passing another shelter, then reaches the base of Mount Battock from where it travels uphill rising around 100m to a point where it turns vaguely north-west and levels out . Here a series of old wooden posts travel off left and uphill, aside which is a worn footpath - this followed for around 1km all the way to Mount Battock's summit .

Mount Battock's summit

Mount Battock's summit

A trig point marks Mount Battock's summit, beside which is a cairn with a large stone dyke to shelter out of winds. A fence line runs up from the west and turns south by the summit over which a style can be used to cross.

Mount Battock's summit

Mount Battock's summit

4. Return

Clachnaben on the return from Mount Battock

Clachnaben on the return from Mount Battock

A couple of options present themselves for a return through sheltered Glen Dye. One possibility would be to head due south from Mount Battock's summit, cross Hill of Saughs, then drop on heather clad ground to the Water of Dye.

Alternatively, from Mount Battock's summit, retrace your steps eastwards, dropping down to the estate track, to follow to the junction just past the gillie's huts , from where turn right and descend on a fine track into Glen Dye.

As weather was crisp and clear on my last visit, with the sun setting over a wintry landscape, I simply retraced my route back over Clachnaben to the Glen Dye car-park.

5. Clachnaben Hill Race

Clachnaben Hill Race (pic by Alan Young)

Clachnaben Hill Race (pic by Alan Young)

Taking place in April, this is a tough but well-marked race on tracks, paths and through deep heather. With an ascent of 700m over 14km, fastest times in good conditions are just over an hour (see dashed line on map).

The race starts from 6km north of Bridge of Dye in the middle of forest and heads north-east for a short distance along a track to spread the runners. Turning right (south-east) onto a rough path, various obstacles including fallen logs, marsh and burns are encountered as the route progressively turns south to reach a decent forestry track .

The forestry track is followed for a mere 500m before the route turns west following a trod through felled forest and directly up the slopes of Craigangower. Once on the crest of Craigangower, the route follows a faint, mucky trod through thick heather all the way to the summit of Mount Shade , some 2.5km away.

Turning southwards, a quick descent following another mucky trod through heather, loses around 200m of height to reach the forestry above Black Hillocks . A faint path tracing the edge of the forestry is followed to meet with the Clachnaben path , which is followed to Clachnaben's summit tor .

Runners are directed around the tor to pick up an obvious trod heading northwards through more heather. If race participants thought it was mucky earlier, it's about to get worse !

The route crosses Wester Burn , then turns north-east to follow what looks like to have been an old track. So soggy and marshy, it can be difficult just staying upright ! At last, a decent track is met on the approach to forestry and this is followed towards the finish.

But there's a wee sting in the tail - 1km from the end, runners are directed off the track and onto a vague trod to head up the little summit of Ord of Cuttieshillock. This last uphill done, it's a 500m blast over more muck to the finish, where much refreshment awaits !

Route profile »

Maps and GPX downloads »

This route straddles two maps in the OS Landranger series and two in the OS Explorer series. Harvey don't currently produce a map of the area.

Information on maps and GPX files is on this page.

The map images above link to items on Amazon. A small commission is earned on any map purchased which helps fund the operating costs of this website.

Weather forecasts »

Alternative and nearby routes »

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Time : 4:40hr

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