We went on a lovely, long walk in Ballater today called the Seven Bridges. We extended it slightly to Knock Castle and all up we think it was around 6.5 miles.
The walk starts at the old train station and follows the main road out of town towards Braemar initially, before turning left onto Invercauld Road and then right along a path the follows the River Dee.
It passes lots of farm land, including some farm houses and we saw some fat, happy chickens.
As the name suggests there are lots of bridges on this walk including the Polhollick suspension bridge, built in 1892 by Alexander Gordon of Kent.
The walk is reasonably flat with lots of places to sit and rest.
The views are a lovely rural mix of farmland, rivers, hills, and forest.
Knock Castle is a small detour towards the end of the walk and well worth the extra effort. It is up a hill with nice views from the top. It was built in the 16th century and was used as a home for the laird and his family.
It was owned by the Gordons, the last of whom came to a tragic demise falling down the stairs after learning that his seven sons had been killed by the Forbes family who the Gordons had an ongoing feud with at the time.
The castle really is in a lovely spot and not too big. It’s only a 40-minute walk from Ballater, on a lovely hill with views of forest and hills on all sides. Elizabeth says when she’s rich she’ll buy it and name it Martin Manor. It will have a cinema with a popcorn machine, a library, and an outdoor hot tub.
And here’s the River Dee with the village of Ballater to the left.