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Glen Clova

Glens Of Angus
Glens of Angus (Scottish Glens S.)

Angus Guide
Fife, Perthshire and Angus (Exploring Scotland's Heritage S.)


Lochnagar, Glen Muick and Glen Clova: Ballater and Balmoral
(Explorer Maps)


Tour Scotland, Glen Clova

South-east of the Cairngorms, across the river Dee, past Braemar, across the Balmoral Forest and over and below
Lochnagar (3.786 feet). we come to Glen Clova. which follows the South Esk river to Cortachy and Strathmore. The glen is notable for its magniticent rock scenery
and for its many rare shrubs and ferns.

The South Esk rises on the slopes around Fafernie (3,274 feet) and reaches the sea at Montrose. The southern
approaches to the glen are well served by the B.955 road which loops up from Cortachy, running along both banks of the river as far as Clova village. On the northern bank of the river, just beyond this hamlet, are the remains of an old castle, once the seat of the Ogilvies.

A lesser road runs up the glen on the north side of the river as far as Braedownie and here the glen divides
into a V-shaped fork with the line of the South Esk coming down from the north above Bachnagairn and the line of the White Water falling from the heights of Tolmount (3,145 feet) to the west.

It is along this latter valley that the track passes into the gorge between Craig Mellon and Craig Rennet before turning away to mount the slopes which skirt around Tolmount itself. Known as Jock’s Road, this is the old sheep-herders track from the northern Highlands and if
followed up breasts the top of the climb between the Cairn of Claise and Fafernie and then plunges down again into the valley of Glen Callater with its lovely little loch. At the northern end of Loch Callater the roadway proper
recommences after a gap of twelve miles and follows the river valley down into Glen Clunie and on to Braemar.

To the south-west of Jock’s road rises the series of mountains that overlook Devil’s Elbow and the Cairnwell
road from their lofty western faces, Carn an Tuirc (3,340 feet) Glas Maol (3,502 feet) and Carn Ait (2,824 feet). An eastern spur of Glas Maol is Monega Hill (2,917 feet) which overlooks Shielin at the head of Glen Isla.

The river Muick rises on Cairn Taggart (3,430 feet) to flow east through Dubh Loch and Loch Muick before
turning north down Glen Muick to join the Dee near Ballater. This is an area beloved and made famous by Queen Victoria, who spent many happy times exploring the mountains and glens beyond the Balmoral Forest. On the shores of Loch Muick in 1869 the shooting lodge of
Glas-Ailt was built for her use. She recorded her experiences in her Journal of Our Life in Scotland and it was her affection for the Highlands that did so much to stimulate tourist interest in Scotland in later years.

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