One of Aberdeenshire’s most well-known spots, a favourite amongst hikers and weekend strollers alike, Loch Muick stands proud in the heart of the Cairngorms. Every time I visit I’m always amazed by how beautiful it is, regardless of the weather. It was the first time I’d visited in 2021, the last time I had been was last summer when I tacked 4 of the 5 Munros the loch boasts. Determined to get my walking boots back on ahead of taking on more mountains this year, I set off with my dog one day to do one of my most favourite walks in the whole of Aberdeenshire. We started at the car park at Glen Muick, which costs £3 and set off towards the loch.

On this particular Monday, the loch was covered in mist, making it look almost shrouded in mystery. The tops of the mountains surrounding the water had vanished, even the mighty Lochnagar was nowhere to be seen. We set off firstly going over the bridge on the easier path towards Glas Allt Shiel. Most people go the other way round, taking on the rough, rocky path anti-clockwise around the loch, however I always prefer to go clockwise around.

It was a quiet day with not many other walkers going about. The car park had been busy, but it’s a good starting point for those wanting to climb a Munro. There is a grand total of 5 that can be tackled, known as the White Mounth Munros. These are Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Cairn Bannoch, Broad Cairn, and the largest of them all, Lochnagar, standing proud at 1155 meters.

The quietness of the loch did give us a chance to admire the wildlife the area boasts. We were even taken by surprise at one stage when we looked up and saw about 3 massive stags on the banks just above us. They didn’t look that bothered about seeing us or the dogs, knowing that they would most definitely come out as winners if a challenge arose.

We stopped for a lunch break at the glorious setting of Glas Allt Shiel. This is a hunting lodge on the banks of the loch, completed in 1868 for use by Queen Victoria. She had previously used a lodge further north called Allt Na Giubhsaich, however after her husband Albert died she couldn’t stand to stay there anymore. Glas Allt Shiel was subsequently extended and t became known as ‘The Widow’s Hut’. Today, the lodge is still owned by the current Queen and even has its own bothy behind it. When venturing up Lochnagar, a path down from the mountain takes you out behind this lodge.

It was a quiet day with not many other walkers going about. The car park had been busy, but it’s a good starting point for those wanting to climb a Munro. There is a grand total of 5 that can be tackled, known as the White Mounth Munros. These are Carn a’Choire Bhoidheach, Carn an t-Sagairt Mor, Cairn Bannoch, Broad Cairn, and the largest of them all, Lochnagar, standing proud at 1155 meters.
The quietness of the loch did give us a chance to admire the wildlife the area boasts. We were even taken by surprise at one stage when we looked up and saw about 3 massive stags on the banks just above us. They didn’t look that bothered about seeing us or the dogs, knowing that they would most definitely come out as winners if a challenge arose.

The day got better as we walked around the loch, becoming warm and sunny and the cool water in the loch was becoming very tempting to jump into. The mountains could now all be seen, and it was amazing to look around and think that I had climbed each of these peaks.

If you haven’t been before, then I’d strongly recommend it. You don’t have to be an experienced walker to tackle this, but so long as you have a free day (it takes about 3 hours) and plenty of food and water you’ll have a great time.

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