Walk 201 – Kirkton of Kinnettles Circular, Angus – 4 miles

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The view from the highest point of the walk – over the fields and far away. You can make out Kinnettles Castle set in the forest to the right of the photo.

A peaceful countryside stroll on the hilly farmland behind the hamlet of Kirkton near Glamis, Angus. This is an easy walk on good tracks and quiet roads, can be boggy at times. A gentle uphill gradient at first, the reward being fine views across the farmland towards Kinnettles Castle and the Cairngorms National Park.

Dog-friendly walk (note approx 1km near the end is along B9127 which has no pavement)

On-street parking in the village of Kirkton, Kerbet Valley (DD8 1TQ). Local bus services stop on B9127 at Kirkton of Kinnettles.

Route: There is only one residential street in Kirkton. Starting here, walk S down past the row of cottages to the end of the street where there is a bridge over the Kerbet Water. Follow the track, keeping right (S) at a fork. The track zig zags its way uphill. Shortly after passing Mains of Foffarty turn right (W). You will reach a cottage called Wester Foffarty where you should turn left (S) onto a minor road. Turn left again at the top of the road and continue along this quiet, pleasant road. From this elevated position there are lovely views across the fields and over to the hills of the Cairngorms. After approx 1.6km, turn left (N) down past West Mains. The road zig zags its way downhill to cross the Kerbet Water at Carterhaugh Cottage and leads you out onto B9127 at Mains of Kinnettles. Cross the B9127 and turn left (NW) to walk along this road for just over half a mile. Take care as this is a national speed limit area and there is no pavement (though there is a fairly good grass verge). Shortly after passing Kinnettles Castle high up to your right, look out for a left turn onto a gravel track. This takes you down to the fully-restored Kinnettles Mill (private residence) and across a footbridge. Turn right (N) after crossing the bridge and retrace your steps back to Kirkton.

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When you are staying in a cottage in a tiny village with one street and notice a footpath at the end of the street, you’ve got to explore, right?! Well being Gillian from Gillian’s Walks, yes, yes I did! We had just over an hour before we needed to leave for our posh dinner booking in Dundee and looking at my map I saw a loop we could do starting from our street. About 4km I estimated. The perfect way to spend that hour I thought. Hmmm…. it turned out to be more like 6.5km so it was a bit of a rush towards the end BUT it was a lovely walk AND thank goodness I am a low maintenance dinner date as we only had about 3 minutes to get ready once “home”!

Immediately we were out in the countryside on a rough track heading gently uphill. The track seemed to be pretty well worn considering the postage stamp size of Kirkton. Surrounded by fields of crops, we were lucky enough to spot a hare bounding across one of them, and a deer in another. The highlight was the red squirrel crossing the road in front of us! We are used to seeing greys in Ayrshire where we live, so seeing a native (and endangered) red is always very exciting. The views extended further the higher we went, with Kinnettles Castle dominating and a backdrop of the cloud-covered mountains of the Cairngorms National Park .

We hardly met a soul whilst out, only a couple of people walking dogs. In fact we met both of them at the same place at the same time, their dogs getting into a tangle of leads in the middle of the road as they excitedly greeted each other.

So all in all a lovely peaceful setting – even more so if you don’t have to jog the last 2km! Though my husband was spurred on a fair bit by the very pungent “countryside smell” when we reached Mains of Kinnettles. Phhhhhheeeeeeewwwweeeeeeeee!

The quaint hamlet of Kirkton. You can just about see the upright barriers of a bridge at the very end of this road – this is where the track begins.
Up up and up we go. Tracks like this always make me think of old drove roads. Perhaps this is one….
The track becomes road after a while. At the time of our visit the purple heather was in full bloom – as can be seen on the hillside here. The tall pink flowers on the roadside verge are rosebay willowherb, abundant at this time of year, creating a brilliant habitat for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
19th century Kinnettles Castle, now a luxury hotel and wedding venue. It can be seen off in the distance for much of this walk and then admired from up close as you walk along the B9127 towards the end. This is the view across the lawn from the B road.

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