Delgatie woods and castle
Route type: Gentle Walk
Distance: 3.88km, 2.41 miles. Like (1)
A short forestry walk through mixed woodland and forestry plantations with an uphill section and a good view of Delgatie Castle which can be visited from the walk.
The car park for Delgaty Woods is found by following the signs for Delgatie Castle. From Turriff take the A947 north, then turn right onto a minor road signed for the castle, the entrance is 2km further on. At the car park is an information board with two waymarked Forestry Commission walks - this route combines them to provide a longer route. The castle can be visited by following the driveway a little further on - it is privately owned and open all year round and has a cafe. From the car park start by heading up the steps and following the red waymarkers. Watch out for red squirrels which can often be seen in this part of the woods.
Almost immediately there is a short detour to the right to view the ice house. This brick-built arched structure would have been used for storing blocks of ice which were used to keep perishable food and also for making ice cream and ice for drinks. Ice would either have been made in the nearby pond and stored for months in the ice house or sometimes imported from Scandanavia. Continue up the path; the next smaller path off to the right is worth a short detour for a view of Delgatie Castle.
The castle dates back to 1030 although most of the building visible today was constructed around 1570 with later wings and a chapel added in 1743. Delgatie has some of the finest painted ceilings in Scotland dating from 1592 to 1597. It is said to be haunted, with a number of soldiers who were stationed there during the second world war reporting sightings of a red haired ghostly man. Return to the main path and continue as it climbs steeply uphill through the woods. The path swings right, then left - keep following the main route with the marker posts.
Eventually the main path curves right again. Continue to a crossroads of paths, and then take a left on a path marked with blue posts.
This winds through the trees until turning right and continuing to reach close to the edge of the forestry plantation. Here the route turns right; there is a slight dogleg right before the route eventually reaches a car park.
Continue downhill until a track is reached; turn right here to reach the trout fishery at Delgaty Loch where there are some fine beech trees. From here it is only a short walk along the track to return to the car park.