Loch an Eilein from Inverdruie.

Start. Inverdruie.

Route. Inverdruie - Rothiemurchus Forest - Lochan Mor - Milton Cottage - Loch an Eilein - Loch Gamhna - Achnagoichan - Upper Tullochgrue - Black Park - Inverdruie.

Notes. This was mainly a walk in the woods, not ordinary woods Caledonian Pine forests, we visited not one but three lochens en route, before ascending higher ground to be greeted with stunning views of the Cairngorm massif. Our return route descended the access road to Achnagoichan, the lane may have been tarmac but the views over Glen More and Strathspey were absolutely wonderful.

Take a close look at the map before you leave Inverdruie, the path enters woodland at the southern edge of a triangular meadow, a metal kissing gate gives the game away, for this path leads to a secret place known only to locals and the odd regular visitor, Lochan Mor possibly the most beautiful lochan in the Highlands, at this time of year alive with lilies, hence it's local name The Lily Loch. On this well trod path we wandered through a wonderful forest of Scots Pines and young Silver Birch, with various heathers and ferns lining the path edges, mosses and lichen clung to the trees, without warning Lochan Mor appeared between the slender trunks of Scots Pines.

It's hard not to sit and linger here especially with the midge population seriously depleted after a long cold winter, for us there was lots more to explore. The path lead along the northern shore before reaching Milton Cottage and the tarmac lane leading to Loch an Eilein, another gem. A quick look round the Visitors Centre before setting out along the loch shore passing the castle and yet another delightful lochan en route. We continued following the shore path, ignoring the track sign-posted Lairig Ghru before fording a small burn, another obvious path on the right we ignored as our route followed the next not so obvious one disappearing into the woodland, we ascended to the east, as the pines thinned the views over Rothiemurchus and Glen More open up. The walk over high ground was delightful but short lived as we soon reached Achnagoichan, a modern bungalow sitting amidst pine plantations.

Our route followed the access lane, on reaching Whitewell we stepped onto tarmac, this lane was to guide us down hill on the short walk back to Inverdruie, with stunning views to the north and east it was easy to forget we were descending a tarmac lane in the heart of the Cairngorms.

view route map.


Seen from a clearing in the trees, Craigellachie.

Looking to the sylvan slopes of Torr Alvie, the monument is the Duke of Gordon's Monument erected in 1840 in memory of the 5th Duke of Gordon, he must of been a popular bloke it's not the only one in Strathspey.

Striding out on a wonderful path through the Rothiemurchus Forest, anyone for the gaelic translation, "the grand plane of the fir trees".

At least in this kind of pine forest the sunlight reaches below the canopy.


This is the first gem we've come to visit, "hush keep it to yourself" Lochan Mor.

Lochan Mor locally known as The Lily Loch.

Milton Cottage seen from the narrow tarmac lane leading to Loch an Eilein.

Across Loch an Eilein, Creag Dhubh.

Time for another gaelic translation, Loch an Eilein,"loch of the island", strange because the castle was once connected to the shore by a causeway lost when the water level was raised in the 18th century, The castle was once the stronghold of the Wolf of Badenoch, sounds a nice chap, Alexander Stewart or Alisdair Mor muc an Righ was evil, he died on the island around the end of the 15th century, legend tells us after loosing a game of chess with the devil.

No castle to kindle the imagination just another beautiful loch....

....Loch Gemhna looking south.

This was taken from our lunch stop at Inshriach, viewing the castle on Loch an Eilein with the heavily wooded slopes of Ord Ban rising to the left.

Seen through the trees Loch an Eilein.

On higher ground looking to the south-west.

Stunning views over a wonderful wilderness.

Views to the east, somewhere under the trees Loch an Eilein.

Cairn Gorm stands in the distance with snow still laying in it's northern corrie's, in the centre of the shot Creag an Leth-choir.

Sunlight on the precipitous Lairig Ghru face of Creag an Leth-choin.

Cairn Gorm Mountain seen from near Upper Tullochgrue.

A wonderful old building in a sorry state Upper Tullochgrue.

On the short descent to Blackpark with a stunning view over Loch Garten and the Spey Valley.

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