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Just at the edge of Dinnet village, there’s a place where you can walk through some of Deeside’s prettiest woodlands and picnic beside a loch clothed in water lilies along with the Burn O’ Vat. And if you fancy scrambling into a granite cauldron, following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, you can do that too!

Muir of Dinnet blends woodland, heath, open water and an impressive example of nature’s sculptural work, all on one site. Visit the Burn O’ Vat and feel the rock walls swallow you up in their damp embrace, cutting you off from the outside world. Elsewhere, wander through birch woodlands, watch for the flash of a damselfly’s wings or savour the peace and tranquility of a summer reflection in the clear water of the lochs.

To climb into the Burn O’ Vat, follow the stream and keeping on the right hand side, use the stepping stones to keep above the water. Care is needed and at times of very high water levels it may not be possible to negotiate the entrance. Once inside, the immense size of the water-carved bowl becomes evident. Formed after the last ice-age, the Vat has been a popular attraction since Victorian times and has a long history as a hiding place for fugitives. When you have explored the area return by the same entrance and follow the path back down to the bridge.

The Vat was created 13,500 years ago by powerful streams of water carrying rocks and gravel towards the end of the last Ice Age.

As the ice retreated the stream became less powerful and deposited  the gravel which covers the base of the vat. No-one knows how deep the gravel is and therefore how far the rock walls go down.

Lying within the Cairngorms National Park, Muir of Dinnet has a range of enchanting walks through the woodland and around the water-filled kettle hole that forms Loch Kinord. There are four waymarked paths starting from the visitor centre. They range from just under a mile to the Burn O’Vat and up to nearly four miles on the Loch Kinord circular path. Take time to stroll through the woodland looking out for birds, animals and delicate woodland wildflowers.

palm court hotel aberdeen

Book now and join us at the Palm Court Hotel and explore the many hidden treasures near Aberdeen.  We have a range of great offers ideal for a few nights away and when you book directly with us online we also include a complimentary bottle of Prosecco within your bedroom for arrival.

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