Linn o' Dee
Linn o' Dee
A famous beauty spot, much favoured by Queen Victoria. The River Dee runs through a narrow channel and drops into rocky pools below. There are walking trails through the woods and picnic spots beside the falls.
The road runs around the top of the Linn, over a lovely Gothic-style bridge, built by the 5th Earl of Mar and officially opened by Queen Victoria in 1857. The slopes rise steeply on either side, with tall stands of larch and pine looming high above the rushing water and helping to create an intimate atmosphere. The river runs for 300 metres through the natural gorge carved through the surrounding rock over millennia by the action of the water.

You can follow paths along the river and trace the route of the water as it tumbles down the narrow, twisting channel carved deep into the rock. When you see the narrow passage it is hard to imagine that mountaineer John Menlove Edwards once swam through the Linn when the Dee was in spate.

The Linn o' Dee is part of the National Trust for Scotland's Mar Lodge Estate, which takes in a vast tract of land at the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. A walk along Glen Lui from the car park takes you to Derry Lodge, a Victorian shooting lodge built by the Duke of Fife, presently unused. On the way you pass through a mix of tree plantations and ancient Caledonian pine forest.

The Linn o' Dee has a reputation as one of Scotland's coldest places. I came here on a November day and did not find it particularly cold, but then, November isn't the height of winter, either!

One final note: the National Trust for Scotland car park is pay and display, but as far as we could tell there is no time limit on a stay, so you could theoretically park for as long as you like. Or, if you are a Trust member you can stay for free.