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Could Bennachie be the most loved hill in Britain?

Bennachie in Aberdeenshire has been chosen by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to feature in its series of Discovering Britain walks.

Bennachie in Aberdeenshire has been chosen by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to feature in its series of Discovering Britain walks.

Bennachie has been chosen by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) to feature in its series of Discovering Britain walks.

The walk - entitled ‘The most loved hill in Britain?’ - recognises the local and regional significance of this iconic landmark.

Though small in comparison with the nearby Cairngorms, Bennachie stands out from the surrounding landscape and holds plenty of geographical secrets.

Starting and finishing at the Bennachie Centre, near Chapel of Garioch, the six-mile route passes through forested lower slopes, out onto heather moorland and up to several of the hill’s granite tors.

The walk was created in collaboration with the Bailies of Bennachie, Forestry Commission Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council Ranger Service and the Bennachie Landscapes project. It is self-guided, with a free booklet and audio guide available for download at www.discoveringbritain.org

The informative commentary explains how local landscapes have been shaped by natural forces and human intervention.

It also features stories, legends and poems which record local people’s love for the hill.

Walkers will discover how natural resources - such as peat, timber and stone - have been extracted and how communities have made themselves at home on the hill since prehistoric times.

RGS-IBG director, Dr Rita Gardner, says: “2013 has been the ‘Year of Natural Scotland’ celebrating the country’s stunning natural and historic landscapes.

“Bennachie is certainly one of these. By covering everything from geology to folklore, this walk helps to explain why Bennachie is such an iconic hill and holds such a special place in people’s hearts.”

Michael Palin, immediate past president of the society, says: “All too often we forget that travel doesn’t have to include trains and boats and planes.

“As Discovering Britain shows, some of the world’s most varied, spectacular and accessible landscapes are only a strong pair of boots away. Discovering Britain brings our country to life, beneath your feet.”

 

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