Meander a maze of trails
The 'winding walks' are a maze of trails through the 19th century gardens of the Duke of Gordon. Meander through open pinewoods to find striking viewpoints and monuments, enjoy a secluded picnic beside a secret loch and watch out for capercaillie. The car park is also the starting point for two thrilling Moray Monster mountain bike trails!
You'll find information about other forests in Moray in our guide.
Please note, tree felling work is taking place at Winding walks. All work should be complete by the end of April. The work will result in some general disruption to access, with temporary closures of some routes.
Please follow instructions on any signage encountered. We will attempt to minimise the disruption while we do this essential work.
Please note, parking charges are as follows:
- £1 for up to 1 hour
- £1.50 for up to 3 hours
- £2 for all day
- £8 for minibus and coach all day
Season passes are also available. For more information please contact us.
Peeps View Trail
A short loop through the forest to the gazebo tucked among the pines at Peeps Viewpoint. Enjoy impressive views over Fochabers and Strath Spey.
Wide, uneven gravel and earth surface. Some exposed tree roots and potentially muddy patches. Long moderate slopes with some fairly steep sections. Includes short flight of steps up to viewpoint.
1 ½ miles / 2.3 km Allow 1 hour
Small Burn Loop
Skirt around the towering firs, pines and cypresses of the 19th century woodland garden along Small Burn.
Mostly wide, firm but uneven gravel surface. Long moderate slopes for half a mile with some steeper parts.
1 ½ miles / 2.4 km Allow 1 hour
This circuit above the Small Burn’s dramatic steep-sided glen features a variety of exotic conifers planted by the Duke of Gordon 200 years ago. For an adventurous variation, follow the signs from the trail to the Winding Walks themselves – rugged, narrow paths designed by the Duke that criss-cross the gully below.
Secret Loch Way
Wander through the pinewoods to find secluded Longhowe Loch, a former curling pond that is a great place to picnic.
Wide, firm but uneven gravel and grassy surface. Some exposed tree roots. Long moderate slopes for 500m with fairly steep sections.
1 ¾ miles / 3.0 km Allow 1 hour
Relax beside the loch and look out for woodland birds. Can you spot bat roosting boxes in the trees? Bats love lochs like this, where they feed on the insects zooming around over the water.
Climb through the forest to the noble cairn erected on Whiteash Hill in memory of the Duchess of Richmond. There are wonderful views across the Moray Firth.
Uneven gravel surface with slightly rocky, grassy and muddy parts. Long moderate slopes for over half a mile with some fairly steep sections. Includes some exposed tree roots.
3 miles / 4.9 km Allow 2 hours
The longest of the trails at Winding Walks, this scenic route follows the edge of the Small Burn glen before joining narrower paths to reach the top of Whiteash Hill. Stand at the distinctive pyramidal monument and enjoy stunning views north to the mountains of Sutherland.
Mountain biking trails
The maze of waymarked and informal trails here criss-crosses part of the 19th century gardens of Charles Gordon-Lennox, 1st Duke of Gordon, of nearby Gordon Castle. Look out for many exotic specimen trees that the Duke planted here 200 years ago, and enjoy stunning views over the Moray Firth from the dramatic pyramid-shaped monument at the top of Whiteash Hill. It commemorates Charles’s wife Frances, the Duchess of Richmond.
Watch out for capercaillie as you explore Whiteash Wood. This is one of the few places left in the north east of Scotland where these iconic forest birds still live.
How to get here
From Fochabers, follow the A98 east towards Buckie for about 1 mile (2km). The Winding Walks car park is on the right.
The car park is at grid reference NJ 358 585.
IV32 7PG is the nearest postcode.
The nearest railway station is at Keith. Regular buses link the towns and villages along the A96 between Inverness and Aberdeen – Fochabers is the nearest stop. You’ll find service details at Traveline Scotland.
Visit nearby Fochabers for refreshments, shopping and toilets (and don’t miss the Fochabers Folk Museum).
Want more walking? If you’re looking for a short, easy stroll that’s suitable for everyone, then head to Balnacoul Wood at Mosstodloch. For another short but more challenging walk, visit the Earth Pillars, strange natural standing stones at Ordiequish.
Mountain bikers will find more exciting Moray Monster Trails at Ordiequish too.
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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.