Wind down and get active in the green woods of Countesswells – natural healthy fun in Aberdeen's back garden!


Come to Countesswells

Different woodland types and a variety of short and long trails make this a very popular forest for all ages. These attractive woods were once part of the Countesswells estate and are well-established, with huge conifers creating a cathedral-like atmosphere near the car park and colourful beech, larch and pine elsewhere.

The forest trails are designed for cyclists and walkers and give gentle views over Aberdeenshire farmland and towards the city of Aberdeen. They can be combined into a memorable circular route passing through the length of the forest.

Countesswells is one of six forest areas in easy reach of Aberdeen. Why not explore the others? Our handy Forests of Aberdeenshire guide (PDF 4.1MB) has all the details.


  • All routes through Countesswells have reopened but are subject to closure at short notice due to changing weather conditions. In the event of a further closure please continue to follow all safety signage and diversions on site. Thank you for your understanding.

Parking (charge)

Life’s essentials

There are 24-hour accessible public toilets at the Library in Cults and plenty of places to eat in Cults and Bieldside.

Car parking

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.

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Countesswells is a multi-activity forest popular with walkers, runners and cyclists. Enjoy being active but be please aware of other users too. Some walkers might like to try the trails in Foggieton wood, next door.

There's a choice of routes for family cycling and walking. More experienced cyclists often combine trails into a longer ride which takes in the whole forest. For a more technically-challenging experience try the Kirkhill Mountain Bike Fun Park a few miles away.

These trails are good for joggers, runners and anyone looking to get fit in the fresh air. During the summer months orienteering events take place here and next door in Foggieton woods. Newcomers and families are welcome.

For horse-riders there's a designated waymarked horse trail which winds around the edge of the forest. Orienteering events are organised by Grampian Orienteers.

The forest is made up of several different woodlands and was formerly part of the Countesswells estate. It was once owned by the family of General Burnett, whose memorial tower crowns the top of Scolty Hill.

There are two hills within the forest – Kingshill and Rotten O'Gairn or Gairn Hill, each with its own character.

Contact: Forest Enterprise Scotland

Address: Portsoy Road, Huntly

Postcode: AB54 4SJ

Telephone: 0300 067 6200


How to get here

From Aberdeen on the A93, turn right (north) at the Bieldside church junction. Turn right again at the T-junction, then first left. The forest car park is on the left, 200 yards from the T-junction.

From Aberdeen on the A944, turn left (south) at the Kingswells roundabout. The forest car park is on your right, approx 1 mile / 1.5 km from the roundabout.

The entrance to the car park is at grid reference NJ 870 045.

Using SatNav?

AB15 8QD is the closest postcode.

Nearby places

There are more trails at Foggieton, just half a mile away.

Share your experience

For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.