Expansive views, wide-ranging trails and the distinctive Scolty Tower to climb – all in beautiful Royal Deeside


Stand tall at Scolty

Just five minutes from bustling Banchory lies Scolty Hill, flanked with quiet woodlands and topped by the iconic Scolty Tower. Forest trails wander through tall larch and pine trees and are perfect for families and visitors. You can climb the hill for panoramic views over Royal Deeside and the Grampian Mountains and – if you still have energy – tackle the Tower's dizzying staircase for an even better lookout.

Download our guide to all our forests in Aberdeenshire (PDF 4.1MB) to explore Scolty and the surrounding forests.

Parking (charge) Picnic area Walking Viewpoint Mountain access

Life’s essentials

The closest public toilets (not 24 hours) are in Banchory at the Bellfield car park. Banchory also has a wide range of good cafes and restaurants, and the nearest cycle repair shop.

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

Walking trails

Cycling trails

Mountain biking trails

Scolty's low level trails give pleasant family walking or cycling, while Scolty Hill is an excellent but more energetic walk.

On yer bike

Cyclists and horse riders are welcome to use the Deeside way, a long distance path from Aberdeen to Ballater, which runs through Scolty. The route is a great way to explore the area and see sights you wouldn't from the car!

Contact: Moray and Aberdeenshire Forest District

Address: Portsoy Road, Huntly

Postcode: AB54 4SJ

Telephone: 0300 067 6200


How to get here

Scolty is a five minute drive or a 30 minute walk from the Aberdeenshire town of Banchory, on the opposite (southern) side of the River Dee.

To get to Scolty by car or by foot, start at the traffic lights in Banchory town centre. Take the B974 south (Dee Street) and cross the bridge over the River Dee. Take the first public road right (a switchback turn) and then the next public road to the left.

Near the top of the hill, turn right along a track. You'll see the Scolty welcome sign. Take the next track to the right.

Using SatNav?

AB31 6PT is the nearest postcode for Scolty.

The car park is at grid reference NO 691 950.

Public transport

Buses run regularly from Aberdeen to Banchory with a journey time of an hour. Get off in Banchory town centre and (staying on the main road until the traffic lights) walk the 1½ miles (2.5 km) to Scolty following the directions above. It should take you about half an hour. You’ll find service details at Traveline Scotland.

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For questions and complaints, please contact us directly.