17/07/2013
Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

An expert guide to walking in the Angus Glens

abf3e706-0268-4af6-a5f8-fca2d6c23c6a

 Author and walk expert James Carron shares his tips for making the most of the Angus Glens on foot.

It is often said that the five main glens of Angus – Isla, Clova, Prosen, Lethnot and Esk – radiate from Strathmore deep into the southern ranges of the Cairngorms National Park like the fingers and thumb of a giant hand. Each has its own distinct character and together they offer walkers exceptional variety.

Glen Clova is the most popular and, as it is home to the Glen Doll Ranger Base, where a wealth of expert advice and information is freely available. It is an excellent place to start exploring. From the car park at the end of the public road, Glen Doll and the valley of the River South Esk offer access to a clutch of Munros (Scottish mountains over 3,000ft high). The peaks of Driesh and Mayar are a fine introduction for those looking to bag their first Munros.

While many walkers make a beeline for the high contours, there are lots of less well-trod trails, ancient stalkers’ paths and drove routes, like Jock’s Road, the Capel Mounth and Kilbo Path, providing quiet ways through and over the hills.


The glens are a product of the Ice Age, glaciers the architects of the landscape. In their wake, these snaking rivers of ice left behind well-sculpted peaks, deep u-shaped valleys and cavernous corries. The neighbouring corries where Loch Brandy and Loch Wharral nestle are particularly striking examples and there are well-trod paths to both. The rocky amphitheatre of Corrie Fee, above Glen Doll, is one of the best examples of a moraine landscape in Scotland and is home to rare alpine plants.

Glen Prosen and Glen Isla

To the south of Clova, Glen Prosen is a sparsely populated valley where lower hills and empty moorland offer an escape from the crowds. The line of low hills separating Clova and Prosen is one of the best ridge walks in the county. Glen Isla is the most westerly of the glens and it is a land of contrasts. Following the River Isla upstream from the turbulent waterfalls at Reekie Linn, the terrain is initially benign; gentle slopes of woodland and pasture hide fishing lochs and reservoirs.

At its northern end, however, the glen has a much wilder atmosphere. Here hill tracks and stalkers’ paths rise to the summits of Glas Maol and Creag Leacach (both Munros) while remote Canness Glen and Caenlochan Glen are the domain of wild animals like red deer and mountain hare.

‘Wild and lonely’ landscapes

Heading northeast, back over Prosen and Clova, Glen Lethnot is wild and lonely, the valley offers a tempting array of tracks and paths on to less-well frequented lower hills.
Completing the set, Glen Esk lies on the periphery of the Grampian Mountains. It is a long, snaking valley, fifteen-miles of twisting tarmac ending just short of Invermark Lodge, a classic mid-Victorian shooting lodge overlooking Loch Lee.

Sloping up from the road, the Mounth Hills form a frontier between Angus and Aberdeenshire. All worthy of ascent, they steadily gain in height until Mount Keen, the most easterly of the Munros, is reached. Below the tops, old byways – once busy trading routes – are now the preserve of walkers and backpackers.

The Angus Glens combine to offer the walker a rich blend of landscape, geology and natural habitat. The scenery is exceptionally varied and the views nothing short of awe-inspiring. There is also a profusion of plants, birds and wildlife, including rare species such as the wildcat, red squirrel and pine marten.



While they may feel rugged and remote, all five glens are remarkably easy to access and, thanks to the A90, are within easy reach of the cities of Dundee and Aberdeen.

James Carron is the author of Walking in the Angus Glens, published by Cicerone.

 


  Sign up now for our FREE e-newsletter for more news stories, sneak previews, exclusive content and special offers.

Back to "Features" Category

17/07/2013 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

James Stewart Earl of Moray was assassinated - On this day in history

James Stewart, Earl of Moray, regent for James VI, was assassinated by a firearm on 23 January 1570. ...


Margaret of Denmark: an enigmatic queen - exclusive free read from History Scotland

Dr Amy Hayes explores the life of Margaret of Denmark, wife of James III, mother of James IV and possibly the ...


Scottish MP Joseph Hume was born - On this day in history

Scottish MP Joseph Hume, who founded the memorial to the Scottish Political Martyrs in Edinburgh, was born on ...


Scottish theologian George Gillespie was born - On this day in history

Church leader George Gillespie was born on 21 January 1613 in Kirkcaldy.


Other Articles

Inventor and engineer James Watt was born - On this day in history

James Watt, inventor of the condensor, which helped make the Industrial Revolution possible, was born on 19 ...


Sir John Pringle died - On this day in Scottish history

Sir John Pringle, President of the Royal Society and physician to King George III, died on 18 January 1782. ...


The Duddingston Curling Society was founded - On this day in history

On 17 January 1795, the Duddingston Curling Society became the first formally organised curling club in the ...


Restored Mary Queen of Scots statue to take pride of place in Linlithgow in time for Month of MQS

A much-loved statue of Mary Queen of Scots has been restored and will be on display at Linlithgow Museum, as ...