The Cairnngorms offer one of the wildest and most remote landscapes in the UK. Despite this it is a superb venue for trail running with many very well maintained trails, tracks and paths leading you into the heart of the mountains, and into the heart of Britains last real wilderness. Here we describe a classic route from Linn of Dee to Corour Bothy, and return via Derry Lodge.
- Start/Finish: Linn of Dee, 5 miles West of Braemar
- Distance: 18 miles
- Height Gain: 3,000 feet
- Terrain: Good tracks and Paths with a short boggy section
- Weather: The ascent of Devil's Point requires good weather if you are going leightweight. Check MWIS forecast
- Equipment: You will be in remote areas so take all you need inclding emergency kit
- Midges: in calm damp weather take some midge spray and perhaps a net. The best solution is to keep running though!
- Map: Landranger (43) Braemar & Blair Atholl (OS Landranger Map)
If arriving by car you need to park in the large National Trust car park at Linn of Dee. From here take the track North of the over the Dee and head West towards White Bridge. This section is pretty much flat and the valley is wide and open. After a few miles you will see a hut that lies close to White Bridge, but our route stays on the East bank of the Dee, passing some delightful waterfalls and pools that would make a great swim spot on a hot day!
The route now follows a very well maintained path with a gravel surface that is springy yet drains well. This good going underfoot allows you to take in the breathtaking scenery as the route swings North and the first glimpse of Devil's Point comes into view. You will now be running through one of the oldest landscapes in the world. These mountains were formed 400 million years ago, and recent ice ages have hardly changed them, so tough is the granite.
The prominent peak that lies ahead is the highest point of the run, the Devil's Point, Actually the Devil's Point is the polite name that has become commonly used, after Queen Victoria visited the area. It's name in gaelic is the Devil's Penis. Queen Victoria's guide (Mr Brown) thought that too rude for royal ears, or he was too embarrased himself.
The path gets rougher and boggier as you approach the tiny hut that is Corrour Bothy. The metal bridge over the Dee is vital if water levels are high, and this leads you the the bothy that nestles under the impressive glistening slabs of the Devil's point The tiny hut provides welcome refuge in bad weather, but if there were more than 3 or 4 people staying it would get a bit cramped! You can find out more about the Scottish bothies at the Mountain Bothers Association. The route now ascends steeply behind the bothy, and the glistening slabs of the Devil's Point dominate the view. The stream on the right provides some good drinking water if you have run out, The climbs relents slightly before the final steep zig zags onto the plateau. You are now on the edge of the largest area of land over 3,000 feet in the UK. The mightly Cairngorm plateau stretches for miles and is the windiest, coldest place in the UK! If the weather is set fair then continue left across a few rocky sections to the top of the Devil's Point which is 1004 metres high, and the views are stunning on a clear day,
Retrace your steps back to Corrour Bothy and back over the bridge. but now take the better path that climbs around the Southern slopes of Carn A Mhaim. This is another section of excellent trail running with a well built, well drained track through amazing terrain. You eventually reach some beautiful sections of forest approaching Derry Lodge, these grand trees are remnants of the original Caledonian pine forest, over 7,000 years old. In evening light the trees are magical, but in damp calm weather you may not want to hand around as the midges can be vicious!
There are a few houses and buiding around Derry Lodge, and there are plans to revive the old lodge as tourist accommodation. The route swings South now and the going is easy although your legs might be tired by now! The bridge over the Lui Water means you don't have far to go though, and a final section of forest provides more great trail running back to the starting point.
- The wild mountain of the Cairngorm National Park The wild mountain of the Cairngorm National Park
- On the Cairngorm plateau On the Cairngorm plateau
- The Devils Point The Devils Point
- Cairngorm Map - location of trail run Cairngorm Map - location of trail run
- Corour Bothy Corour Bothy
- Bridge to Corour Bothy Bridge to Corour Bothy
- Ascent of the Devils Point Ascent of the Devils Point
- Devils Point - an iconic peak Devils Point - an iconic peak
- Route Profile Route Profile
- Evening light near Derry Lodge Evening light near Derry Lodge
- The Lairig Ghru The Lairig Ghru
- The Dee near Linn of Dee The Dee near Linn of Dee
- Route Map Route Map
- Rainbow near Derry Lodge Rainbow near Derry Lodge
29.1 km, 01:14:52