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Trip report: Corrie Fee, Glen Doll, Cairngorms National Park

Corrie Fee is a national nature reserve which is located below Mayar, a Munro which is located at the top of Glen Doll/Glen Clova in the Southern Cairngorms. Corrie Fee is a great example of a corrie created during the last ice age, and has a beautiful stream flowing around and between the moraine hillocks left behind as the glacier retreated and finally vanished.

This walk is a straightforward walk along well made forestry tracks, along a waymarked route which starts at the Glen Doll car park. There are toilets and a visitor centre in the carpark and it is well worth dropping into the centre with children as they have puzzles, maps and examples of local plants and animals. It is a fascinating way to start or end your walk.

The walk starts from the car park and heads along a large forestry track, quickly reaching and then following a river. The path passes through a mix of fir plantations and indigenous trees, with regular interest from the small waterfalls and rapids in the river. There are also quirky information boards along the trail, pointing out local wildlife and other points of interest.

After some distance the path crosses the river on a large bridge. There is a shorter walk that turns back, following this side of the river which is a great alternative if little legs are already tired. The path to Corrie Fee continues up, ascending more steeply for about 1 km, before reaching a vehicle turning place. From here a smaller footpath continues straight ahead, and it is a relatively short distance to the edge of the woodland, and the start of the corrie. There is a great view, which opens up at the last minute as you climb over the final little hillock at the edge of the woods.

Depending on the weather it is lovely to carry on up the corrie a little distance further to gain the full impression of the towering cliffs all around, and the small stream which flows down the middle. There are a large number of good picnic spots, and the river would be a great place to dabble toes on a hot day.

The return route is by retracing your steps down to the large forestry track, and then on down to the bridge across the river. We would recommend following the whitewater walk back, which follows the opposite side of the river from the outbound route, and is on a slightly smaller path, giving a different feel from the outwards route.

The total trip should take 2-3 hours depending on how long you linger in the corrie. If a longer walk is desired, the walk to Corrie Fee is the start of a route up onto Mayar and Dreish, two of the easier munros in Scotland, although it is a significantly longer walk than the route described here.

Trip report

  • Location: Glen Doll, Cairngorms National Park
  • Nearest town: Kirriemuir
  • Length: About 4.5
  • Level of difficulty: Great paths which becomes a bit smaller on the final reach to the corrie with exposed tree roots etc so a bit of care should be taken.
  • What to wear: Pack waterproofs, hats etc and sturdy shoes for exposed tree roots.
  • Kid friendly: The paths are well maintained tracks, suitable for older kids (or younger ones if they want to stretch their legs for a while).  A brilliant option if you’ve got a back carrier as well.
  • Best time to visit: Any time of year is a great time to visit this area. There are so many different walks to do
  • Any tips: Car parking charges may apply so remember a bit of cash. There are picnic tables by the carpark, so remember snacks as well as there aren’t any shops nearby (thought there is a pub just up the road at Glen Clova.)
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