There are many great walks in Glen Clova, which is an easily accessible part of the Cairngorms National Park, about a 45 minute drive from Dundee. This blog describes a recent walk we did up to Loch Wharral on a snowy day. Other great walks of similar length include the (more popular) Loch Brandy walk, the walk from Glen Doll to Corrie Fee or the Walk from Glen Doll along Jock’s Path to the edge of the forestry area.
Loch Wharral is in a corrie on the right hand side of Glen Clova as you drive up the valley. The route we describe here starts from the road which goes along the right hand side of the valley as you head up the valley, and starts just past some woods, about 1 km west of Wheen. There isn’t much off road parking here – simply a verge which can be quite rutted, so take care picking where you leave your car.
The walk starts by passing through a gate and heading up hill keeping the woods to your right. You quickly pass a ruin before heading up hill over glacier moraine mounds. After about 1km you get to a stream. There is a footbridge marked on maps, but it is not there at the moment, having been washed away after the recent floods, so you need to pick a sensible place to cross the river. This is pretty straightforward if you continue up with the river on your right hand side until you reach a large track. There are some stepping stones at the edge of the track which provide the easiest crossing.
From this point on there is a good Land Rover track leading up all the way to the loch, which is about a further 2km away. If you look downhill you see that this track continues to Wheen, which could provide an alternate start, although we tend to prefer the smaller paths where they exist.
After a steep section the path quickly starts to flatten out, and before long the loch comes into view, with a small private bothy in front. This would be a great place for an evening if only you could get the keys…
From here, enjoy the views of the crags at the back of the corrie, and look out for mountain hairs, ptarmigan and grouse which are normally possible to see. To complete the walk, simply retrace your outward path.
This walk took us about 3 hours, including playing in the snow for quite a while. It is on good paths throughout and is child friendly although you would need to be dedicated to take a pushchair!
In good weather it is possible to extend this walk by heading up the hill on the right hand side of the loch, to get to the top of Ben Tirran, a Corbett, before continuing in a loop around the top of the corrie, with Loch Wharral far below. A longer route still can be made by linking up this walk with the walk to Loch Brandy.