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River Don Information Guide

The River Don Aberdeensire

The River Don is a river in north east Scotland, rising up into the Cairngorm National Park and flowing 135km East flowing through Aberdeenshire, to the North Sea at Aberdeen.

The Don passes through Alford, Kemnay, Inverurie, Kintore, and Dyce. Its main tributary, the River Ury, joins at Inverurie.

The Don is Scotland’s 6th largest river draining a catchment of 1312km squared. Home to a range of freshwater species, which include Salmon, Sea trout, Eels, Lamprey and Brown Trout.

  • River Don Postcode AB32
  • River Don Geolication Latitude 57.179911 Longitude -2.160429
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Part of the river runs through the valley above Cock Bridge, the road that goes through is known more widely, and more infamously, as the A939 Cock Bridge to Tomintoul, the 'Lecht Road' always check the Lecht snow forecast and current weather conditions, as first snow fall traditionally starts here, the road is exposed and frequently blocked in the winter months.

 The road connects the A96 at Nairn on the Moray Coast with the A95 Grantown on Spey, then it continues to the A93 at Ballater by way of the Grampian Mountains, passing Tomintoul and the Lecht Ski Centre, The ski centre has been operating since the mid-1970s. Starting with 1 Poma ski tow, it has grown to a year-round highland activity centre with 20 maintained ski runs, 15 lifts and some snow making coverage.

The Don has some excellent fly water with plenty of fast flowing stream and rocky pools, You will also find some lovely glides and slow deep holding pools where the trout often rise freely in the evening to abundant fly life, It is a wonderful river to explore and with such a great variety of water and locations to fish, below that point three shallow valleys are elevated above the main valley of the Don, extending broadly south/south west from the main glen, contained by gently rounded hills and long ridges of the Corgarfi to the Water of Deskry, here the watercourses meander tightly through narrow flood plains of wet land, although the lower courses are more incised as they drop down to the main valley.

Occasional small pools and lochans can be seen, here you will find extensive conifer forest on side slopes and hill tops, and smaller conifer woodlands and shelter woods in the glens.

There are small patches of pine woodland, often encountered as mature stands on hill tops, supplemented by more extensive regenerating pine across the moorland and grassland on the remaining unforested upper slopes The glens feel secluded, although they are close to the Strath of the River Don.

 Strathdon is situated in the strath of the River Don, 45 miles west of Aberdeen in the The main village in the strath is also called Strathdon, although it was originally called Invernochty due to its location at the confluence of the River Don and the Water of Nocht, the winding river valley intersected with five large glens the Conrie, the Ernan, the Carvie, the Nochty and the Deskry.

 West where the Water of Nochty sweeps out of a wide open glen to the upper Don at Bellabeg, it rises out of a little plain the green mound of the Doune of lnvernochty, at this isolated junction you can find a motte-and-bailey a strong hold of the Earl of Mar a church arose in the shelter of this moated doune and was known as the Church of Invernlochy founded around the l2th century, the present Church of Strathdon was built in 1853 on the site.

The portion of the Don valley between Bellabeg and the Bridge of Buchat is dominated by Ben Newe, height of L855 ft. through a forest before coming onto open hill at summit where there is a large rock out crop incorporating a medieval well and a trig point with a bench from which to take in the superb views in all directions, an easy hill to climb, with good views over Strathdon, watch and listen out for small forest birds such as siskins and coal tits.

 A short distance below the Bridge of Buchat, the Don enters the fine basin of Kildrunimy after joining the Burn of Mossat. Passes through a narrow, richly Wooded stretch between the Hill of Coillebhar and Lord Arthur’s Cairn at 1,699 feet, here the river is rapid and shallow, until at last it emerges into the open country of the Vale ol‘Alford. It is spanned by the triple-arched Bridge, built in 1811.

After meandering for some 6 in. through the open farmland of the vale, the Don enters the parish of Keig and passes through the impressive gorge of the Lord’s Throat between Cairn William and Bennachie.

The Bridge of Keig, a single arch of 100 feet was built in 1817,it is at the south west corner of the estate of Castle Forbes, the traditional seat of the Premier Baron of Scotland.

Towards the finish of this river is the tributary, the Urie. Below this confluence lies a long stretch of haugh land around Kintore and Kinaldie and Cothal, just North of Dyce, here you will find a picturesque gorge at Balgownie a hidden gem of Aberdeen. so beautiful and very atmospheric,this bridge was built in the 13th century, the design where it curves was apparently to allow those crossing to take cover from any archers firing on to it from above. The whole area is beautiful, all the little houses nearby are kept to a high standard making the entire walk really nice.

Dyce is an area of the city of Aberdeen, on the River Don about 6 miles north west of Aberdeen city centre, and best known as the location of the city's airport.

From Cottown of Balgowine the river Don heads out to the North sea.

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