Cambus O' May is the place where the river Dee emerges from the Highlands through a narrow pass and becomes a part of the ordinary Aberdeenshire scene.
The beauty of the scenery in this neighbourhood. especially the richly wooded parts that include many birches is celebrated in poetry. Lord Byron, who spent a part of his childhood in this district, never forgot his Scottish ancestry, He was capable of castigating the Scots from a fairly intimate knowledge of them, as in his English Bards and Scots reviewers in other poetical works he refers with nostalgia to the Scottish scene, and especially to Aberdeenshire.
Cambus O'May forest is on the north side of the A93 between Ballater and Dinnet, from Ballater, take the A93 east towards Aboyne, the car parkis free and sign posted about 4 miles from the edge of Ballater with grand view of Deeside’s mountains and picnic tables at the main entrance, lovely views up towards Ballater and Lochnagar, very peaceful walking through beautiful natural forest, with tall pine trees in places and silver birch in others, this is a beautiful wooded region
There is a bus stop at the forest entrance.
There are good mountain bike routes through the forest the routes would seem to have enough challenges for all but the most extreme bikers.
For walker there are more challenging red and yellow trails, the red trail goes around two lochans and the blue trail which is the shortest walk around one lochan.
- Cambus O'May Geolocation Latitude 57.0760° N Longitude -2.9651° W
- Cambus O'May Postcode AB35
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Walks of varying length and difficulty are clearly marked by the Forestry Commission, with one of the picnic spots offering an excellent view of Strath Dee and Craigendarroch.
The information board in the car park shows a map of the three waymarked trails the yellow-banded posts is the route that follows the longest, the Pine Trail.
All three trails begin up the path which climbs up into the trees between the posts. This first stretch of path runs along a low, birch-clad ridge and gives some views up Deeside, the region is an important site for ground nesting birds like Capercaillie, you will need to keep your dog under very close control on a lead.
Choose from trails that cross a lochan on a picturesque bridge, or wind through Scots pine trees try to spot a native squirrel and listen to the bird song, with very pleasant easy walking, the terrain is suitable for all ages and abilities, each season has its charms, from wild flowers in spring to a crisp winter day with lovely views from the upper paths, the vegetation is lovely especially in August when the heather is in bloom, ideal for a good family walk to fill a morning or afternoon and a nice little cafe at the bottom of the hill offer a variety of breakfast and lunch options, coffee, tea and cakes, in a warm and cosy atmosphere by the log burner.