The Heritage Paths Project

The Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society (ScotWays) have launched a three-year project with the support of grants from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), to identify and research "heritage paths" in Scotland and record them in a national database, for record-keeping, information and promotional purposes.

Many of these routes have been worn into hillsides and glens by centuries of users such as drovers and their cattle, men carrying their neighbours' coffins to the nearest kirk, fishwives seeking markets, and smugglers along their secret paths. Military tracks were built in an attempt to impose rule from the south, from the time of the Roman legions to General Wade's Redcoats.

Amongst the routes being investigated for the Grampian area - in addition to well-known hill routes such as the two Lairigs, the Mounth passes and Jock’s Road - are the following:

  1. The military road north from Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally.
  2. The military road heading south from Tullochvenus through Lumphanan to Kincardine O'Neil.
  3. The Comply path heading west from the Peel of Lumphanan
  4. A Victorian well path going south from Logie Coldstone.
  5. The old high road from Aberdeen to Banff by Old Meldrum: how much of this still exists?
  6. A kirk road to Walla Kirk near Huntly?
  7. A minister's path leading south to Ballater?
  8. An 18th century carriage road that ran above the current road skirting Tyrebagger Hill and an ancient road that ran above that?

Neil Ramsay, the Project Officer, can be contacted at ScotWays, 24 Annandale Street, Edinburgh EH7 4AN, 0131 558 7123, or at Templates (for researching and surveying, respectively) are available for recording information about Heritage Paths. Neil (and/or the author) will be glad to learn more about the above routes, and/or others in the NEMT region that might be classified as Heritage Paths.

Ken Thomson
15 April 2008

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