Walk 9. Milltimber Circuit from Blacktop
A circular route in Milltimber which follows sections of core path 51 and provides great views out towards the west as far as Lochnagar.
There is limited parking for one or two cars at the starting point gateway on Blacktop Road and also in a small unsurfaced layby on the opposite side of the road. The Rotten o Gairn car park is unfortunately now permanently closed. An alternative might be to start the walk from the south, from Contlaw Road, near where it crosses the AWPR, if a safe parking place can be found. Take care on both vehicle road sections, Blacktop Road and Contlaw Road, as both are narrow and have no pavements.
- Grade: Moderate
- Terrain: Roads, unsurfaced tracks and paths (may be muddy after wet weather).
- Distance. 4.5 miles. 7.2 km.
- Time: Allow 2 hours.
- Waymarked: No.
Start from a wide gateway on Blacktop Road, just east of a house called East Silverburn and about 300 metres east of where it goes under the AWPR. Go through the gate and follow the unsurfaced track through woodland with tall trees. The track gradually narrows to a footpath.
When you come to a section of the path with rustic wooden fencing on either side, turn right on to a path signposted “Core path to Contlaw”. This next section through trees is likely to be muddy.
Follow the path until it comes out on to a road beside a gateway with stone pillars. Turn right here on to the unsurfaced vehicle road, which leads uphill from the gateway and meanders through Westfield Estate, past several large houses with extensive grounds and stone gateways, one with frogs atop its stone pillars. Keep following the road, now tarmacked, past the houses and paddocks with horses, until it reaches Contlaw Road just east of where it crosses the AWPR via a new bridge.
Turn right on to Contlaw Road and cross the bridge over the AWPR, then stay on the road going straight ahead. There are great views out to the west on this next section; you can see as far as Lochnagar on a clear day. Just after a right-hand bend, there is a T-junction, where you go straight ahead on a private road signposted “South Last” and “Contlaw Mains”. There is also a sign on a telegraph pole saying “Footpath to Blacktop”.
Stay on this road, which has good views towards Bennachie, passing Contlaw Mains, until in about ten minutes, you reach a track branching off to the right and signposted Footpath to Blacktop. Turn right on to this track, unsurfaced for most of its length, and follow it meandering past houses until it reaches Blacktop Road, where you turn right to go along Blacktop Road, crossing under the AWPR this time, to reach the starting point at the wide gate.