Located 40 miles due west of Aberdeen on the banks of the River Don. Donside's boundary markers are the Morven hill to the south, with Ben Newe and the Ladder Hills to the north and the Cairngorm foothills to the west. Upper Donside is a gateway into one of the natural treasures of Scotland, the Cairngorms.

Lying between the straths of Spey to the north, and Dee to the south, Upper Donside is essentially a narrower glen with a widely varying landscape from the sparse hills at Corgarff to the fertile valley of Alford. The changing character of the valley includes the small, but distinct, villages of Kildrummy, Glenkindie, Glenbuchat, Forbestown, Bellabeg, Roughpark and Corgarff.


Some gardens in the area open under the Scottish Gardens Scheme, allowing people the pleasure of visiting private gardens not normally open to the public.

Kildrummy Castle Gardens

Kildrummy Castle Gardens, Kildrummy.

Open April-Oct daily 10.00am-5.00pm. A unique collection of alpines and shrubs in a landscaped setting with water garden and protected by silver firs, larch and tsuga. Woodland walk, video, play area, plants for sale. Wheelchair access - assistance required.

019755 71264 or 71277

Mossat Burn Nursery and Water Gardens

Mossat Burn Nursery and Water Garden, Kildrummy.

Complete range of pools, pumps, liners, fish and aquatic plants. Large selection of fountains and garden ornaments. Professional advice freely given.

019755 71235

Seasons in Donside


Heather burning on the moors. Ptarmigan and hares turn white with the first snows. Skiing (downhill and cross-country). Brilliant clear snowy nights. Birds of prey cruise over the hills.


Lambing in March. Rivers fill with melting snow. Migrant birds arrive. Wild flowers appear, castles and gardens open. Fishing for salmon and brown trout in the Don. Late spring, young deer are born.


Riding through forests and glens. The Corgarff Games and Lonach Gathering (fourth Saturday in August). Gardens in full bloom and twenty hours of daylight in which to see them.


Hillwalking over the moors, the heather flowering a rich purple. Harvest on the farms, grouse shoots on the hills. Changing colours in the woods and Aurora Borealis in the northern sky.

Scottish Natural Heritage

The natural beauty of Donside is a result of the landscape, wildlife and those who manage the land. This natural asset is valuable and one which should be looked after. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the official body with responsibility for the care of Scotland's wildlife, landscape and geology. SNH also wants people to enjoy the countryside and encourages this through the grant aiding of footpaths and other facilities. However in encouraging people to visit and enjoy the countryside we must also be careful not cause damage to the landscape and wildlife people come to enjoy. Please help us in this task by:

  • Showing care and courtesy for people living and working in the countryside

  • Causing minimal disturbance to wildlife and the land

  • Leaving no litter