This new column in our outdoors section is dedicated to walking and ramblers’ groups from across Scotland, where they can suggest the best routes to enjoy from their areas and further afield.

This week: Scottish Women’s Walking Group

Whiteash Hill Woods and Duchess of Richmond Cairn, Moray

By Tracy Chalmers, Scottish Women’s Walking Group

Start: Whiteash Hill Woods near Keith, Moray

Distance: 4 miles

Time: 1.5 hours

Terrain: Forestry track and a section of rough path.

Level: Easy with some elevation.

Access: Arrive by car. Situated about 3.5 miles north-west of Keith on the A96. Look out for an old wooden blue and white house on the left (in the summer months, when the trees are in full leaf, it can be harder to spot).

Turn up the road on the right, sign-posted for Braes of Enzie, and drive about three-quarters of a mile along the road where there is an opening on the left with two gates. There is space for at least six cars. The OS map grid reference is NJ38803 56383.

What makes it special: Sweeping views of the Moray coastline, woodland trails and a fascinating slice of history.

HeraldScotland: The Whiteash Hill Woods and Duchess of Richmond Cairn walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers/Scottish Women's Walking GroupThe Whiteash Hill Woods and Duchess of Richmond Cairn walking route in Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers/Scottish Women's Walking Group

WHITEASH Hill Woods are between Keith and Fochabers. They are home to a maze of many paths and forestry tracks.

With a short uphill climb you find one of Scotland’s pyramids: the huge cairn erected in memory of Frances Harriet, Duchess of Richmond by the 1st Duke of Gordon in 1887.

As well as the cairn there are great views of the Moray coastline and, on really clear days, the hills in the Black Isle can be seen in the distance.

Just before the end of the walk, there is also a lovely view of Ben Rinnes in distance.

Route: Leaving the car park, go past the forestry gate on the left and head up the forestry track. Keep on the same track for about 1.2 miles until you come to a crossroads.

Take the road to right and you will see a wooden post with a No14 on it. Just ahead the pyramid-shaped monument dedicated to the Duchess of Richmond – also known as Whiteash Cairn – can be seen.

HeraldScotland: Duchess of Richmond Cairn, Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers/Scottish Women's Walking GroupDuchess of Richmond Cairn, Moray. Picture: Tracy Chalmers/Scottish Women's Walking Group

Once you come to the cairn, go straight ahead and admire the coastal views. Head down the narrow rougher track. Keep going until you come to a crossroads with a forestry track. Take a right here.

Carry on along the forestry track, admiring the coastal views through the trees. The track will veer to the right, keep going until you come to a junction and take a right here. Stay on this track for just over a mile, where you will come back to the car park.

Don't miss: Taking a picture of yourself with one of “Scotland’s pyramids”. The coastal views are worth a photograph or two as well. There is a great cafe only a short drive away – Coffee @ Dot’s at 193 Mid Street, Keith, AB55 5BQ – which is ideal for a pit stop on the way home.

READ MORE: Walk: Newark Castle to Finlaystone Burn in Inverclyde

Useful information: Scottish Women’s Walking Group meet and walk together all over Scotland. Membership is free and open to all ages and abilities. For details of how to join, visit swwg.co.uk

  • Do you have a walk you would like to suggest? Email susan.swarbrick@theherald.co.uk