Brodie Castle walk – ducks and daffodils!

This is a lovely short walk around the grounds of Brodie Castle, taking in the castle, a woodland pond with bird hides, and a Pictish stone monument. Brodie is home to a vast collection of daffodils, so I would particularly recommend a spring time visit.

Length: 2.1 miles /3.4km It would be possible to shorten this walk by cutting out the second loop to the Pictish stone.

Parking: There is a large NTS carpark in the grounds of Brodie castle. There is a parking charge, or it is free for NTS/NT members. Alternatively, there are a few parking spaces alongside the road that passes the pond, and you could begin the walk from this point. To access these spaces, coming along the A96 from Nairn, take the first left in Brodie village, and follow the road for a quarter of a mile to reach the pond (NB: the main entrance to the Brodie estate is the second left turn at the other end of the village).

Amenities: Toilets and a cafe/shop in the Brodie castle grounds

Buggy/bike-friendly? We took an off-road pushchair (a Mountain Buggy Duet) on this walk and it was all pushchair-friendly. It would also be suitable for toddlers on balance bikes. See the terrain section for further details.

The route from the castle to the pond crosses a single track road. It is gated on both sides, but cars were passing fast along the road. Please take care with small children.

Brodie Castle walk: the route

I printed out a copy of the Moray Ways map here which was useful, but found that the section to the right of the castle difficult to follow. I have suggested a slightly different route below.

1. From the NTS car park, walk up to the castle. Can you guess which part of the castle is older?

2. To the left of the castle, take the path down the long avenue of trees towards the pond. There are some interesting wooden sculptures to look out for among the trees.

3. At the bottom of the avenue, cross the road and take the path to the right side of the large pond. Lots of ducks and some swans here.

4. Follow the woodland path along the shore of the pond. At the point at which the pond narrows significantly, with a stream to your left, the path divides. We took a detour up to the right, past a wooden sculpted conch shell, to see the Brodie family burial ground.

5. Retracing your steps to the stream, continue alongside it until the path joins a broader track. Turn left to continue circumnavigating the pond. The trees have been cleared here, so it looks a little desolate.

6. Rejoining the pond, you will see a bird hide, with an accessible ramp and viewing point.

7. When the path splits, turn right over the bridge, and continue through the woodland, rejoining the pond a little further on. You will shortly find yourself back at the road; cross it and return up the avenue to the castle.

8. If you wish to extend your walk, go around the back of the castle (there is an excellent adventure playground here!) and walk down the lane, with a wall to the right.

9. Follow the lane round a corner by the Gardener’s Cottage, passed a field and through woodland, to rejoin the main castle drive.

10. A short distance ahead beside the drive you will find the Rodney Stone, a Pictish Cross Slab which was originally found in the grounds of a nearby church. There is a long Ogham inscription around the edge of the stone.

From here, you can return to the car park either via the main drive, or through the woodland behind the Rodney Stone.

Brodie Castle walk: the terrain

This was an excellent pushchair-friendly walk, with smooth level paths. There was one slightly rocky section of track (see photo below). The minor road dividing the castle from the pond was surprisingly busy, so do take care here with children.

There are two hides on the pond, both with access ramps. We tested out one with our double pushchair (63cm wide) and were able to fit comfortably into the hide, where there was an adapted viewing area suitable for a wheelchair user.

Things to look for

Look out for violets, daffodils, blueberries and wild raspberries. There are several fantastic streams for playing Poohsticks, in addition to the historic sites around the castle grounds. There are quite a few geocaches to look out for along the walk.

The adventure playground behind the castle is great fun!

It is possible to view the inside of Brodie Castle on a guided tour, which I would very much recommend. The interior is interesting, and the tour guide informative and friendly.

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