Chance to explore unique cottages near Braemar

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Walkers can visit the deserted fermtoun of Auchtavan at any time, but on Sunday (July 10) from noon until 3pm, visitors will be able to see inside the ‘hingin lum’ cottage as well as the Queen Mother’s former picnic cottage and the horsemill.

The ruined cruck framed cottage and mill were authentically restored in 2008 by Braemar Community Ltd to give an insight into a way of life now long gone.

Once farming communities like Auchtavan were common, home to countless generations who scratched out a living in remote places in the centuries before the industrial revolution.

Many are marked now only by a scatter of stones.

Last year Braemar Community Ltd also acquired the lease of the Queen Mother’s cottage and it too is open to the public on Auchtavan open days.

The fermtoun stands high above the River Dee in Glen Fearder with spectacular views across the valley towards Lochnagar.

Auchtavan is situated about six miles North-east of Braemar. Cars can be parked in the lay-by opposite the turn-off, marked Aberarder. It is then a 2.5mile uphill walk to the settlement.

The track passes through birch woods and open moorland and can be quite rough, so walking shoes and outdoor clothing are recommended.

Auchtavan will also be open on Sunday, September 25.