Abandoned Auchtaven to open doors on its history

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Travel back in time this weekend with a walk to the abandoned township of Auchtaven where the deserted cottages will be open to the public.

Pull on your walking boots and pack a snack before embarking on a 2.5 mile uphill walk to explore how the community that once inhabited the settlement actually lived.

One cruck-framed cottage and the old horse-mill were restored by Braemar Community Ltd. The horse mill houses and an interpretation board are always open but this Sunday, June 15, walkers will be able to visit the “hingin lum” cruck-framed cottage and the Queen Mother’s Victorian former picnic cottage.

Once an integral part of North-east life, few ‘‘ferm touns’’ survive these days. But high above the River Dee in Glen Fearder, with fantastic views to Lochnagar, the remnants of Auchtaven’s once thriving community remain.

Glen Fearder, near Crathie, was once full of people, with three busy townships. They were abandoned at the end of the 19th century and Ratlich and Loin are now marked only by piles of stones.

The restored cottage at Auchatavan gives a glimpse of how these communities would once have lived. People would have farmed at Auchtavan for at least 250 years before the last occupants, the McHardys, finally left.

Discover Auchtavan, north-east of Braemar, from noon-3pm.

Cars can be parked in the lay-by opposite the turn-off, marked Aberarder, on the A93. Entry free.