Linn of Quoich Location:
The Linn of Quoich is a gorge located in one of the small valleys that lead into the larger Dee Valley. The Linn is accessible by travelling from Braemar, continuing on past the Linn O' Dee car park on a single track road. Parking is available at the site, which is run by the National Trust. Members of the National Trust can park for free, there is however a small charge for non-members using the car park. While en route be sure to stop off at some of the view points on the Linn O'Dee Road, these will give some spectacular views of the Dee Valley. These views will also include your first glimpse of the Linn Of Quoich which can be seen across the valley under the imposing Beinn a'Bhuird:
The Walk to the Linn:
The main walking route to the Linn, at the time of writing, is inaccessible. The bridge that leads to a path up the Eastern side of the gorge was washed away during the flooding in the winter of 2015/16. There are however two alternative routes available on the Western side of the gorge. One path skirts the side of Quoich Water, although it is an easy walk along the initial section of the walk, it does in places get quite narrow and steep so caution must be taken when walking this route.
The second of the alternative routes is a small path which heads uphill and around the wooded area that lines the small valley. This route is the easier of the two and leads up to a single track dirt road. Once you reach this road keep a look out for paths to the right hand side which lead towards the trees, there are small paths that will take you down to the Linn.
Earl of Mar's Punchbowl:
One of the famous features in the Linn is the Earl of Mar's Punchbowl, a hollow that has been eroded out of the bedrock in the Linn. Although information is sparse, the bowl is said to have been filled with spirits to toast the Jacobite Rising in 1715. The punchbowl is one of many of these features eroded in the gorge.
Queen Victoria's Tea Room:
The river can be crossed via a footbridge over the gorge which offers great views of the Linn. The walls of the Linn are quite deep in places, lined with trees either side making it rather beautiful and worth the trek out to the Linn alone.
Across the bridge is an abandoned building known as the Princess's Tea Room, after Queen Victoria's Granddaughter. Prior to that it was know as Queen Victoria's Tea Room. The small cottage was built in order to bring some home comfort to the royals who frequented the area. This part of the river has stepped bedrock with large flat areas which offers a fantastic place to stop and have a picnic. Just be sure to take any rubbish with you to help keep the area pristine for future visitors.
Following the path to the South of the Teahouse, leads to a rather photogenic rustic cottage, surrounded by heather. The washed out bridge is also accessed via this path, leading back to car park if it is ever replaced.
North of the Tearoom:
The path to the North of the Tearoom leads upstream towards more carved out gorges and a large impressive waterfall. The path does continue on from this point further upstream into the hills.
Although the Linn is a bit out of the way it is definitely worth a visit. The river offers fantastic opportunities for photographers to take some long exposures. The various paths in the area offer fantastic walks for those who want some peace off the beaten track. Be prepared to share the area as it can be popular, the image below highlighting the popularity of the area for photographers.