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Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve

​A magical mosaic

Lying within the Cairngorms National Park, Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve (NNR) is a mosaic of wetlands, woods and moors. It’s a great place for wildlife and has a wealth of connections to Scotland’s past.

Although the last glaciers melted more than 10,000 years ago, the marks they gouged in the landscape survive today. One of these is the Vat Gorge, where the Burn O’Vat still flows. The Vat itself is a cauldron-shaped pothole. It was gouged out by rocks tumbling along in a stream beneath a glacier.

Today you can make your way into the Vat through a narrow crack in the rock. Stand in this atmospheric cavern, and listen to the strange echoes of water that seems to pour out of the rocks.

You can also stroll through the woodland, looking out for birds, animals and delicate woodland wild flowers. You may also spot breeding and wintering birds on Loch Kinord.

The vistor centre at the Burn O’Vat explores the natural and cultural heritage of the reserve. From here there are lovely walks through the woodland and around Loch Kinord. Or take the path to the Burn O’Vat and on to a viewpoint with sweeping views across Loch Kinord and beyond.

Find out more about visiting Muir of Dinnet NNR.

Top attractions

  • Explore the Vat – one of Scotland’s natural wonders.
  • Enjoy our trails through peaceful woodlands and around the lochs.
  • In spring, look for wildflowers and listen for calling birds.
  • In summer, watch dancing dragonflies and damselflies.

Find out more about the reserve and its natural history.

What’s on?

Visit our Events page to see what upcoming events you can get involved in at this reserve.

Contact

Reserve manager: Catriona Reid

Scottish Natural Heritage
Burn O’Vat Visitor Centre
Dinnet
Aboyne
Aberdeenshire
AB34 5NB

Telephone: 01339 881667
Email: nnr@nature.scot

Find out more

Discover more about why Scotland’s National Nature Reserves were created and the partners who manage them.

Related Links

Follow our NNR Facebook page for up-to-date information on reserves across Scotland.

Follow the Muir of Dinnet blog to keep up to date with news from the reserve.

Find out more about our partners at Muir of Dinnet – Cairngorms National Park Authority.

Our visitor centre is rated Gold under the GTBS (Green Tourism Business Scheme).

Muir of Dinnet NNR is a member of VisitScotland.

Enjoyed your visit?

  • Make a donation to support nature and visitor facilities on our NNRs.
  • Let us know what you thought on TripAdvisor.