Update July 2020
The car parks at Muir of Dinnet NNR are open but extremely busy and are full most days from 11am - 4pm. If you turn up and the car park is full please do not park on the road verges but look for somewhere else to visit. Lots of places are busy at the moment so worth having a plan B.
We are doing our best to get the public toilets reopened but they are currently closed. The nearest public toilets are in Aboyne or Ballater - please plan ahead before your visit.
- Maintain hand hygiene
- Follow physical distancing guidelines
While you are out and about, please take extra care to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Thank you for your patience and support; we look forward to welcoming you back safely.
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 visitor 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.
View a video of Muir of Dinnet NNR.
- 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.
Visit our Events page to see what upcoming events you can get involved in at this reserve.
Reserve manager: Catriona Reid
Scottish Natural Heritage
Burn O’Vat Visitor Centre
Telephone: 01339 881667
Email: [email protected]
Find out more
Discover more about why Scotland’s National Nature Reserves were created and the partners who manage them.
Follow Scotland's NNR on Facebook for up-to-date information on reserves across Scotland.
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.