The shapely mountain of Ben Rinnes stands deep in the heart of whisky country, in Northeast Scotland, and rises above the flatter plains of the Morayshire countryside.
Therefore its long ridge can be seen from many miles around whilst the panorama from its summit is extensive. Good paths line a superb walk to the top although the final 300 metres are steep. However the route begins from a height of around 350 metres making Ben Rinnes the perfect mountain for a morning/afternoon stroll and for younger children to climb.
Ptarmigan may well be spotted across the summit plateau, one studded with several granite tors, which give Ben Rinnes its name ‘Hill of the Sharp Point’.
Granite tors are regularly found in northeast Scotland, most notably on the high Cairngorms (Bynack More, Beinn Mheadhoin and Ben Avon for example) and lower hills such as Clachnaben and Ben Rinnes. Some rise to over 15 metres in height and have been caused by differential weathering and erosion – simply put, the solid granite of the tors weather at a slower pace than the immediate surroundings and over several million years the softer rock has been eroded leaving the tors standing proud.
Ben Rinnes does not give itself up easily and neither do the views. It is only once you attain the 840-metre top, and the peculiarly named summit of Scurran of Lochterlandoch, that an extraordinary panorama reveals itself.
To the east and Bennachie’s distinctive profile is clearly visible, heading north and the rounded hills of Ben Aigan and Bin of Cullen draw the eye to the Moray Coast, with Lossiemouth way in the distance, whilst the southern aspect is dominated by the magnificent barrier of the Cairngorms, including that of Lochnagar.
Moray is the spiritual home of whisky and several distilleries can be also seen from Ben Rinnes.