Burn ‘o’ Vat

We have a new favorite place to take visitors! The Burn ‘o’ Vat is in the Muir of Dinnet Natural Nature Reserve and it is so cool!

It snowed pretty heavily yesterday but very little stuck to the ground. Brett wanted to take the kids on an adventure to play in some snow so we headed about an hour west into the Cairngorms to the Muir of Dinnet. I read about the place having a short walk that the kids could easily do as well as a fairy glen. I’ve been DYING to go to a fairy glen since we’ve been here and every time I try to go something comes up.

The walk was lovely and the kids were pumped about the snow. Mia used her little orange shovel all the way from Matagorda to scoop it up and fling it everywhere. She also used to hit her brother. Brooks threw snowballs at Brett nonstop until he soaked his gloves and his little fingers were red with cold.

We were having a great time when we realized that we were almost back to the car park and had seen no sign of fairies or their glen. We retraced our steps and checked the last sign we’d seen to reassure ourselves that we were both competent adults who could read symbols. Clearly we are not up to date with the latest fairy glen symbols though because we definitely missed it. So, we started off on another lap, Mia on Brett’s shoulders.


I do not have the words to convey how cool this was. The pictures help but definitely don’t convey the feeling of it all.

At first it is difficult to see an opening at all as from the path is tucked away in between these huge boulders. You have to carefully pick your way through the stream and huge stones turned every which way. Brooks had no problem with it. Brett and I’s problem was that we were doing it while holding Mia. It made things just slightly more challenging.

When you’re finally through the narrow opening, it opens up into the “vat” – basically a huge cauldron-shaped pot hole that was formed at the end of the last ice age – about 14000 – 13500 years ago – and the source of the burn. Burn is the Scottish Gaelic word for fresh water. If you’re curious about how it was formed, you can read more about it here.

Naturally, both kids were soaked by the end of it – even though they both had on wellies. And Brett did manage to pay Brooks back for all the snowballs that were thrown at his back before we left.

If you’re planning a visit here be sure to pack your wellies because we will definitely be taking you to the Burn ‘o’ Vat. And if you’ve already come to visit, come again. This is worth another trip.

One Comment

  1. Wizzer says:

    Can’t wait for June!

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