Airlie Estates are delighted to announce that the Sawmill Bridge, which was swept away during the floods of 2015/2016 and which forms part of the popular circular walk at Cortachy, has been reinstated. 

Part funded by The Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society the new wooden bridge was designed and built by a local firm and is suitable for horses, bicycles and wheelchairs.


There is no public access to either Airlie Castle or Cortachy Castle.

Our network of walks are however open all year round and the Policies Walk and gardens are open for a limited period each year as detailed below:

        Policies Walk - Opening Dates 2020

  • 5th - 29th May Inclusive


To help you enjoy your visit we have listed areas in the garden which are of particular interest. The walled border was originally built as a greenhouse for the growing of exotic fruits now covered in roses. The wild garden was created in 1926 ­ the pond being a present from the 12th Earl of Airlie to his wife on the birth of their first son the present Earl. The Island is another interesting feature and across the pond you can view the pagoda which was erected for the millennium and bears the family motto, "A Fin", and the initials VA for the present Countess of Airlie.

In 2014 Cortachy Castle celebrated 75 years of opening for Scotland's Gardens and were presented with a plaque to mark this achievement. The plaque is situated on the jardinière within the walled garden.

If you have any comments about any aspect of the gardens, please write to us or send us an email.


Cortachy Footpath Network Of Walks

The Cortachy and Dykehead path system has been designed to provide a network of attractive, easy to follow walks through a variety of terrain none of which are unduly difficult, although the walks up to the Airlie Monument include a steady climb. The reward is a splendid panoramic view of the Angus countryside and hills.

All the walks are waymarked, with yellow directional arrows, and by following these arrows, and using our maps, you should have no difficulty.  The network of walks are open all year, with the exception that, on days when there is shooting, it may be necessary to close part or all of some of the network.  If this is the case, signs will be displayed, and we do ask our visitors to respect these temporary closures, for your own safety.

Please help us to maintain our conservation policies by reading and abiding by our guidelines. Please obey any sign posts that you see on your walks.


The River Walk from Cortachy Bridge to the Sawmill Bridge was originally laid out in the 1870's in anticipation of a visit to Cortachy by Queen Victoria. In the event this visit never took place but the walk has been carefully and lovingly nurtured and maintained since that period. The magnificent conifer trees were planted at that time and include Wellingtonias, Douglas, Silver Firs and Sitca Spruce.

The rhododendrons were planted by successive generations of the Airlie family and in particular the azaleas facing the river came from Exbury Gardens, the home of the Rothschild family and were planted by the present Earl.

The footbridge halfway between the Cortachy and Sawmill Bridges was built by estate foresters and is known as "The American Bridge " after the present Countess who is an American citizen. It was formally opened by the American Ambassador of the day, Charles Price draped in the Stars and Stripes. Eight members of the family and friends lined the bridge with loaded shot guns (having returned from shooting grouse on one of the adjacent moors) and the Ambassador formerly opened the bridge by cutting a stars and stripes ribbon with a pair of sheep shears at which point all eight guns fired their weapons. His Excellency's detectives were much dismayed because they thought the Ogilvy family had shot the USA's representative!


There are car parks provided at Cortachy (by the primary school), Dykehead (opposite the Royal Jubilee Arms), Cortachy Cemetery, and in Glen Prosen. These car parks are clearly marked on the map and signed on the ground. Please use these car parks and do not park elsewhere.


- The walks generally follow good paths or tracks, with some field edges and open ground. Parts of the walks will inevitably be wet at certain times, and we recommend that you wear boots, wellingtons or strong shoes when using the walks.
- Please keep to the waymarked routes and respect the privacy of residents on the estate.
- It may be necessary to close or divert walks passing through woodland, for reasons of woodland management, for example when felling is taking place. This would only happen occasionally, and any such closure or diversion will be clearly signed. The Policies Walk, is open for a limited period each year, generally in the spring. Opening times will be displayed at the Cortachy car park and at other local outlets.
- If you are bringing a dog with you, please ensure that it is on a lead at all times.


We hope that you will enjoy your walks. It is our intention to maintain the network in good condition, and to continue to improve it in the future. If you have any comments about any aspect of the walks network, please write to us or send us an email.