Within the woods surrounding Cawdor Castle are five nature trails that vary in length from 0.75 miles to 5 miles. Four of the five walks begin in the wild garden, with one beginning at the blue bridge. The layout of the trails gives you the choice to continue on a longer trail if you wish.
The nature trails are within the Big Wood. The Big Wood still contains the remnants of the classic dry Oakwood including Birch, Aspen, Rowan, Wych Elm, Holly and Juniper. The Big Wood is home too Scots Pine, Oak and Beech. The Beech, while not native to the area, supports some of the rare lichens.
The Big Wood is home to over 131 species of lichen, including a number of very rare varieties. This is because the air is clean and rainfall quite low. Great Woodrush blankets large areas of the wood where the canopy thins. In spring, parts of the wood are lovely with Stitchwort, Bluebell, ferns, mosses and Honeysuckle, mixing with young saplings.
Spot Dippers, Capercaillies, Herons, Wrens and numerous species of birds of prey in the Big Wood. If you’re lucky, you may spot some animals, including Red Deer and Red Squirrels.
Near the blue bridge look for the beautiful bench that has been carved from a fallen tree.
If you lose your way in the wood, walk until you come to a burn or stream and follow it downstream – all burns lead to the Castle.