The Vat

A remarkable little gorge on the Vat Burn in Aberdeenshire, The Vat lies 2¼ miles (3.5 km) west northwest of Dinnet. This short gorge, which is narrow at the top and much wider at its base is regarded as perhaps the finest meltwater-carved feature of its kind in Britain. It was created by the grinding action of rocks which tumbled under pressure in a whirlpool below a glacier some 12,000 years ago. In the 1640s the Vat provided shelter to the local outlaw and sheep rustler, Gilderoy Macgregor, and it was visited by Queen Victoria on her way to Balmoral Castle in the 19th century. The Burn o' Vat Visitor Centre provides interpretation and also is the starting point for way-marked trails around the Muir of Dinnet National Nature Reserve.

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