Total distance – 1.8 kilometres
Ascent – 140 metres
Walking conditions – Track well-defined footpaths.
Time required – Around 1 to 2hours
Nearest Town – Aberfeldy
We sat in the wonderful Kenmore village square pondering whether to travel on the road north or the road south of Loch Tay. We were swayed by the prospect of visiting the Crannog on the south road. However, when we got to the Crannog there appeared to be building works so we drove on for a couple of miles to Acharn village. By sheer chance I had parked next to the sign for the public footpath leading to the Falls of Acharn. Why not go for a walk, we thought? There was a packet of crisps and a Fruit Shoot in it for the children so they were up for it. And what a good impulse decision it turned out to be. As well as the chance to visit the spectacular Acharn Falls we were treated to a great view of Loch Tay and a visit to the Hermit’s Cave.
Park in the village of Acharn. It’s a tiny village so it won’t take you long to find the footpath sign on the main road pointing up the track to the Acharn Falls. From there, it’s just a steady ascent up the track for about 650 metres until you come to the Hermits Cave. Perched on the edge of a precipitous gorge this 18th Century folly is well worth a visit. It’s then a very short walk to the falls. If you’re crossing via the viewing platform please keep a hold of your children as, although a magnificent crossing point, a child could easily crawl through the side of the platform (You can avoid this by crossing slightly further up). To return to your car, make your way back down other side of the gorge, again, keeping a tight hold of small children as there are steep drops in places just a few feet from the footpath.
Total distance – 1.7 kilometres
Ascent – 60 metres
Walking conditions – Roads, pavements and good paths. Footpath through forest can be muddy. The stairs up Pitlochry Dam are a bit steep.
Time required – Around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours
My first impression of Pitlochry was that it is a picture postcard town set within a stunning Highland landscape. However, that didn’t explain why it was jam-packed with tourists and buzzing at all hours of the day. As it turns out one of the main reasons for this lies south of the River Tummel and is the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. But there are numerous other reasons for Pitlochry’s popularity. Recently, we did a little circular walk form the centre of town to the theatre taking in Loch Faskally by way of the Pitlochry Dam. This short and pleasant walk provided us with a good flavour of the place.
Park near the centre of town and make your way to the railway station which in itself is a place of interest. Take the path going east then turn right under the railway bridge. Walk past the car park, cross the road and take the footpath through the forest. This short forest walk takes you out at a small housing estate. To the left hand edge of this estate is a path that leads directly on to a footbridge taking you over the River Tummel. Turn right and you’ll pass by a very pleasant riverside pub with the theatre up the hill on the left. It’s a great place to stop for a picnic as there are plenty of wooden benches and a great view. Pitlochry dam is also a couple of hundred metres away. Walk along the road then make your way up a series or little stairways and channels which take you to the top of the dam. Cross the dam then make your way back to the railway station. There’s a quaint little footbridge you can cross between platforms.
We’ve been to Pitlochry on several occasions and each time stayed at Scotland’s Hotel which was great fun and relatively inexpensive. There are always new things to do and explore in Pitlochry and it won’t be long before we’re back.
Total distance – 7.4 kilometres
Ascent – 180 metres
Walking conditions – Easy walking on forest tracks and good footpaths. Some walking on a single track road. No difficulties.
Time required – Around 2.5 to 3.5 hours
Nearest town – Blairgowrie
Over the years I’ve passed through Blairgowrie on my way to either Glen Shee or the Cairngorms. On this occasion, for the first time Blairgowrie was the destination and about time too. Blairgowrie is a town with a lot going on. This is certainly the case in terms of walking routes. Whilst driving we noticed numerous public footpath signs. This prompted a visit to the Blairgowrie Tourist Information Office where we received the Drimmie Woods tip-off. What the very helpful assistant failed to mention however, was the weird wooden boards nailed to the trees or the sinister looking wooden spider’s web lying at the side of the forest track. Were we being set up in some ‘Wicker Man’ style occult ritual? Read on…….
There is a parking place just outside Drimmie Woods on Drimmie Road which is about 4 kilometres outside Blairgowrie. It is at this point you get a flavour of the fantastic viewpoints which await you should you survive the first 1.5 kilometre walk through the dark, spooky forest with all the Blair Witch style paraphernalia I mentioned earlier. When you exit the tree line within about 200 metres you will see a lochan on your left, after which the path goes in a circuit returning to this point. There will be some walking on a single track road so watch out for the occasional vehicle. When you get all the way around go back through the spooky forest. Run past the locals who by now, are wearing fancy dress and have brought with them a large wooden structure that looks highly flammable. Jump in your car and drive…..anywhere.