Walks in Perthshire
By visiting this magnificent region, you’ll be in good company as you follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria as well as artist William Turner and poets Robert Bills and William Wordsworth who took inspiration from its stunning landscapes. Perthshire, known as ‘Big Tree Country’, is home to some of Europe’s oldest forests, including one of the tallest trees in Britain.
The region also plays host to a number of walking festivals and events, including the Enchanted Forest, a light show that brings Faskally Woods near Pitlochry to life at night, as well as the Crieff and Strathearn Drover Tryst, a popular walking festival held every autumn. Annual activities typically include Munro bagging, guided walks, photography walks and evening ceilidhs.
Below is just a selection of the many walks that have been mapped out in the region, arranged in level of difficulty. Find out more about walking routes, printable maps and GPS waypoints in Perthshire.
• Lady Mary’s Walk, Crieff
A favourite walk of its namesake Lady Mary Murray, this walk starts at the Turret Burn before joining the banks of the River Earn, an important salmon fishing river. Highlights of the walk include a 1500m walk through an avenue of beech trees.
• Birks of Aberfeldy
You’ll discover just what inspired poet Robert Burns to write a poem about the Birks of Aberfeldy on this circular walk. The wooded gorge is home to the dramatic Falls of Moness which tumble downstream through remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest. Be on the look-out for woodpeckers, warblers and wagtails as you wander.
• Loch Faskally and Pitlochry Fish Ladder
Distance: 5 km; duration: 1.5 - 2 hours
Setting off from the centre of pretty Pitlochry, this circuit first takes you over a handsome Edwardian suspension bridge, past the Festival theatre and tranquil Loch Faskally. Depending on the season, keep your eyes peeled for breeding salmon as they leap the Fish Ladder.
• The Hermitage and Braan Walk, Dunkeld
Distance: 6.5 km; duration: 2 hours
This circular walk through the Hermitage, a National Trust Scotland property, leads your through woodland to countryside, passing and crossing dramatic waterfalls. The walled garden of the Ossian Hall, the centre piece of the Hermitage, is open to visitors.
• Loch Freuchie Circuit
Distance: 12.5 km; duration: 2.5 - 3 hours
Starting in the small village of Amulree, this pleasant circular walk meanders along farm tracks and through open countryside, on even terrain for the most part. Skirting Loch Freuchie, there are lots of opportunities to spot some of the area’s abundant birdlife.
• Ben Gulabin
Distance: 5.4 km; duration: 2 hours
Spectacular scenery is guaranteed climbing this Corbett. As you walk the short and easy ascent to the col 200 m from the summit, you’ll be well-placed for views south to the Spittal of Glenshee.
• Loch Leven Heritage Trail
Distance: 12.5 km; duration: 3 - 4 hours
Running between Kinross Pier and Vane Farm, the trail gives excellent access to Scotland’s largest lowland loch. As well as being able to spot wildlife along the route at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve, you’ll spy the island castle at the centre of Mary, Queen of Scots daring escape from captivity.
• Acharn to Aberfeldy
Distance: 16 km; duration: 5 - 6 hours
This linear walk takes you from the historic village of Acharn to Aberfeldy by way of the picturesque shores of Loch Tay and the dramatic Falls of Moness in the Birks of Aberfeldy. You’ll also take the high path known as Queen’s Drive, in memory of Queen Victoria’s visit to Perthshire.
• Birnam Hill
Distance: 6 km; duration: 2 - 2.5 hours
Following a gentle ascending path through woodland, you’ll climb past heather moorland to the peak of Birnam Hill where you’ll have fantastic views of nearby Dunkeld and Birnam before a steep descent on the other side.
• The Deil’s Cauldron and Glen Lednock
Distance: 7.5 km; duration: 2.5 - 3 hours
Setting off along the banks of the River Lednock, you’ll soon discover the Little Cauldron, a deep pool, before the valley sides become steeper and you arrive at the Deil’s, or Devil’s, Cauldron, the site where the Lednock plunges from a rocky gorge into an eerie, tree-clad amphitheatre. Further along the trail, take to the steep path to Dun More where you’ll be rewarded by panoramic views from the Melville Monument, an obelisk built in 1811, of Strathearn and Loch Earn.
• Ben Vrackie
Distance: 10 km; duration: 3.5 hours
Towering over Pitlochry, Ben Vrackie is a popular walkers’ hill offering magnificent views. This Corbett is craggy in places, which in poor visibility requires due care and attention, but the initial ascent from the village of Moulin is very straightforward.
• The Tarmachan Ridge
Distance: 12 km; duration: 5 - 7 hours
One of the most accessible Munros thanks to its high starting point, Meall nan Tarmachan is one southern Scotland’s most interesting walks thanks to its rocky ridge. Scrambling is required if you decide to descend the pointed top of Meall Garbh.
• Carn a’Chamain
Distance: 26 km; duration: 7 - 10 hours
This classic walk travels up one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens, Glen Tilt, crossing streams by stone bridges as you go. Carn a’Chamain is a relatively small summit with a large, remote plateau at the top, the view from which promises a wide vista of unkempt wilderness.
• Ben Vuirich
Distance: 22.75 km; duration: 7.5 - 8 hours
Sitting in the shadow of better known Munro, Ben Vrackie, this shy Corbett offers a circular route with some challenging sections. The heathery moorlands and ridges offer solitude and from the summit, rare views of comically named Loch Loch and a glimpse up the Lairig Ghu pass into the heart of the Cairngorms.
• Gaick Corbetts
Distance: 28 km; duration: 9 - 10 hours
Twin peaks separated by a flat plateau, these Corbetts are steep-sided and separated from their neighbours by large trenches gouged out of the landscape during the Ice Age. They offer some of the best hillwalking in this part of Scotland.
• Ben Lawers
Distance: 20 km; duration: 7.5 hours
One of two routes to gain access to the summit, this ridge walk takes you to the top but finishes at a different point along the A827. The Munro dominates the landscape around Loch Tay, and entails a strenuous up and down trek and some easy scrambling to reach the top.
Distance: 10 km; duration: 3.5 hours
With its singular ridge flanked by steps sides, this short linear route logically takes you up the Munro’s gentler eastern slopes heading west to the summit. There are extensive views from the peak of Loch Tay, Loch Rannoch and surrounding areas.
• Ben Chonzie via Glen Lednock
Distance: 12.5 km; duration: 4 - 5 hours
By Munro standards, the ascent of Ben Chonzie, taking the Glen Lednock route, is relatively easy. The highest peak around, there are good views of Loch Turret as you skirt the flank of the mountain. Be on the lookout for Ben Chonzie’s substantial population of mountain hares, which change coat from brown to white in the winter.
• Creag Mhor and Beinn Heasgarnich
Distance: 24.25 km; duration: 7 - 10 hours
Perhaps the most challenging outing for Munro baggers in this part of the Highlands, you’ll need to draw on your experience and expertise when tackling these two peaks. With a steep, craggy ascent on Creag Mhor, difficult pathless terrain and vast areas of bogland on Beinn Heasgarnich, you’ll need to persevere to earn your reward of spectacular vantage points.
• Carn Gorm, Meall Garbh, Carn Mairg & Creag Mhor
Distance: 18 km; duration: 6 - 8 hours
You’ll bag four Munros in one go in this circular walk around the spacious plateau above Glen Lyon. As well as spectacular views down the glen, you’ll also catch sight of Ben Lawers and Loch Rannoch on a clear day.