TRANSCOTLAND Self-guided Walking Holidays

Highland Journey 2013

Highland Perthshire A walking holiday that takes you from the foothills to the very heart of the Highlands. You can walk the trail all the way or take shorter walks and use local buses to get from one place to another. The journey begins either in Perth or Birnam and finishes on the tranquil shores of Loch Rannoch, below the magical mountain of Schiehallion. Starting with riverside and woodland walks, the scenery builds up each day and ends with mountains and moors. This trip comes in 4 different versions, details of which are shown below. Whatever your decision, a real taste of the Highlands awaits you.

Route Start Finish No. of
Description Price per person
HJ A Perth Kinloch Rannoch 9 Walking & extra days for sight-seeing 555
HJ B Perth Kinloch Rannoch 6 Walking 435
Version A:

Perth - and the River Tay Day 1.Arrive in Perth. Depending on what time you arrive you may have the chance to explore this historic town or climb nearby Kinnoul Hill.

The River Tay further upstream.Day 2. is a walk of 12 miles mostly along the banks of Scotland's longest and biggest river, the Tay, famous for salmon fishing. Overnight in Bankfoot.

Historic Dunkeld SquareDay 3. Today you enter the highlands by a secluded and beautiful glen, and then have time to explore the woodlands and waterfalls of the Hermitage before arriving in Birnam (10 miles). Or arrive in Birnam today if you are doing Version C.

Dunkeld Cathedral by the River TayDay 4. A second day in Birnam if Version A or C, arrive here if Version D. Many circular walks or cycle rides are possible, and there are plenty of other attractions: see where Peter Rabbit was born; MacBeth died; watch ospreys from a hide on a local nature reserve; see the tallest tree in the UK, or visit Dunkeld's ancient cathedral which lies across the river. (3 - 10 miles).

StrathtayDay 5. Choose from: a 17 mile walk over moorland & forest to the highland town of Aberfeldy or a shorter 9 mile walk on a scenic trail over-looking Strathtay (and catch a local bus the rest of the way to Aberfeldy, which gives more time to visit the distillery or other attractions).

18th century Wade BridgeDay 6. A second day in Aberfeldy: in addition to the local whisky distillery and water mill, you can visit Castle Menzies, walk up the Birks of Aberfeldy (woodland gorge & waterfalls made famous by Robert Burns), or try white water rafting on the River Tay.

Loch Tay from KenmoreDay 7. The walk today (12 miles) has an historic theme: you pass a Neolithic stone circle 4000 years old; Taymouth Castle (where Queen Victoria spent her honeymoon); have a chance to see a re-constructed crannog on Loch Tay; ending at the peaceful village of Fortingall, where you can also see the oldest living tree in Europe which is more than 3000 years old.

a typical summer scene in PerthshireDay 8. A challenging walk (12 miles) over the hill and through Glenmore, the great valley overlooked by Schiehallion mountain or an easier alternative from further up Glen Lyon taking you to the shores of Loch Rannoch. You have now reached the heart of the Highlands and the quiet village of Kinloch Rannoch.

Loch Rannoch and SchiehallionDay 9. A second day in Kinloch Rannoch; a half-day walk to a deserted Highland village; or hire a bike and cycle around the loch (24 miles - 38 kms) with the option of a detour into one of the few remaining parts of the Caledonian Forest (the Scots pine woods that once covered most of Scotland); or climb Schiehallion (3553 ft - 1083m).

Version B is Days 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 (the same as Version A without the rest days).

map showing route of Highland journey

If you have the time, it is possible to have an additional night in Kenmore in between Aberfeldy and Fortingall. This gives more time for visiting the crannog and the Falls of Acharn. Add 35 per person for B&B accommodation (or 65 per person for the hotel). Notes: Bus service does not operate out of Kinloch Rannoch on a Sunday (you're in the Highlands!) but taxis available (cost is about 30). If you do not want to take a taxi, avoid the following start days:

Version A - Friday;
Version B - Monday;
Version C - Sunday;
Version D - Wednesday.

Travel information.

Start: Perth is 42 miles north of Edinburgh and can be reached by bus or train or taxi. Journey takes from 60 to 90 minutes. Birnam is 10 miles north of Perth & can also be reached by bus or train - add another 15 minutes. Transfers can be arranged from Edinburgh airport to Perth (about 75).

Finish: Bus from Kinloch Rannoch to Pitlochry (for bus or train to Inverness or Edinburgh) or to Rannoch Station (for West Highland Line to Glasgow/Fort William). Journey to Edinburgh takes 3 to 4 hours. Taxi takes 2 hours plus.

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