We offer two itineraries on the Cateran Trail (detailed on the right) which are made up of the following sections.
Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally
From the bustling market town of Blairgowrie where the many of Scotland’s raspberries are grown, the walk starts by following the banks of the River Ericht. A gentle start to the trail with plenty of historical interest en-route. Old mills, mill lades and weirs can be found dating back to the 17th Century. Fantastic open views follow as the path climbs and then lengthens out over Cochrage Muir before descending into the tiny hamlet of Bridge of Cally.
Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael
Heading on from Bridge of Cally this short section winds through many forests and through the Strathardle Glen. Watch out for the roe deer and the red squirrels which can be found feeding on the cones from the many conifers. Woodland, moorland and farmland are all features of this easy walk into Kirkmichael, a small country village.
Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee
This part of the trail follows the wonderful moorland route and hill pass from Enochdhu through to Spittal of Glenshee. Enochdhu means black meadow and this settlement was once a gathering point for caterans following a raid. Dirnanean Gardens are worth a visit for walkers who have time and watch out for a glimpse of red deer or an eagle soaring overhead. As you head down to Spittal the views are glorious with mountains all around.
Spittal of Glenshee to Glenisla
The first 5 miles of this section of the walk are on rough moorland path, then onto quiet minor roads past the stunning Forfar Castle. There is the option of taking the alternative route into Glenisla by crossing Mount Blair, the terrain is heather coated and on a clear day from the top you can see across to Ben Nevis. Staying on the lower route passes many lochs and the views up to Mount Blair are magnificent.
Glenisla to Alyth
Leaving Glenisla you wind through forest and farmlands to reach Alyth, the walking is peaceful with fine open views as you raise high above the river Isla. The route crosses Alyth Hill which rises steeply on the edge of town.
Alyth to Blairgowrie
As you head out of Alyth the trail uses moorland and quiet minor roads, the walking is fairly gentle on this last section and walkers are rewarded with extensive views as the route climbs to over 950ft above sea level. The final descent into Bridge of Cally is mostly on tarmac using quiet roads. The walk ends by following the route on the first section into Blairgowrie.
The hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s we use are hand-picked to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early, especially in high season. Below you will find a list of the accommodation we regularly use which will give you a good idea of the standard of accommodation.
This independent walking vacation is available to solo walkers but as all our vacation are priced per person based on two sharing there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs we incur. If you require single rooms within your party we will of course try to accommodate your request subject to availability.
Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival, alternatively your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your info pack will of course have recommendations.
Your bags will be collected from your accommodation each day and moved onto your overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
Glensheiling House - Blairgowrie
The House, built in 1893, is a Victorian Villa that is grade C listed for its local architectural significance. It has five well appointed rooms (one on the ground floor); all of which are ensuite.
Bridge of Cally Hotel - Bridge of Cally
The Bridge of Cally Hotel is a friendly, family run hotel and restaurant ideally situated at the footings of Glen Shee - the gateway to the Highlands.
Strathardle Inn - Kirkmichael
This historic coaching inn dates back to the late 1700's. The river Ardle passes in front of the Inn as does the Cataran Trail on its way from Bridge of Cally to Enochdhu.
West Fruechies - Glenisla
West Fruechies provides first class accommodation for walkers, they have drying rooms and comfortable accommodation.
Old Stables - Alyth
This comfortable B&B is situated in an ideal location in the old market town of Alyth and within easy walking distance of all amenities.
Getting to/from Blairgowrie
One must first get to Perth from Edinburgh or Glasgow of which there are frequent services.
From Edinburgh - 45 miles (1 hour 30 mins by bus or 1 hour 15 mins by train) From Glasgow – 62 miles (I hour 40 mins by bus or 1 hour by train) From Perth to Blairgowrie it is 15 miles of which there are frequent buses which take 45 mins.
We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.
How fit do I need to be?
We offer a range of itineraries so you can choose your preferred daily distance so hopefully you will find an itinerary that suits your preferred level of activity. If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.
How far in advance do I need to book?
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as it can be extremely popular especially over April/May and July/August. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.
What personal equipment do I need?
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
When is the best time of year?
Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better. Although I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.
Am I able to take my dog?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
You can use public transport or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.
The Cateran Trai is available to start on any date from March to October. To make a provisional reservation select "Book" for the itinerary you are interested in.
Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Because every Cateran Trail vacation we book is unique availability changes from day to day and our booking process works as follows:
- You provisionally book the tour you are interested in for your preferred dates and pay a 20% deposit online or by phone.
- We confirm availability and book all your accommodation and options and send final confirmation as soon as everything is confirmed (max 5 working days).
- If we are unable to accommodate you on your confirmed dates/tour or an alternative of your choice your deposit is fully refunded.
||7 - 8 Days
||7 Days & 6 Nights
||8 Days & 7 Nights
- Either 6 or 7 Nights (depending on itinerary) accommodation in carefully selected guesthouses, B&B's and small hotels.
- Door to door baggage transfer.
- A detailed pre-departure information pack, guidebook and maps for your party.
- Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Single room supplement.
- Additional nights before, after or during your walk.