Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Heart of Scotland self-guided walking holiday
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Highlights

  • Enjoying the huge range of suggested walks.
  • Exploring Blair Castle and Atholl Estates.
  • Walking through one of Scotland’ finest landscapes.
  • Visiting Edradour, Scotland’s smallest distillery.
  • The prolific wildlife and bird life of the area.

Explore the heart of Scotland on foot. Discover the history, castles, lochs and rivers of Highland Perthshire on our Heart of Scotland short break. Highland Perthshire is arguably one of Scotland’s most beautiful parts and there is no better way to discover the rich fertile glens and wild hillsides than on foot. The glens are home to rich farmland, ancient forest, historic castles and tranquil lochs, while the heather covered hills are full of wildlife.

Blair Atholl, nestled on the banks of the River Garry, is your base for the first two nights. Blair Castle and the walking on Atholl Estates are both first class. You then walk south via Killiecrankie and Ben Vrackie to Pitlochry where you spend the last two nights of your holiday.

Highland Perthshire is a favourite destination of many of our experienced walk leaders and they have put together a selection of their favourite walks for you to enjoy at your own pace. Welcoming country hotels, baggage transfer, detailed route notes, maps and emergency support are all included in your holiday, should you need it.

Day 1: Arrive Starting Point: Blair Atholl

Blair Atholl is the quintessential highland village and offers real highland hospitality to visitors. It is the perfect walking base complete with beautiful scenery and a network of excellent trails.


Blair Atholl is on the main Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness rail, bus and road routes. Journey time is about three hours.


Day 2: Atholl Estates Walk—5-10 Miles

The area surrounding Blair Atholl is an amazing part of Scotland and you have an entire day to enjoy the delights of this truly special part of the country.


Start by visiting Blair Castle, its imposing white facade dominates the area. It is home to the Atholl Highlanders, one of Europe’s last private armies and exploring the castle and gardens is enthralling.


The afternoon is best spent exploring one of the many way marked tracks available on Atholl Estates, although you can choose from several walks which we provide including challenging hill walks or gentle river strolls.


Day 3: Blair Atholl to Pitlochry—10 Miles

Start your journey with a relaxed walk on riverside paths to Killiecrankie, site of the first battle of the Jacobite victory and home of the unbelievable “Soldiers Leap”. From Killiecrankie you have the choice of three equally appealing routes to Moulin, by mountain, moor or river.


Day 4: Pitlochry Walking—5-10 Miles

Choose from a number of outstanding walks in and around Pitlochry and the surrounding area. Mountains, rivers, lochs and local attractions will inspire and delight you. Your biggest problem will be which route to take and which sites to visit.


Choices include Edradour and Blair Athol Distilleries, the Festival Theatre, the Salmon Ladder and the Black Spout Waterfall.


Alternatively if you are feeling more energetic you may wish to tackle Ben Vrackie, the highest hill in the area which is sure to reward your efforts with fantastic views in all directions.


Day 5: Depart Pitlochry

Again, Glasgow and Edinburgh are easily accessed from this central location and should you need to return to Blair Atholl it is a short journey by local transport.


Walking Direction

Should you wish to walk in the opposite direction this can be arranged.


Tailor Made Holidays

We are always more than happy to tailor our standard itineraries to suit. Just let us know what you would like and we will be happy to arrange your tailor made walking holiday.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the
accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star
B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will
always have an ensuite or private bathroom. A delicious breakfast is
always included.


Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and
accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not
included. Most of your accommodation will be more than happy to provide
a packed lunch on request. Dinner is available either at your
accommodation or at nearby pubs or restaurants.


Dogs

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.


Navigation

The Heart of Scotland trail is generally clearly defined on the ground but there is no waymarking for some of the walks so you will need to be comfortable reading a map and know how to use a compass.


Grade

The way is on well maintained footpaths, bridleways, across fields and on some minor roads. The distances on days 1 and 3 depend on how much you wish to do so you can make the trip as easy or as difficult as you wish.


Baggage Transfer

Daily door to door baggage transfer is included in the cost of your holiday. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.


Dogs

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack. 


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Getting to Blair Atholl

Blair Atholl is 80 miles north of Edinburgh on the main transport route through the highlands. By car the journey from Edinburgh takes 1.5 hours and Blair Atholl is well signed from the A9. The village also has excellent public transport connections and is served by Scotraill trains and Citylink Bus services from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness.


Getting back from Pitlochry

Pitlochry is located close to the A9 motorway. There are several trains per day to Glasgow and Edinburgh with Scotrail and similarly there are several bus services with Citylink.


Should you wish to travel back to Blair Atholl, simply take the train which takes around 10 minutes or the local number 87 bus, which takes around 20 minutes.

Included

  • Hand picked B&B, guesthouse and small hotel accommodation in en-suite rooms.
  • Door to door baggage transfer.
  • A detailed info pack, guide book and map for the group leader.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.

We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Heart of Scotland trip and I hope that you will find the following information useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

How fit do I need to be?

This short break is unique in that it offers you a choice of routes on 2 of the 3 walking days, so you can choose to walk depending on how fit you feel you are at the time. However, in order to get full enjoyment out of the trip 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?

As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Highland Perthshire is a very busy area. If booking at short notice 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.

When is the best time of year?

The Heart of Scotland is very enjoyable at any time being that it is a lower level walk, although my personal favourite time of year is the spring and autumn.

What is the best way to get to/from the walk?

We recommend you travel by train. Further travel information is available on our Essential Info page. If you are driving we recommend leaving your car in Pitlochry where on street and secure long term parking is available.

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 local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureHeart of Scotland
 
4.5

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

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Reviewed by 2 customers

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4.0

You won't find this in the Lonely Planet

By HannaTee

from Lahti, Finland

About Me Mostly a city hiker, Occasional Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Friendly locals
  • Lovely small towns
  • Routes with views
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • Slightly longer routes than expected

Best Uses

  • Fresh air
  • Getting to know Scotland
  • Holiday
  • Relaxation

Comments about macs adventure Heart of Scotland:

I wanted to get a short break from the hectic everyday life, and did. Loved the nostalgic atmosphere of Atholl Arms and Blair Atholl, and appreciated the slightly more vibrant feel of Pitlochry. Got a ton of fresh air, stayed in neat and friendly hotels, enjoyed the Scottish sun and relaxed.
I took the trip alone, and felt safe the whole time. Glad to recommend it. Nice pubs and distilleries, and good local food added to the charm of the region.
This was my first time with Macs' but definitely not the last. I got great help from the office while stumbling across the wrong hotel in Pitlochry (my phone refused to open the accommodation documents in rtf). They'd organized everything very well

 
5.0

Best of Braveheart!

By Larry the Lionhearted

from Stuttgart

Verified Reviewer

Comments about macs adventure Heart of Scotland:

We did the heart of the Highlands, in theory only three days of self-guided walking, but we squeezed an extra day in at the beginning. Scotrail from Edinburgh to Blair Atholl and checked into the charming, if stereotyped Atholl Arms Hotel (great food, ale and location along with helpful if quirky staff), and then traipsed the Glen Tilt walk to warm up. Day two, we hit Cairn Liath in a gale. Just perfect to end that blustery day in front of a blazing fire with local Whiskey. Smooth luggage transfer and a terrific long walk to Pitlochry, the highlight of the Highlands. Two nights at Dunmurray B&B were not enough. Proprieters were amazing people - friends, helpers, guides. Climbing the Ben was spectacular, and dinner at Fern Cottage capped my 60th birthday. Thank you, Mac's Adventure, for setting up the best trip I've had in a decade.

  • Traveler Type:
  • Family
  • Did You Travel With Children?:
  • Adult son

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