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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you require single rooms within your party we will always try and accommodate you subject to availability. A single supplement is payable.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.
If you have room for a few titles in your pack, here are some good suggestions pertaining to the area.
The Guide to Mysterious Perthshire by Geoff Holder
Atholl and Gowrie: A Historical Guide by Lindsay J. MacGregor
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
A History of Scotland by Neil Oliver
I never Knew That About Scotland by Christopher Winn
Official Blair Atholl Site
Official Pitlochry Site
Atholl Estates Site
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.
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. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.
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.
You can start your Heart of Scotland walking holiday on any date between April and October, subject to availability. 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 Heart of Scotland walking holiday 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.
||Heart of Scotland
||5 Days & 4 Nights
- 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.
- Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.