Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Highland Perthshire Trail Self Guided Walking Vacation
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Highlights

  • Exploring Blair Castle, one of Scotland’s finest, and the beautiful Atholl Estate.
  • Visiting the fascinating historic sites at the Pass of Killiecrankie and Loch Tay.
  • Enjoying the warm highland hospitality and delicious local produce in your carefully selected hotels, inns and guesthouses.
  • Discovering the secrets behind whisky making at The Edradour Distillery.
  • Walking through the wonderful highland scenery of the Tay River Valley.

Highland Perthshire is the Scotland you dream of, turreted castles framed by hills of purple heather, clear streams, dark tree lined lochs, kilted private armies and whisky distilleries.

Varied walks immerse you in the fabric of the landscape. Explore beautifully manicured highland estates, wild woodland bursting with plant and animal life, tranquil loch and riverside walks and wide open moorland with endless views.

Enjoy the warm highland hospitality and delicious local produce in your carefully selected hotels, inns and guesthouses. Discovering the secrets behind whisky making at The Edradour Distillery and walking through the wonderful highland scenery of the Tay River Valley will make for a memorable walking holiday.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Highlands of Scotland soon.

This is a general stage by stage guide. For all the available day by day itineraries, please see the options on the right.


Day 1– Arrive Starting Point: Blair Atholl

Blair Atholl offers real highland hospitality, beautiful scenery, a rich history and plenty to do and is easily accessed from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Atholl Arms Hotel always offers a warm welcome and after checking in you may wish to enjoy a stroll through Atholl Estates, or simply relax and enjoy the fine food and hospitality.


Overnight: Blair Atholl: The Atholl Arms Hotel


The Atholl Arms is a really traditional highland hotel, big on heritage and hospitality. Fresh local produce is a speciality and a dedicated team of chefs have built an enviable reputation for delicious traditional specialities.


Day 2 – Blair Castle & Atholl Estates

Discovery Day: 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. Blair Castle is opposite your hotel and the imposing white façade dominates the area. It is home to the Atholl Highlanders, one of Europe’s last private armies and exploring the castle and grounds will keep you enthralled for hours. The afternoon is best spent exploring one of the many waymarked tracks available on Atholl Estates, although you can choose from several walks which we provide including challenging hill walks or gentle river strolls.


Overnight: Blair Atholl - The Atholl Arms Hotel


Day 3 – Blair Atholl to Moulin or 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 or Pitlochry, by mountain, moor or river. Moulin is a tiny village to the north of Pitlochry nestled on the slopes of Ben Vrackie.


Overnight: The Moulin Hotel or a hotel in Pitlochry


The Moulin Hotel is a delightful haven of Scottish Hospitality and has been welcoming travellers since 1695. This quite superb, rather romantic inn blends old world highland hospitality with the comforts and service of a modern hotel. The hotel also boasts its own micro brewery whose traditional beers perfectly complement the hearty highland fayre.


Day 4 – Discover Pitlochry or Tackle Ben Vrackie

Pitlochry is a bustling town that first become popular in Victorian times and continues to be enormously popular with visitors. Enjoy a leisurely walk from your hotel in Moulin that takes in all the attractions including Edradour Distillery, Loch Faskally, The Festival Theatre, the Fish Ladder and Pitlochry High Street. 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.


Overnight: The Moulin Hotel or a hotel in Pitlochry


Day 5 – Moulin/Pitlochry to Aberfeldy - 9.2 Miles

As you leave Pitlochry you climb the watershed between the Tummel and Tay Rivers and the resulting views are breathtaking – Scotland at its very finest! Once the initial climb is over you will enjoy a relaxed descent towards the River Tay and Aberfeldy. The River Tay is Scotland’s Largest River and is world renowned for its outstanding salmon fishing, although anglers now share the river with an increasing number of white water rafters and kayakers. You cross the River Tay by way of Wades Bridge just before arriving in Aberfeldy, a small market town nestled on the banks of the River Tay and home to one of Scotland’s best tea shops.


Overnight: Balnearn Guest House


Balnearn House is a delightful guest house located in Aberfeldy. Claire and Mark Dimmock welcome you to their comfortable home where comfort and a friendly atmosphere are a top priority. The house was built in 1900 and boasts open log fires and beautiful views over a much loved garden. Claire and Mark will be happy to book you into a nearby restaurant for dinner.


Day 6 – Aberfeldy to Kenmore – 7 miles

Your days walk starts in spectacular fashion as you climb a good path parallel to the Birks of Aberfeldy, a deep gorge and series of waterfalls that is particularly impressive after heavy rain. The remainder of the day is spent in woodland, the native woodland being a particularly good habitat for wildlife and birds so keep your eyes and ears open. You should also start to glimpse the expanse of Loch Tay as the end of the days walk draws near in Kenmore. Kenmore is a small highland community nestled on the banks of the River Tay where it flows from Loch Tay. The main street is dominated by the gates of Taymouth Castle which is now home to an exclusive golf club. The Crannog Centre is a mile west of the village and offers a fascinating insight into the life of iron age Scots.


Overnight: The Kenmore Hotel


The Kenmore Hotel was founded on the 3rd of November 1572 and claims to be Scotland’s oldest hotel. A beautiful setting and historical location offer a touch of paradise unspoiled by time. Rooms, restaurants and bars offer superb views of the mountains and river. The restaurant boasts innovative Scottish Cuisine combined with new world delicacies; all enjoyed overlooking the River Tay.


Day 7 – Kenmore to Fortingall – 5 – 8 miles

Choose one of several routes as you head ever deeper into the Scottish Highlands as you walk over or around Drummond Hill to Fortingall. As you leave Kenmore and enjoy the expansive vistas over Loch Tay you can’t help but be inspired by the beauty and timelessness of the landscape. Fortingall is famous for having the oldest tree in Scotland and reputedly the birth place of Pontius Pilate - the son of a Roman Legionary and a local Girl - the Yew Tree in the Churchyard would have been there at that time! I am sure that you will have time to learn all about it. Fortingall is known as one of the prettiest villages in Scotland and was designed by James Marjorybanks McLaren, who taught Chares Rennie Mackintosh.


Overnight: The Fortingall Hotel


The Fortingall is a special treat, a luxurious highland hotel at the centre of the conservation village of Fortingall which offers luxury country house style rooms. The accommodation is perfectly complemented by delicious food sourced locally and beautifully prepared and presented.


Day 8: Fortingall to Kinloch Rannoch – 10 miles

A dramatic and challenging days walking to end your highland journey on a high note. Your route takes you through the remote highland glen that joins Fortingall and Kinloch Rannoch, an ancient right of way that is still used today. The towering bulk of Schiehallion dominates through most of the day and provides a fitting background to what has been an inspiring journey through the heart of Scotland. Kinloch Rannoch is a small and isolated village, take time to relax and enjoy the spectacular views of Schiehallion.


Overnight: Bunrannoch House


Bunrannoch House is an old hunting lodge situated in woodland on the outskirts of Kinloch Rannoch and enjoys high level views of Loch Rannoch and the surrounding mountains. Bunrannoch House is well known locally for its warm hospitality and fine menu sourced from local suppliers and lovingly prepared. It provides a haven of tranquillity and is the ideal base to relax and take time out from modern life.

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this walking holiday is the very high standard of the accommodation you will enjoy. The hotels and guesthouses 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. You will find descriptions, photos and weblinks to the accommodation that we strive to use for the trip below.


Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as all our holidays 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. Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins.


Meals

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.




 

 




Atholl Arms - Blair Atholl

The Atholl Arms is a really traditional highland hotel, big on heritage and hospitality.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Moulin Hotel - Moulin by Pitlochry

A delightful Haven of authentic Scottish highland hospitality since 1695 , The Moulin Hotel embraces a warm and welcoming world of peace, tranquillity and traditional Scottish hospitality.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Balnearn - Aberfeldy



Balnearn - Aberfeldy

Balnearn is a Victorian- style property set within approximately three-quarters of an acre of grounds.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Kenmore Hotel - Kenmore

Nestling on the banks of the River Tay the Hotel is famous for its warmth, charm, Highland hospitality and vivid history.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Fortingall Hotel - Fortingall

The Fortingall Hotel nestles in the middle of the historic Arts and Crafts village of Fortingall, hugging the contours of the hill at the foot of beautiful Glen Lyon in Highland Perthshire.


 

 

 

Time of Year

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked the trail in every summer month we believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.


The weather in Scotland is unpredictable all year, so it is imperative to be prepared for wind, rain, cold, warmth and sunshine! Conditions (and forecasts) can vary substantially from one day to the next, so do anticipate a variety of weathers, and embrace them as the Scots do (with a good waterproof and windproof jacket on).


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This independent walking holiday is available to solo walkers but as all our holidays 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. Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins.


Grade and Terrain

This walk is graded easy to moderate and includes daily walking between 5-13 miles following good tracks and paths over undulating terrain for at least 6 to 7 hours. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this tour.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

Much of the walk is not way-marked however you will be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day.


Baggage Transfers

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 15kg per person.


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.


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.

Getting to/from 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 First Scotrail trains and Citylink Bus services from Glasgow/Edinburgh to Inverness.


Getting from Kinloch Rannoch

Despite its remoteness Kinloch Rannoch is well served by public transport. Broons Buses and Taxis run to Rannoch Station (Trains to Glasgow and Fort William/Mallaig) and Pitlochry (Trains/buses to Inverness/Glasgow/Edinburgh/Blair Atholl).

Included

  • Hand picked bed and breakfast accommodation in ensuite rooms wherever possible.
  • Door to door baggage transfer.
  • A detailed info pack, route notes and maps.
  • 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.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.

Extras

  • Single room or solo walker supplement.
  • Extra nights.
  • Return taxi transfer from Kinloch Rannoch to Blair Atholl.

Planning a trip on the Highland Perthshire Trail can be daunting, especially if this is your first long distance walking holiday. We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

How fit do I need to be?

At 55 Miles the Highland Perthshire Trail is a fair distance and the higher your level of fitness the more you will enjoy the experience. Most of our itineraries involve between 5 to 8 hours walking daily so you should be comfortable walking on good tracks and paths over undulating terrain for at least 6 to 7 hours. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk is recommended. 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 the Highland Perthshire Trail is 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.

How do the baggage transfers work?

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 15kg per person.

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 and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked the trail in every summer month I believe any time between late March and October offers a wonderful experience.

What are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American knats) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your 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 and several sections of the way are closed to dogs as they are permissive paths through farm land.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.

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