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Blair Atholl to Pitlochry

Hiking route · United Kingdom
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  • The River Garry
    The River Garry
    Photo: Taylor St John, Macs Adventure
m 200 150 100 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Blair Athol Distillery Soldier's Leap Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre Killiecrankie
Walk from Blair Atholl to the charming town of Pitlochry along a varied riverside route; quiet country roads, open farmland and meandering woodland trails. 
easy
Distance 14.2 km
4:00 h
60 m
85 m
167 m
92 m

Connect two of Perthshire's best villages - the peaceful, understated Blair Atholl and the buzzing hub of Pitlochry - with a walk that follows both sides of the River Garry.  There are many options to walk between the two towns. This route is the most direct option, following the river straight to Killiecrankie, and, from there, joining the green-dotted riverside trail that is part of the Pitlochry Path Network. 

Begin along paved paths and single-track road, on relatively flat ground that rolls up toward Creag Odhar. As you cross the river, the tiny village of Killiecrankie serves as a good halfway point for a quick rest. 

From here, enjoy woodland walking for most of the remainder of the journey, stopping at the Soldier's Leap, where the red coat Donald MacBean is said to have scaled 18 feet across the gorge to escape the Jacobites in the Battle of Killiecrankie. The path then becomes more undulating, and more enjoyable for it, with plenty of chances to descend toward the banks of the river. 

 

Transport between Blair Atholl and Pitlochry

Pitlochry and Blair Atholl are connected via regular (although slightly less regular on Sundays) train and bus services. The journey takes less than 15 minutes and tickets can be bought on the day. 

For train services check the ScotRail website: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/ 

For bus services see the Elizabeth Yule website: https://elizabethyulecoaches.co.uk/bus-services  

Author’s recommendation

There are plenty of great cafes in Pitlochry, we recommend some take-out homebaking to fuel to your walk alongside your packed lunch. 
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Author
Macs Adventure
Update: August 04, 2022
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
167 m
Lowest point
92 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Track types

Asphalt 1.24%Forested/wild trail 2.11%Path 5.22%Road 1.99%Unknown 89.41%
Asphalt
0.2 km
Forested/wild trail
0.3 km
Path
0.7 km
Road
0.3 km
Unknown
12.7 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Killiecrankie

Safety information

After the Garry Bridge, the hillside that the woodland track traverses gets a bit steeper and is prone to fallen trees. These are usually dealt with quickly, but if you do come across a tree over the path, take care to cross or see if there is a route around via the riverbank.  

There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement or verge. Walk on the right-hand side facing into the oncoming traffic unless there is a right-hand turn, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the best chance of seeing you in advance.

You may also pass through fields with livestock on this route. Take care to move in a way that doesn't startle the animals, and pass with a wide berth.

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Soldier's Leap

The story goes that during the 1689 Battle of Killiecrankie,  an English soldier made a leap of escape that spanned 18 feet across the gorge just south of the town. The walk today passes directly by the viewpoint so you can judge the legend's accuracy for yourself. 

For more information: www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/killiecrankie

 

Food & Drink

The Killiecrankie Hotel is closed for refurbishment and is the only option en route, but there are places to eat and drink both in Blair Atholl and Pitlochry. We recommend coming prepared with plenty of food and water for a picnic lunch en route. Once you arrive in Pitlochry there are plenty of places to eat; the main street is lined with little cafes, pubs and restaurants. 

  

Transport between Blair Atholl and Pitlochry

Pitlochry and Blair Atholl are connected via regular (although slightly less regular on Sundays) train and bus services. The journey takes less than 15 minutes and tickets can be bought on the day. 

For train services check the ScotRail webite: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/  

For bus services see the Elizabeth Yule website: https://elizabethyulecoaches.co.uk/bus-services   

 

Start

Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl (131 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NN 87134 65347
DD
56.766006, -3.848052
DMS
56°45'57.6"N 3°50'53.0"W
UTM
30V 448160 6291660
w3w 
///dustbin.oddly.swimsuits
Show on Map

Destination

Pitlochry War Memorial

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km – Starting at the junction with Ford Road, with Atholl Arms Hotel on your right and the main road on your left, TURN RIGHT to follow Ford Road. After 100m, take care to cross the railway tracks, then BEAR RIGHT at a fork to continue following the road.

0.35 km – At the road end, continue STRAIGHT ON along a paved path toward the river, then TURN LEFT to follow the path with the river on your right. After 100m, TURN RIGHT to cross a wooden bridge over the River Garry.

0.55 km – After the bridge, BEAR LEFT at a fork in the path then TURN LEFT immediately to join the paved path, following the river on your left. Continue STRAIGHT ON for 2.40 km, ignoring any turns off to the left or right.

2.70 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON as the widened paved path crosses underneath the A9, then BEAR LEFT to follow a paved single-track road with the river on your left and farmland on your right. Continue STRAIGHT ON for 2.80 km, ignoring any turns off to the left or right.

5.40 km – BEAR LEFT slightly at a junction with a road leading back and uphill on your right. After 200m, follow the road as it crosses a stone bridge over River Garry. Then continue STRAIGHT ON to cross another bridge over the railway tracks. 

5.80 km – At a T-junction with a green signpost for the Killiecrankie Path and Moulin on your left, TURN RIGHT to follow the sign. After 100m, cross the road into the Killiecrankie Hall Cark Park and TURN RIGHT to follow a gravel footpath and a green sign for the Pitlochry walk. Continue STRAIGHT ON through the wooden gate, ignoring an uphill path to your left.

5.90 km – At a junction with a green sign for the Pitlochry walk on your right, TURN RIGHT to follow the track as it passes in front of the Killiecrankie Hotel grounds. After 200m, TURN RIGHT onto the hotel drive and cross the road to rejoin the path on the opposite side.

6.20 km – BEAR RIGHT at a fork, then continue STRAIGHT ON past a turn on your left, following the downhill path and the green and blue arrows on your right.

(After 100m, you can TURN RIGHT to follow signs for the detour to Soldier’s Leap, returning back the same way.)

6.30 km – After the viewpoint detour, continue STRAIGHT ON to follow the signpost for Pass of Killiecrankie and Linn of Tummel on your right. After 50m, cross a wooden bridge and pass a railway viaduct on your left, then continue STRAIGHT ON for 1.50 km, ignoring any smaller woodland paths off to your left or right.

7.80 km – Pass a signpost with a green arrow on your right and BEAR RIGHT slightly at a junction, following a wooden sign on your right for Bridge View Point.

7.90 km – With a signpost on your left pointing across to Garry Bridge Car Park and the bridge on your right, continue STRAIGHT ON, following the sign for Bealach Path and Pitlochry. After 50m BEAR LEFT at a fork to follow the uphill path.

8.20 km – After passing beneath a road bridge far above, cross a wooden footbridge and continue STRAIGHT ON following the river on your right.

8.70 km – BEAR LEFT to follow the path as it curves away from the river and then crosses a wooden bridge over a stream. Then TURN RIGHT at a crossroads to follow a signpost on your left for Bealach Path and Pitlochry, following the path as it rejoins the river on your right.

9.20 km – At a crossroads with a path leading through a field on your left and down to the river on your right, continue STRAIGHT ON.

10.20 km – At a T-junction with a single-track road leading to Faskally House on your left, TURN RIGHT to join the road, following a signpost for Bealach Path and Pitlochry and the river on your right.

10.80 km – At a junction with a small cark park/layby on your left and a metal gate and dirt track on your right, continue STRAIGHT ON along paved single-track road, following a green arrow on you right.

10.90 km – TURN RIGHT at a junction with a Pitlochry Path Network information board on your right, following signs for the Bealach Path and Pitlochry on your left. Then Ignore several paths circling a lochan on your left and continue STRAIGHT ON, following the green arrow.

11.10 km – At a fork in the road with a sign for a site office on your right, BEAR LEFT then continue STRAIGHT ON past a second site entrance on your right, following the green arrow on your left.

11.70 km – At a fork in the track with a green arrow signpost in the middle, BEAR RIGHT to follow the downhill track and green arrow.

12.00 km – At a fork in the track with a white-striped post on your right, BEAR RIGHT to follow the downhill path toward the river. After 200m, descend a set of wooden steps and BEAR LEFT to continue following the path. After another 200m, descend the second set of steps and again BEAR LEFT to continue following the path.

 12.40 km – BEAR RIGHT at a fork with green arrow and sign for Killicrankie via Faskally Wood on your left, following the downhill path. After 50m, cross a wooden bridge and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON.

12.50 km – Descend a set of stone steps and TURN RIGHT to follow a paved path.

12.70 km – At a junction with a footbridge on your right, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to cross under the motorway.

12.80 km – Where the path ends with a green arrow on your left, BEAR RIGHT to walk past a café on your left and boat dock on your right. After 50 metres, with the Pitlochry Boating Station Car Park straight ahead, TURN RIGHT to follow the paved single-track road.

13.30 km – Cross over a road on your right then TURN RIGHT at a T-junction to follow the pavement along the right side of the main road into Pitlochry. After 200m, cross a bridge over railway tracks and continue STRAIGHT ON, taking care when crossing over side roads.

14.20 km – Finish your walk in front of the Pitlochry War Memorial.

 

 

 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NN 87134 65347
DD
56.766006, -3.848052
DMS
56°45'57.6"N 3°50'53.0"W
UTM
30V 448160 6291660
w3w 
///dustbin.oddly.swimsuits
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Such is the way of British hiking, that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weather; hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, along with sun-cream. Walking shoes may be an advantage for this section, as it is on paved paths or well-maintained forestry tracks. 

Walking poles are not necessary on this walk with only minor ascents and descents, but you can bring them along if they are part of your standard walking equipment.  

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, we recommend bringing a rechargeable battery pack. 

 

 


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Difficulty
easy
Distance
14.2 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
60 m
Descent
85 m
Highest point
167 m
Lowest point
92 m
Scenic Cultural/historical interest

Statistics

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  • 4 Waypoints
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