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Banvie Burn Loop Walk

· 4 reviews · Hiking trail
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  • Blair Atholl Visitor Centre
    / Blair Atholl Visitor Centre
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Old Blair hamlet
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Old Blair footbridge over the road
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Glen Tilt uplands
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Blair Atholl Estates woodland
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Orange Glen Tilt trail marker
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Blair Castle
    Photo: Catherine Allan, Macs Adventure Ltd
m 400 300 200 100 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Blair Castle Hercules Garden The Whim Viewpoint The Whim, Blair atholl St Bride's Kirk St Bride's Kirk Blair Castle
Walk from the charming village of Blair Atholl up the Banvie Burn through woodlands to open moorland, then descend through forests and farmland, to pass Blair Castle, and return to Blair Atholl.  
moderate
Distance 21 km
7:15 h
345 m
337 m

After a hearty Scottish breakfast explore the idyllic Atholl Estates. Follow a trail that meanders through woodlands and the heather-clad hills surrounding Blair Castle, the historic home of the Earls and Dukes of Atholl and dating from the 1200s.  

You can shorten the walk to 14.5 km by joining the route from the castle grounds (entry fee payable) if you wish to visit the castle (summer opening season) and explore the grounds.  The castle grounds are well signposted; to join the mapped route take the path that leads through Diana’s Grove from the terrace in front of the Castle, and join the route at the start of the Glen Banvie track near Old Blair. The described initial section along the banks of the River Tilt is superb and should not be missed, but it is also described as part of the return journey from Old Blair to the village of Blair Atholl. 

Author’s recommendation

Take your time and enjoy the tranquil woodlands, making sure to visit the old folly at "The Whim" that affords an excellent view down into the valley.  If you have a packed lunch, the viewpoint at Bruar Falls is a good spot to stop for lunch.  You may also like to explore the grounds of Blair Castle at the beginning or end of your walk - you'll catch glimpses of the castle en route.  
Profile picture of Catherine Allan
Author
Catherine Allan 
Update: June 01, 2021
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
390 m
Lowest point
123 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Most of the walk is on good tracks and paths through the woodlands and on the moorland.  However, there are short sections of the route on minor roads, so do beware of traffic on these sections and stand into the side on the narrow single-track roads to let vehicles pass.  

Tips and hints

Food & Drink

There isn't anywhere to eat en route but you can buy things to make a packed lunch from one of the two convenience stores in the village.  On returning to Blair Atholl you can have coffee and cake at the working Watermill & Tea Room, and later on, dinner at The Loft Restaurant, or the Bothy Bar (in the Atholl Arms Hotel).  There is also a takeaway next to the Tourist Information and museum.

Blair Castle:  https://blair-castle.co.uk/ 

The Loft restaurant: http://loftblairatholl.homestead.com/ 

Watermill & Tea Room: http://blairathollwatermill.co.uk/ 

 

Start

Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl (123 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
NN 87112 65331
DD
56.765859, -3.848405
DMS
56°45'57.1"N 3°50'54.3"W
UTM
30V 448138 6291644
w3w 
///screening.massing.sharp

Destination

Atholl Arms Hotel, Blair Atholl

Turn-by-turn directions

 

0.00 km – Begin at the Atholl Arms Hotel in the centre of Blair Atholl. With your back to the hotel TURN RIGHT and continue along the road through the village, passing the main entrance to Blair Castle, towards the bridge over the River Tilt.

0.50 km – TURN LEFT to cross the Bridge of Tilt, taking a footpath that follows the riverbank upstream. Eventually, leave the riverbank and heading up to the road which runs parallel.

1.35 km – TURN LEFT on the road, passing the houses of Old Bridge of Tilt.

1.45 km - TURN LEFT at the road junction, to follow the signpost for “Old Blair ½ mile”.

1.75 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at East Lodge following the road towards Old Blair.

2.50 km – TURN LEFT to pass the houses at Old Blair. In 100m at the gates of Old Blair house, pass the entrance to St Bride’s Kirk, and continue over a bridge.

2.85 km – TURN RIGHT onto a track marked with an orange arrow, opposite a gateway in the wall.  (This gate leads into Diana’s Grove and the grounds of Blair Castle.)

3.10km – At the estate buildings, BEAR RIGHT to take a track that follows the line of the Banvie Burn.

 

4.10 km – Optional diversion: TURN LEFT off the track to The Whim Viewpoint, for a worthwhile detour to the folly at the Whim overlooking the valley below. Continue along this track for 300m metres to reach the folly. Return by the same route and continue along the main track. Please note this 600m diversion is not included in the route note distances. 

 

4.50 km – BEAR LEFT at a track junction, continuing up the side of the Banvie Burn. DO NOT cross the bridge.

4.60 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at the next track junction following the line of the Banvie Burn, and the orange trail markers.

8.20 km – BEAR LEFT following the orange trail marks, the track now turns to follow the glen of the Bruar Water.

10.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON at a track junction, following the orange marker.

11.65 km – TURN RIGHT at a track junction signed for the falls of Bruar viewpoint. Continue to the viewpoint, ignoring a track on the right which leads to a water tank, then return to the main track by the same route.

12.70 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON along the main track, following the orange markers towards Blair Atholl.

14.80 km – TURN RIGHT at a track junction, marked with an orange arrow.

15.20 km – TURN LEFT at a track crossroads, following the orange arrows.

17.30 km – TURN RIGHT down the avenue that leads toward the castle. In 200m TURN LEFT along the road leading to Old Blair, passing the entrance to St. Bride’s Kirk.

17.80 km – TURN LEFT at the gates of Old Blair House. In 100m TURN RIGHT to follow the road sign to Old Bridge of Tilt.

18.90 km – TURN RIGHT and follow the road to Blair Atholl.

19.40 km – TURN RIGHT to follow the woodland path along the banks of the River Tilt.

19.90 km – TURN RIGHT to join the pavement and follow the road into the centre of Blair Atholl.

20.40 km – Finish outside the Atholl Arms Hotel.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
NN 87112 65331
DD
56.765859, -3.848405
DMS
56°45'57.1"N 3°50'54.3"W
UTM
30V 448138 6291644
w3w 
///screening.massing.sharp
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

Being mostly on well-established tracks, paths and minor roads you can wear either hiking boots or hiking shoes if you prefer.  The weather in Scotland can be very variable all year so make sure you have waterproofs, layers and a hat, buff/scarf, and gloves with you.  You may also like to use walking poles as these can help by taking some pressure off your knees.  As ever it's always good to take some snacks and plenty of water to have along the way.   

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Rating

3.8
(4)
John Macnab
October 07, 2019 · Community
Very nice hike even on a wet & windy day. App worked well for keeping us on track. Easy walking.
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Monday, October 7, 2019 5:14:36 PM
Photo: John Macnab, Community
Monday, October 7, 2019 5:15:28 PM
Photo: John Macnab, Community
Monday, October 7, 2019 5:17:12 PM
Photo: John Macnab, Community
John Macnab
October 07, 2019 · Community
Beautiful hike even on a rainy day in October. Easy hike and the Macs App worked great.
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Jimmy Goh
June 25, 2019 · Community
Near Blair Castle
Photo: Jimmy Goh, Community
The Great Hall
Photo: Jimmy Goh, Community
Summer
Photo: Jimmy Goh, Community
🌲
Photo: Jimmy Goh, Community
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Photos from others

Monday, October 7, 2019 5:14:36 PM
Monday, October 7, 2019 5:15:28 PM
Monday, October 7, 2019 5:17:12 PM
Near Blair Castle
+ 7

Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
21 km
Duration
7:15 h
Ascent
345 m
Descent
337 m
Circular route Scenic Cultural/historical interest Healthy climate

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