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.
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 payble) if you wish to visit the castle 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.
Alternatively, take a lovely 14.5 km riverside walk to the quaint and popular town of Pitlochry, returning by local bus. As described in your information pack.
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 enroute.
Most of the walk is on good tracks and paths through the woodlands and on the moorland. However, there are some small 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.
Being mostly on well established tracks, paths and minor roads yo 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.
Food & Drink
There isn't anywhere to eat enroute 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 have 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.
Some Helpful Links ...
Blair Castle: https://blair-castle.co.uk/
The Loft restaurant: http://loftblairatholl.homestead.com/
Watermill & Tea Room: http://blairathollwatermill.co.uk/
This walk appears in the following itinerary: