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.
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, hints and links
Points of Interest
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
Killiecrankie Hotel provides the only option en route for food. Please check opening times directly with the hotel before relying on this, and otherwise come prepared with plenty of food and drink to have a picnic lunch en route. Once you arrive Pitlochry there are plenty of places to eat the main street is lined with little cafes, pubs and restaurants.
Transport to Blair Atholl (if on one of our Rail & Hike itineraries and overnighting in Blair Atholl):
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.
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.