Walking Highland Perthshire

By Ronald Turnbull

Walking guidebook to the highlands of Perthshire. Areas include Pitlochry, Rannoch, Aberfeldy, Ben Lawers and Ben Alder. 80 graded routes between Stirling and the Cairngorms explore grassy mountains and include 42 Munros, 22 selected Corbetts, 15 smaller hills and the Gaick and Minigaig passes. A range of walks for all abilities.



April to August for all routes, with April and May the best of all; autumn is great under the trees, but not necessarily on the hills with gales and rain fairly common, and some stalking season restrictions mid-August to 21 October; winter is good for the low level routes, and can also be magnificent on the high mountains for those suitably experienced and equipped


Comrie, Crieff, Aberfeldy, Killin, Dunkeld, Pitlochry, Blair Atholl


Routes are graded low/medium/mountain, and for difficulty from 1: clear smooth paths, with no steep sections to 5: featureless plateau requiring compass bearings in mist or pathless forest; heather tramping; remote high ground; long steep rough ascents and descents; rocky ground and easy scrambling. No serious scrambling
Must See

Must See

Ben Lawers, Schiehallion, Beinn a' Ghlo; historic passes through the wilds of Atholl; Perthshire's 'big tree country' at Birnam Wood, under the Birks of Aberfeldy, at Fortingall's ancient yew tree; the great rivers Garry and Tay
11 Jun 2013
17.2 x 11.6 x 2.1cm
  • Overview

    This walking guidebook to Highland Perthshire has over 80 graded routes which explore the ridges, plateaus, glens and woodland of highland Perthshire. The mountains, or 'grassy green giants' include the 42 Munros, including Ben Lawers and Ben Adler, as well as 22 selected Corbetts, 15 smaller summits and the historic Atholl passes of Gaick and Minigaig - all within easy reach of Perth.

    The hills of highland Perthshire are spacious and soothing, a place to relax after the rigours of Scotland’s rocky north and west. But relaxation is relative, when Scottish hills are concerned. Perthshire’s mountains may be soft edged and noted for their wild flowers, but easy they are not. They are jolly green giants and, from Schiehallion to Atholl, from Rannoch to Ben Vrackie, there are a lot of them.

    The nature of the landscape here results in heather and pebble-strewn plateaus and rounded ridges, with a break from the scrambling other Scottish ranges require. However, the lumpy tussocks and high heather can make walking strenuous even at lower levels. Each route is categorised by landscape; forest and riverside, moorland and hills or mountains, to help you gauge which routes fit your tastes and abilities. There is a real variety of skill levels catered for, from shorter walks on clear paths with little ascent, to day-long challenges with steep climbs and descents. Several routes also include pathless stretches and so require navigation skills, especially in bad weather.

    Routes are grouped into ten geographical areas: Comrie and Crieff, Killin and Glen Lochay, Glen Lyon, Bridge of Orchy, Perth and Dunkeld, Aberfeldy, Tummel and Loch Rannoch, Rannoch Moor, Pitlochry and Blair Atholl and Drumochter. Information about places of interest along the way, as well as wildlife, geology and history are included, as are practical details on the deer stalking season, when to go, and getting around Highland Perthshire are also included.

    • clusters of ascents described for some key summits: Ben Dorain, Ben Lawers, Beinn a’ Ghlo and Ben Alder
    • ascents of 42 Munros and 22 Corbetts as well as a selection of low-level routes
    • all illustrated with 1:50K and 1:100K mapping
  • Contents


    Jolly green giants   
    Trees, please!   
    When to go   
    Safety in the mountains   
    Compass and GPS   
    Using this guide   

    PART 1: Comrie and Crieff   

    1    Meal na Fearna to Ben Vorlich   
    2    Beinn Dearg   
    3    Water of Ruchill   
    4    Comrie: Deil’s Caldron   
    5    Glen Tarken tracks   
    6    Ben Chonzie and Auchnafree Hill   
    7    Crieff, its Knock, and River Earn   
    8    Glen Almond and the Lochan Slot   

    PART 2: Killin and Glen Lochay   

    9    Looking at Loch Tay: Meall Clachach   
    10    Cam Chreag and Ben Challu    
    11    Beinn nan Imirean, Meall Glas   
    12    The Tarmachans   

    Summit summary: Ben Lawers   

    13    Edramucky Burn   
    14    Up and down from the Lairig road   
    15    Lawers Four from Lawers village   
    16    The Cat’s Bowl (descent)   
    17    Down via Beinn Ghlas to Lawers village (descent)   
    18    Glen Lyon: Da-Eig Circuit   

    PART 3: Glen Lyon   

    19    Carn Mairg from Fortingall   
    20    Back of Schiehallion   
    21    The Black Crag of Glen Lyon   
    22    Beinn Dearg and the Mairgs   
    23    Meall Ghaordaidh from Glen Lyon   
    24    Around Loch an Daimh   
    25    Beinn Heasgarnich and Creag Mhor   

    PART 4: Bridge of Orchy   

    Summit summary: Beinn Dorain   

    26    Beinn a’ Chaisteal and Beinn nam Fuaran   
    27    Beinn Mhanach, the Monk   
    28    Dorain and Dothaidh Bridge of Orchy from the back   
    29    Bridge of Orchy to Beinn Dorain, Beinn an Dothaidh   
    30    Beinn Mhanach long crossing   
    31    Rannoch Edge: Chreachain and Achaladair   
    32    Beinn an Dothaidh from Achallader   
    33    The Lyon side: Chreachain, Achaladair, Mhanach   

    PART 5: Perth and Dunkeld   

    34    Perth and Kinnoull Hill   
    35    Dunkeld, Birnam Hill and the Tay   
    36    Tracks to Loch Skiach   
    37    Craig Lochie   

    PART 6: Aberfeldy   

    38    Farragon Hill from Strathtay   
    39    Aberfeldy: Rob and Rabbie   
    40    Aberfeldy and the Tay   
    41    Kenmore and the Tay   
    42    Falls of Acharn   
    43    Falls of Acharn to Creag an Sgliata   
    44    Creagan na Beinne and Ardtalnaig   
    45    Creag Uchdag   

    PART 7: Tummel and Loch Rannoch   

    46    Schiehallion end to end   
    47    Schiehallion Foot: Limestone and McGregor’s Cave   
    48    Craig Varr and Kinloch Rannoch   
    49    Beinn a’ Chuallaich   
    50    Black Wood of Rannoch   

    Summit summary: Ben Alder   

    51    Walk in to Benalder Cottage   
    52    Ben Alder from Benalder Cottage   
    53    Benalder Cottage to Culra Bothy via Beinn Bheoil   
    54    Benalder Cottage to Culra Bothy via Bealach Beithe (and in reverse)   
    55    Walk/ride in to Culra Bothy   
    56    Long Leachas from Culra Bothy   
    57    Short Leachas from Culra Bothy   
    58    Ben Alder to Bealach Breabag (descent)   

    PART 8: Rannoch Moor   

    59    The Road to the Isles   
    60    Two Munros and Beinn Pharlagain   
    61    Meall Buidhe and Cam Chreag   
    62    Tracks to the Foxes Bog   
    63    Leagag   

    PART 9: Pitlochry and Blair Atholl   

    64    Pitlochry and its loch   
    65    Ben Vrackie and River Garry   
    66    Blair Castle to Glen Tilt   
    67    Glen Tilt and Carn a’ Chlamain   
    68    Old Bridge of Tilt to Dearg, Mheadhonach   
    69    Bruar Falls and Glen Banvie   
    70    Bruar Falls and Blair   

    Summit summary: Beinn a’ Ghlo   

    71     Around Beinn a’ Ghlo (with optional ascent of Ben Vuirich)   
    72    Beinn a’ Ghlo from Loch Moraig   
    73    Carn nan Gabhar north ridge to Glen Tilt (descent)   
    74    Glen Tilt to Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain by Carn Torcaidh   

    PART 10: Drumochter   

    The Atholl Passes   

    75    Glen Tilt   
    76    Minigaig Pass to Glen Feshie   
    77    Minigaig Pass the ancient way   
    78    Gaick Pass   

    79    A’ Bhuidheanach Bheag by the Crooked Corrie   
    80    Udlamains and the Sow   

    Appendix A    Route summary table   
    Appendix B    Access (especially in the stalking season)   
    Appendix C    Shops, accommodation and transport   

  • Maps

    Some people enjoy exploring in mountains that are badly mapped or not mapped at all. They should stay away from Highland Perthshire, as it has been excellently mapped – three times over. The mapping in this book for the shorter and lower routes is from the Ordnance Survey’s Landranger series at 1:50,000. For these low walks this book’s mapping may be all you need. For mountain walks, however, it’s advisable to have a larger map that shows escape routes, and the other glen you end up in when you come down the wrong side of the hill. This guide shows mountain routes on 1:100,000 scale maps.

    Harvey’s excellent British Mountain Map: Schiehallion at 1:40,000 scale covers about half this book, south of Lochs Tummel and Rannoch, and west of Aberfeldy – so Schiehallion is in the top right corner. The map is beautifully clear and legible, marks paths where they actually exist on the ground, and does not disintegrate when damp. Harvey also cover Ben Lawers in their 1:25,000 Superwalker format.

    The 1:50,000 Landranger mapping, as used in this book, covers this area on sheets 42 (Glen Garry & Loch Rannoch), 43 (Braemar & Blair Atholl), 50 (Glen Orchy & Loch Etive), 51 (Loch Tay & Glen Donart), 52 (Pitlochry & Crieff), 57 (Stirling & The Trossachs) and 58 (Perth & Alloa).

    The Harvey maps mark fences and walls on the open hill, but not on the lower ground; Landranger doesn’t mark them at all. So if you’re planning complicated valley walks, you’ll prefer the OS Explorer maps, also at 1:25,000 scale. They are bulkier and less robust than the Harvey ones, and the contour lines are less legible. But if Harvey hadn’t done it better, they’d be excellent maps. Sheets 368 (Crieff, Comrie & Glen Artney), 369 (Perth & Kinross, one walk), 378 (Ben Lawers & Glen Lyon), 379 (Dunkeld, Aberfeldy & Glen Almond), 385 (Rannoch Moor & Ben Alder), 386 (Pitlochry & Loch Tummel) and 394 (Atholl) cover the ground.

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    Correction to the June 2013 printing

    On the 'Location of Routes' overview map, the boundary marked is of the current Perth & Kinross District ('Perthshire') rather than the old county of Perthshire (which included Ben More and Ben Lui) as indicated.

    October 2013

    p315 Kinloch Rannoch information

    Dunalistair Hotel: closed, in receivership Winter 2012

    October 2015

    Routes 30, 31, 32: Coire Achaladair now has a micro hydro scheme, with a smooth new track for the lower part of routes above Achallader farm.

  • Reviews

    'What a gem of a book. It is a model of accuracy, information, and mapping.It engenders interest in the geology and glaciation which formed our landscape, and the flora and fauna which inhabit it. Add to that judicious details of past and present human use, and you have full interest and fascination in the walks. The 80 routes are well chosen, well characterised in terms of distance and terrain, and described in considerable, accurate detail.

    ...All of this is included in a small volume, fit for the hand, rucksack or pocket, on leaded paper within plasticised covers.  It is thus a must for those who love our county. Armchair walkers need not leave the sofa; walkers will enjoy using it before, during and after their walks. 
    I cannot recommend it highly enough.'

    Read the full review.


    Hamish McBride, Highland Perthshire News and Comment, June 2013

    "Anyone who's ever done any walking in Scotland (and, indeed, just about anywhere in the world) will have come across Cicerone Guides for walkers. Meanwhile, that same audience will almost certainly have encountered the writing of Ronald Turnbull, whether in one or more of his many books about walking in Scotland or the Lake District (or further afield), or in magazines such as Lakeland Walker, TGO and Trail.

    You'd expect the combination of Ronald Turnbull as author and Cicerone as publisher to come up with something pretty special when they turn their attention to Highland Perthshire, and we approached this book with high hopes. We were not disappointed. This is an outstanding little book, though whether "little" is a wholly appropriate description of a volume offering over 300 pages is open to debate."

    Read the full review

    Undiscovered Scotland, July 2013

    It's astounding how much Cicerone's walking guides pack into a genuinely pocket-sized space. This one has 80 routes, clear maps and instantly noticeable symbols showing level of difficulty and time required - yet there's also a wealth of photographs and quirky facts, such as the number of Munros bagged by Queen Victoria (nine).

    Scotland Outdoors, Autumn 2013



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Ronald Turnbull

Ronald Turnbull writes regularly for TGO, Lakeland Walker, Trail and Cumbria magazines. His previous books include Across Scotland on Foot, Long Days in Lakeland and Welsh 3000ft Challenges. He has written many other Cicerone guides, including Walking in the Lowther Hills, The Book of the Bivvy and Not the West Highland Way.

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