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WALKING TOUR SCOTLAND – THE CATERAN TRAIL

7 days / 6 nights

 

Welcome to Scotland! The Cateran Trail is a fully waymarked walk of 64 miles that lies at the heart of Scotland. This long distance circular route will take you through the beautiful Perthshire and Angus Glens following in the footsteps of the fearsome cattle thieves of the highlands. The trail is on old drove roads and ancient tracks across a varied terrain of farmland, forests and moors. Named after medieval brigands from the Highlands who plundered the cattle rich glens of Perthshire and Angus, the circuit wends it ways through some of the finest scenery this part of Scotland has to offer. It boasts breathtaking scenery, heritage and wildlife. Your walk starts and finishes in the busy market town of Blairgowrie and then onwards to Bridge of Cally, Kirkmichael, Spittal of Glenshee, Glenisla and Alyth.

 

 

 

 

Programme

 

Day 1

 

 

ARRIVE BLAIRGOWRIE. Welcome meeting and route briefing.
Blairgowrie is one of the largest towns in Perthshire, sitting to the north of the city of Perth on the banks of the River Ericht. By the end of the 18th century the Blairgowrie area was a huge centre for growing flax with 12 spinning mills being set up. Blairgowrie is now the focus of the Perthshire soft fruit growing industry (especially raspberries), and is popular with golfers and anglers. Your tour will depart from here, since Brairgowrie is the main start point for the Cateran Trail that you will follow, around the historic drove roads used by cattle rustlers. Blairgowrie is the gateway to Glenshee which caters for year-round sports including skiing, golfing, mountain biking, abseiling, hang gliding and paragliding.

 

Day 2 

 

 

 

BLAIRGOWRIE – KIRKMICHAEL 15 mls (24km)  

After a gentle stroll along the river Ericht, the path climbs gentle over Cochrage Muir before beginning our descent to the tiny hamlet of Bridge of Cally with its surprising large hotel and an ideal place for lunch. From here the Trail passes through Blackcraig Forest and into the peaceful glen known as ‘Strathardle’ which has been farmed since the Bronze Age and was once home to over 3,000 people.

 

Day 3  

 

KIRKMICHAEL – SPITTAL OF GLENSHEE 8 mls (13km)
Leaving Kirkmichael, you follow a wonderful moorland route and hill pass  from Enochdhu through to Spittal of Glenshee. Enochdhu means ‘black meadow’ or ‘moor’ and was once where  Caterans gathered after a raid. Dirnanean Garden is on the route – open during summer months – and worth a visit for walkers with time in hand. Along the path, a timber ‘lunch hut’, original provided by the estate for shooting parties, offers an ideal resting place. Queen Victoria stopped near to this spot in 1865 to enjoy a picnic. Don't forget to put your name in the Visitors' Book, a fascinating record of the many characters who have walked this way over the years. Rising to over 650m / 2100ft above sea level, the wild mountainous country on the walk from the Lairig Gate down into the Spittal of Glenshee is spectacular. For those interested in wildlife you may be rewarded with a glimpse of red deer or an eagle soaring overhead. The Spittal takes its name from the old Scots word meaning ‘a refuge on a remote hill pass’ from a time when wolves roamed wild in Scotland . Private transfer to your overnight stop at Glenisla.

Total gap +500m - 40m, walking time 4,5 hours

 

Day 4 

 

 

SPITTAL OF GLENSHEE – GLENISLA 14 mls (22km)
Transfer back to the Spittal of Glenshee. The Trail heads south, following the Shee Water past Dalnaglar Castle into the fertile farmlands of Glen Isla. The first five miles of this stretch are through rough moorland, then along quiet minor roads take you past Forter Castle . For those more energetic walkers, you may wish to take the alternative route into Glenisla by crossing Mount Blair . The summit offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and on a clear day you may even spot Ben Nevis in the distance. The Trail follows off road tracks and passes Auchintaple Loch and Loch Shandra. It is worth taking a short diversion through the trees to the banks of Auchintaple to witness the fantastic views of Mount Blair set in glorious tranquil scenery. The final destination for this stage is the village of Kirkton of Glenisla nestling on the banks of the River Isla.

Total gap: +200m -300m; walking time 6½ hours

 

Day 5 

 

 

GLENISLA – ALYTH 11 mls (17 km)
The picturesque burgh town of Alyth is the host for the end of this stage. The Trail winds through forest and farmland.
The tranquility of Glen Isla is a real treat in the early morning and, as the Trail rises high above the river and fields, it gives way to fantastic open views over an idyllic pastoral scene. The area around Alyth has strong links to Arthurian legends as it is believed that Queen Guinevere was held captive by King Mordred at his fort on nearby Barry Hill. Crossing Alyth Hill, the route rises steeply, skimming the edge of the town, before making it way down
Toutie Street – down which cattle were driven in centuries past – to the centre of town. The street takes its name from the noise of the herd-boy's horn as he drove the cattle to pasture.

Total gap: +400m  -250m; walking time 4¾ hours

 

Day 6 

 

 

 

ALYTH – BLAIRGOWRIE 16 mls (26km)
Leaving Alyth, the Trail again passes over Alyth Hill and follows moorland and pleasant estate roads, close to the massive standing stones of Heatheryhaugh. At this stage, gradients are generally gentle with extensive views as the route twice rises to around 289m / 950ft above sea level. The homeward trek into Bridge of Cally is mostly on quiet minor tarmac roads. The last part of the Trail back to Blairgowrie is the reversal of the first part of stage one.  

Total gap: +600m -400m, walking time 7 hours 

 

Day 7  

Departure  

 

 

 

 

The package includes:

  • 6 nights accommodation in quality B&Bs, Guest houses, inns and hotels

  • Full Scottish breakfast 

  • Luggage transportation (max 15 kg per person)

  • Travel information and Harvey map

  • Transfer on day 3 and 4

  • Emergency support, local assistance

 

Dates

Every day from 1 April to 31 October

Difficulty 2/3

Moderate; it is a moderate walking tour with some hill climbs. The way is well marked. Navigational skills easy.

Participants

Minimum two persons

Rates p.p. 2017

In double room with  breakfast     € 576,00

In single room with breakfast    € 805,00