Cullochy Lock, near Loch Oich, lies on the Caledonian Canal which stretches for sixty miles from Corpath, near Fort William, to Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The canal, which opened in 1822, was designed by Thomas Telford. We were fortunate to be walking near Cullochy Lock, just down from Bridge of Oich, as three boats approached to go up through the lock to head for Loch Oich, the highest point of the Caledonian Canal.
Boat approaching Cullochy Lock
Boat entering Cullochy Lock
Three boats lined up in Cullochy Lock
Looking south from Cullochy Lock
The lock-keeper’s cottage at Cullochy Lock
The old winding machinery at Cullochy Loch
Some canoeists had to take the more physical option of carrying their vessels down the towpath. It’s deemed unsafe for canoes to use the locks, due to the deluge of water when the lock gates are opened.
Lynachlaggan Trail is one of the walks in the Insh Marshes Reserve near Aviemore maintained by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. There’s a layby with parking for three cars opposite the entrance to the trail.
Map of Lynachlaggan Trail
The trail is a 1.5 miles long with some rough ground and slopes. The worst parts of the marsh have wooden walkways. It’d been dry for weeks when we visited in July 2013, so I was able to do the walk in trekking sandals, but wellies or hill walking boots would be advisable for most of the year.
Hare’s Tail Cotton Grass meadow on Lynachlaggan Trail
We walked around the whole loop in a clockwise direction, there is a slightly shorter loop, and only spotted one picnic bench on the northern stretch of the trail.
Me on the picnic bench
We really enjoyed walking around the Lynachlaggan Trail and were glad that we’d taken the B970 detour off the A9.
Perthshire is one of my favourite regions of Scotland; there’s an abundance of rivers. lochs, mountains, pretty villages and towns, yet is easily accessible from the central belt of Scotland.
Piper sculpture in Dunkeld
Famous Grouse Experience at the Glenturret Distillery
The Famous Grouse Experience is located close to Crieff at the Glenturret Distillery, Scotland’s olderst distillery. It’s probably best to book your tour in advance during busy periods.
Birks of Aberfeldy
Scotland’s best known poet, Robert Burns, wrote about his visit to the Birks of Aberfeldy. You can get up close and personal with him, soon after the start of the aforementioned walk. The walk is quite steep in some parts and you’ll need shoes with a decent sole to get a grip on the wooden steps constructed to avoid the worst muddy slopes.
Robert Burns sculpture
The Falls of Moness lie at the top of this circular walk.
Elcho Castle is not as well known as the likes of Scone Palace and Blair Castle, but that’s why I like it. It’s quite possible that if you visit outside peak times, you’ll have this 16th century castle to yourself. The castle is signposted to your right, in the Rhynd directiion, soon after turning off for Perth at J10 on motorway from Edinburgh.
Elcho Castle in the Spring
The Knock, Crieff
The walk up the Knock in Crieff isn’t too steep if you drive up past the Crieff Hydro Hotel to park. There are a few benches at the top, so take your flask with you, so you can savour the views while sipping your tea or coffee..
View from the Knock
Buttercups on the Knock
The Hermitage is located a couple of miles north of Dunkeld, just off the A9. Some of the best views of the Falls of Braan are from Ossian’s Hall, a folly built in the 18th century by the Duke of Atholl.
Ossian’s Hall at the Hermitage
I think that Autumn is the prime time to visit Perthshire, as the colours can be wonderful. It’s hard to time exactly when they’ll be at their most magnificent.
Looking down on the Falls of Braan from Ossian’s Hall
The Cauldrons Walk, Comrie
You can start this circular walk at the Laggan Wood car park which is on your left just outside Comrie as you drive from Crieff. You’ll pass the Wee (Small) Cauldron and the larger Deil’s (Devil’s) Cauldron. If you’re feeling very energetic you can climb up to Melville’s Monument for panoramic views.
The Wee Cauldron
River Ericht Sculpture Walk, Blairgowrie
If you drive from Perth to Blairgowrie you’ll find the car park for this walk; look out for a sign to your left just before the traffic lights to turn left over the bridge towards the road to Braemar.
A salmon relief sculpture by the River Ericht
The River Ericht in Blairgowrie
Loch Faskally, Pitlochry
Loch Faskally was formed when the dam to power the hydro-electric power station was constructed in the late 1940s. There’s a circular walk around Loch Faskally.
Loch Faskally in Autumn
It’s claimed that over 5,000 salmon per year ascent the fish ladder at the side of the dam, but I’ve only seen a couple in my visits over the decades.
The Fish Ladder in Pitlochry
Dunkeld Cathedral and White Houses
Dunkeld Cathedral dates from the early 14th century. However, the original cathedral was destroyed during the Reformation in the 16th century, The Choir of the cathedral was re-roofed and it’ still in use as a parish church. The remainder of the building has been left as a ruin.
The National Trust for Scotland underook renovation of twenty of the “Little Houses” in the High St and Cathedral St in the 1960s. These properties were then sold on the open market with the proviso that owners maintain them in the traditional style.
The restored Little Houses in Dunkeld
Historic Scotland has renovated this 18th century cottom mill complex by the River Tay. The original Bell Mill was built in 1786 to harness the power of the river. The factory finally stopped the manufacture of textiles in 1989.
Getting to Perthshire
It takes under 90 minutes to get to Perth from Edinburgh by train or car. There are railway stations in Perth, Dunkeld. Pitlochry and Blair Atholl. However, if you want to fully explore the beautiful Pertshire countryside, it’s best to have a car to get around.
Where to Stay in Perthshire
If you want to use public transport, staying in Perth is a good option, as you can do various day trips by train or bus.There’s a fair selection of hotels and guest houses within walking distance of the city centre. Having a car also gives you more accommodation possiblities, e.g. you could stay in a more rural Bed and Breakfast or at self catering accommodation; Sykes Cottages have some attractive properties in Perthshire.
Today we crossed Union Bridge where the River Tweed forms the border between England and Scotland. This historic bridge requires £5 million pounds of repair work if it’s to retain the title of being the oldest suspension bridge in Europe still used by vehicles.
In the layby on the Scottish side of the bridge there is a profusion of bracket fungi.
Ruthven Barracks was one of the four barracks built to secure the Scottish Highlands for Government forces after the 1715 Jacobite rising, during which James Francis Edward Stuart, the son of James II of England (James VII of Scotland) had unsuccessfully attempted to claim back the British throne for the exiled House of Stuart. The barracks were captured and burnt down in 1746 by the army of Princes Charles Edward Stuart, son of James Francis Edward Stuart, during the second ill-fated Jacobite Rising, which ended in defeat at the Battle of Culloden.
The path up to Ruthven Barracks
Information board about Ruthven Barracks at the car park
Courtyard at Ruthven Barracks
Information board in the courtyard at Ruthven Barracks
The stables at Ruthven Barracks
Ruthven Barracks from the viewing point opposite the car park
Ruthven Barracks lie just off the A9 at Kingussie. There’s a car park opposite the entrance and it’s free to enter.
The free car park at Inveruglas on the northern bank of Loch Lomond is clearly signposted from the A82. There are some paths for a short walk with some great views, toilets, a cafe and a pontoon for loch cruises.
Loch Sloy Power Station
Blueberries growing in the heather at Inveruglas
Looking over Loch Lomond
Me by the heather at Inveruglas
Looking down over the pontoon on Loch Lomond
Inveruglas Isle in Loch Lomond (in the back right of the photo)
If you’re driving between Glasgow and Crianlarich on the A82 I recommend a stop at Inveruglas on Lohc Lomond.
Part of the North Sea Trail south of Eyemouth has now been christened the Alexander Dow Walk in honour of the historian who worked at Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth. Dow wrote the first English versions history of India in the 18th century.. The Alexander Dow Walk is one of the five Border Brains Walks in Berwickshire.
Alexander Dow Walk post
Looking down to one of the inlets
The cloud formation made it look as though there was a dark band along the horizon.