4 Tremendous Trails You’ll Love In Blairgowrie.
How Will You Spend Your Wild & Wonderous Hours In Blairgowrie?
Here are 4 ideas for some short-to-medium length walks that have been handpicked for stunning scenery and a healthy dose of timeless legend.
Welcome to a walker’s paradise, where a network of trails winds past long lost ruins, through farmland, river gorges, and towering forest, to dramatic viewpoints of the Sidlaw hills.
With a healthy choice of tracks, there are walking options to suit all levels of fitness and experience.
Plan Your Local Accommodation In Blairgowrie
Local Self-Catering – Ericht Holiday Lodges
Local Self-Catering – Brooklin Mill
Local Airbnb – Keithbank Mill
Local B&B – Laurels Guest House
Explore The Ski Slopes At Glenshee
If you’re into the winter sports then Glenshee Ski center is open year-round. We love the drive here from Blairgowrie which takes you through the valley of the Glens and over the beautiful Cairngorm mountains.
1. The River Ericht Trail
Distance: Up to 6km.
Time: 2/4 hours.
Grade: Easy/medium (mostly flat, but some rocky terrain exists).
Can you imagine yourself as a Scotsman in the 16th century?
Let’s say you’ve been holding secret meetings to spread the word that the English government is corrupt, denying its people civil rights, and unity between Scotland and England is a bad idea.
Because of this the King has a bounty on your head for treason, and you’re being chased along this river trail by the King’s men (Dragoons).
Just as you think you lost them amongst the big trees, you suddenly become trapped, and the only way to escape the dragoons, who are coming at you from almost every direction, is to take the leap over the river’s narrow white water gorge.
This is the legend of Donald Cargills Leap over the River Ericht. There’s even a local bistro in town named after him.
The river that your standing beside is what built this pretty wee town.
The wild salmon here supply the nearby local restaurants and make it possible for the small businesses to provide the anglers with their equipment.
And the old rustic mills, now in beautiful ruin, once harnessed the rivers mighty power to produce linen and flax which employed most of the townsmen at the height of production back in the 17th and 18th centuries.
2. The Knockie Trail
Time: 1.5/2.5 hours.
Grade: Medium (Some hill walking over open farm track).
Scotland’s Loch Ness has a deep blue monster, Blairgowrie has the ghost of the Green Lady.
During the reign of Robert The Bruce, King of Scots, a lady named Jean Drummond lived in Newton Castle with her family.
The families of the two castles were involved in a violent and bloody battle with each other over land ownership when Jean fell profoundly and dangerously in love with one of the Blairs at Ardblair castle.
The pair eventually realized that the two families will never be at peace.
Heartbroken, Lady Jean walked out of Newton Castle into the nearby foggy hills, never to be seen again.
Where do you think she wandered off to?
This trail is a scenic, well sign-posted walk that climbs moderately past old mill ruins along the River Ericht and through open farmland before arriving at a beautiful viewpoint with a handcrafted stone shelter.
From this vantage point, you’ll have a pretty good view of the two nearby local castles; Newton Castle and Ardblair Castle.
3. The Craighall Gorge Trail
Distance: 6km +.
Time: 2.5/4.5 hours.
Grade: Medium/Hard (Trail is over an abandoned road, but still well signposted).
Welcome to one of the most mysterious trails in all of Perthshire.
It’s actually an abandoned road that once served as the main route between Rattray and the nearby town of Bridge of Cally until a landslide wiped out the local bridge.
Local legend has it that Robert The Bruce’s 4th great-grandson, Silvester Rattray, became the laird of Rattray in the mid 14th century.
Silvester had negotiated peace with England in 1463 and became influential in the Scottish parliament as a result.
However, some years later, during the battle of Flodden in 1513, Silvester’s son and many other nobles were killed.
Thinking that the Rattray’s had been killed off, the Atholl clan claimed the Rattray land.
The Atholl clan later found out that the Rattray’s withdrew to this location, and Silvester’s brother, Patrick, was then murdered here by the Earl of Atholl’s men.
In the months before his murder, Patrick had built what we know of today as Craighall castle, which can still be seen from the trail.
He strategically built it high up on a cliff above the River Ericht and with a single entrance that is only accessible by going along the narrow cliff edge.
Because of this, he made it’s defense possible, and to this very day, the Craighall Castle stands tall overlooking this walking trail and the scenic town of Rattray.
4. The Kirkland Trail
Time: 2.5 hours.
Perhaps you like trails with happy little elves?
Numerous trees appear to have small ‘Doors’ carved into its bark. Adding to the mystery, the locals have long believed that these doors are the entrances to Elves’ homes.
Legend has it that sweeties might drop from the sky and land on a stone wall as a sign of good luck as you ascend higher along the trail.
The trail crosses an open field and climbs enough to give a fantastic view of Rattray and Blairgowrie.
From this viewpoint, the trail then descends downhill. Turn left at the bottom, and you might discover the Scottish highland cow munching on the grass in the nearby field.
Our passion here at kyleslife is to help you to explore and travel locally and sustainably around Scotland’s towns and shires.
We also have a YouTube channel where we share various Scottish travel tips and travel guides from born & bred locals.
Here’s another way you could spend your time around Blairgowrie…
To Edinburgh & Back Again – kyleslife Travel Guide
See Edinburgh for yourself In this episode. we explore the cultural heart of Scotland.