Tour Breadalbane in a sustainable way:
Breadalbane is ideally situated for touring, as it lies almost at the geographic centre of the Scottish mainland.
The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer is a hop-on hop-off tourist bus service that ran initially in 2012 and is once again running throughout the summer and autumn of 2014. Read on to find out more about what the service has to offer.
The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer lets you experience the rich culture, heritage and landscape of highland Perthshire and Stirling, taking in some of Scotland's major attractions. Visit the Scottish Crannog Centre, Auchingarrich Wildlife Park, Highland Safaris, Dewar's World of Whisky and The Watermill, Aberfeldy, all the time passing through great mountain scenery. You can read more about the many places of interest on the tour here.
You can read the full evaluation of the 2012 pilot project here
Go to Crianlarich or Tyndrum Upper stations and take the train that goes to Fort William and onwards to Mallaig. Watch for red deer as the train crosses Rannoch Moor to Rannoch Station and then on to Corrour Station, the highest and most remote mainline railway station in Britain and one that is unreachable by road.
One can walk from Rannoch Station across the moor to Corrour; alight at Corrour and walk around Loch Ossian or climb some of the Munros in the area; or continue to Fort William. From Fort William we suggest that you return by bus. The road passes through Glen Coe and you will see much more of the glen from your elevated bus seat than from your car! If returning by bus, why not break your journey for two hours at the Glen Coe Visitor Centre (closed only in January)? You can also carry on to Mallaig by train. The West Highland line across Rannoch Moor and on to Mallaig has been voted one of the best railway journeys in the world.
Oban - Perth - Dundee - Glasgow
Throughout the year you can travel to Oban by train from Crianlarich or Tyndrum Lower stations. The summer bus timetable (late May to early October) offers the possibility of using the twice-daily bus service between Dundee and Oban that passes through Killin. This allows one to spend over four hours in Oban or Perth or over three hours in Dundee. The Crianlarich to Glasgow bus service is more frequent and will drop you in central Glasgow without the hassle of trying to find car parking.
Explore Glen Lyon, the longest glen in Scotland at 32 miles / 50 km. Much of this route is on single-track road. It reaches an altitude of 1,850 feet (560m) between Loch Tay and Bridge of Balgie and may be impassable in winter snow.
Leave the A827 north Loch Tay road 4 miles east of Killin (signposted Bridge of Balgie / Ben Lawers). You can enjoy a short walk over the Ben Lawers Nature Trail. From the Ben Lawers car park, head over the pass to Glen Lyon where you will find an excellent tea room at the Bridge of Balgie Post Office. Head westwards up the glen until you reach the half kilometer long Lubreoch Dam at Loch Lyon. The road turns south and heads over a mountain pass into Glen Lochay but it is a privat road and in bad condition on the Glen Lochay side so it is not recommended to go beyond the summit. 2.5 miles / 4 km west of Bridge of Balgie you can take a short detour (2 m / 3 km) to Loch an Daimh where highland cattle can frequently be seen. In winter, deer are fed near the lodge on this road and stags can be seen close at hand.
Returning to Bridge of Balgie, continue on down the glen, passing the quaint stone packhorse bridge on the south bank of the river near Chesthill and the dramatic MacGregor's Leap, where Gregor MacGregor of Glenstrae leapt across the Lyon from north to south to escape from pursuing bloodhounds.
Continue to the planned village of Fortingall with its attractive thatched cottages, where the Fortingall Yew in the churchyard is one of the oldest trees in Europe, at least 2,000 years old. Continue down the glen to Keltneyburn where you can view metallic sculptures at the Keltneyburn Smithy Gallery. Finally, you can park your car at Comrie Bridge and walk ¾ of a mile along the riverside path on northeast side of the River Lyon until you reach its junction with the River Tay – a great picnic spot!
Circular tour of Loch Tay (34 m / 54 km). The South Loch Tay road leaves the A827 a few metres west of the Falls of Dochart Inn in Killin. For most of its length, the South Loch Tay road is narrow so the use of passing places is necessary.
At Acharn one can park and make the short uphill walk (125 m of ascent; 2 km round circuit) past the Falls of Acharn. The falls themselves are about 25m in height and are particularly spectacular after heavy rainfall, as are the series of rapids that lie above them. A little more than a mile (2 km) east of Acharn is the Scottish Crannog Centre, a five-star tourist attraction. This authentic reconstruction of these Iron-age dwellings has been built by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology.
The conservation village of Kenmore marks the east end of Loch Tay and the head of the River Tay. The Kenmore Hotel is said to be Scotland's oldest inn (1540). In 1782 Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, composed a poem on Kenmore Bridge and wrote it on the chimney breast of the hotel fireplace, where it can still be seen. The Courtyard, across Kenmore Bridge, has a restaurant, delicatessen with local produce, and gift shop.
Drummond Hill, north of Kenmore, has a number of forest walks including the Black Rock viewpoint (160m of ascent; 3 miles / 4.8 km).
Heading westwards again along the North Loch Tay road (A827) the next village is Fearnan. On the upper road you will find the Loch Tay Pottery where hand-thrown stoneware is made, fired and sold. At the village of Lawers, next to the Lawers Burn, there is the workshop and shop of the local horn carver.
If it's wet, use it! Make the most of any heavy rain by visiting some of the waterfalls in the area. Killin's Falls of Dochart are really just rapids, though spectacular when in spate (flood), but there are also several falls with a substantial drop. From northeast to southwest in the Breadalbane area, here are some that you can visit.
Falls of Bruar, Bruar, by Blair Atholl. (2.3 km circuit; 100 m ascent). Accessed from the House of Bruar shopping halls (worth a visit in themselves on a wet day), 5 km west of Blair Atholl on the A9. The Falls were made famous by Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, who visited them in 1787 and wrote a poem: The humble petition of Bruar Water to the Noble Duke of Atholl.
Linn of Tummel, by Pitlochry (National Trust for Scotland). 3 km northwest of Pitlochry on the B8019. More like rapids rather than falls.
Black Linn fall and pool on the Falls of the Braan; part of The Hermitage National Trust for Scotland woodland property near Dunkeld. Park at The Hermitage car park (1.6 km return; 15m ascent). Douglas Firs up to 64m (210 ft) in height; great display of bluebells in mid-May; salmon leaping at the falls in late summer and autumn. Walk on up to the Rumbling Bridge Falls.
Falls of Moness on the Birks of Aberfeldy walk (3.3 km circuit; 160 m ascent). Car park 300 m from Aberfeldy centre on the A826.
Falls of Acharn from the village of Acharn on the South Loch Tay road (2km circuit; 120 m ascent). Carry on up from the Hermit's Cave to view the rapids above the falls.
Deil's Cauldron, Glen Lednock, Comrie (6.0 km circuit; 100 m of ascent). Leave from the car park at the east end of Comrie at the entrance to Comrie golf course.
Falls of Edinample. On the South Loch Earn road, 2 km from the centre of Lochearnhead.
Park next to the small building on the west side of the Burn of Ample, walk across the bridge and descend to the foot of the falls by the path on the east side of the burn.