Menu
Menu

Day 1 - Aberfeldy to Kenmore



Summary

Distance

 19.2km (12 miles)

Total ascent

 450m (1475ft) 

Time

 6-7 hours 

Download Route PDF

 

Strath Tay is a typical glaciated valley – U-shaped with a flat bottom and steep sides, where streams flowing off the hills above cascade down high waterfalls. Two of the most impressive falls are visited on this walk. The first is on Moness Burn, which runs through Aberfeldy where it used to power the Watermill, now a bookshop, café and gallery. From the top of the falls, a high-level walk runs along the south side of the strath, offering a panorama over river, woods, loch and mountain. It is known as Queen’s Drive, after Queen Victoria who was driven along it in a carriage. The route descends to Loch Tay past the Falls of Acharn, where there is a surprise in store.

This is a moderate walk, with a fair bit of climbing, using generally good paths and tracks. Part of the route is waymarked as the Rob Roy Way. The last 3km/2miles are on the quiet South Loch Tay road, unless you catch a bus from Acharn.

Tell us about your Rings of Breadalbane.

Highlights

  • Birks of Aberfeldy, is a spectacular wooded gorge named after a song by Robert Burn’s, Scotland’s national poet. He visited in 1787 and was inspired by the towering rock walls of the Moness Burn and its high, foaming waterfall. ‘Birks’ is Scots for birch trees and delightful birch woodland still grows around the upper part of the gorge.
  • Kenmore Hill, where Bolfracks Estate have conserved the remnants of an ancient pinewood. Replanting with Scots pines and other native species has restored the tree cover, providing habitat for black grouse.
  • Falls of Acharn, another high waterfall that cascades down a sheer rock. It is hidden within a wooded gorge and is best viewed from the balcony of the Hermit’s Cave.
  • Scottish Crannog Centre features a unique reconstruction of an early Iron Age loch-dwelling. It is based on the 2,500-year-old Oakbank crannog, on the opposite side of the loch, which was excavated by the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology.
  • Loch Tay, at over 23km (14 miles) long, is the sixth largest freshwater loch in Scotland. Carved our by a glacier, it is over 150m (490ft) deep in the middle. More than 20, mainly submerged, crannogs have been discovered on the loch.
  • Taymouth Castle was built in neo-Gothic style by John Campbell, the 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane in the early 1800s and was visited by Queen Victoria in 1842. It has a highly decorated interior and is currently unoccupied since plans to restore and redevelop it have stalled.

Essential Info

Section no.

S1

Section name

Aberfeldy to Kenmore

Start

Aberfeldy, the Square: NN856490

Finish

Kenmore, the Square NN773454

Grade

Moderate: mainly good paths and tracks with the steepest climb in the first 2km (1.25 miles).

Distance

19.2km (12 miles)

Total ascent

450m (1475ft)

Highest point

340m (1115 ft)

Time

6-7 hours

Terrain

Steep climb beside wooded gorge then tracks and paths contouring through woods and pasture high above Strath Tay.

Variations

The route can be shortened by taking the minor road downhill to Kenmore or by getting the bus from Acharn. Alternatively, a shorter walk from Kenmore can be had by going up the road to join the last part of the walk around Acharn.

Driving to the start

Leave the A9 at Ballinluig and drive 9 miles along the A827 to Aberfeldy. Kenmore is a further 6 miles west. Parking in side streets or (time limited) in the Square.

Public transport

Buses link Aberfeldy and Kenmore several days a week; check www.travelinescotland.com or phone 0871 200 22 33 for times.

The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer bus stops in Aberfeldy, Kenmore and Acharn from 1st June to 19th October on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

Refreshments

Good range of shops and cafes in Aberfeldy; Taymouth Marina cafe passed between Acharn and Kenmore; the Kenmore Hotel, Boathouse cafe and Mains of Taymouth shop and restaurant in Kenmore.

1st Leg

Start at: NN856490

From the Square in Aberfeldy walk a short distance westwards, in the direction of Kenmore. Before a bridge, turn left through the war memorial arch. Walk through the Lower Birks and fork right over a footbridge. After going up steps and over a mill lade, keep left to cross the A826 by traffic lights at the road bridge. Walk ahead through the Upper Birks car park.

Take the path ahead at the top of the car park, walking under mature beech trees. Soon turn left over a footbridge to follow the east path all the way to the top. After passing a seated statue of Robert Burns, enter the gorge and go left up steps to cross a bridge over a waterfall. Burn’s Seat is on the left before the path zigzags up to a higher level. Come to a viewpoint looking across to the high Falls of Moness.

The path soon bends right to cross a footbridge over the top of the falls, where the water cascades into thin air. Turn left for Urlar on the far side on a path that continues up the gorge before bending right through birch woodland. Come to the Urlar Road and turn right downhill then go left in 75 yards (70m) through a multi-user gate on to a track.

2nd Leg

Start at: NN850474

The track runs diagonally downhill through a mix of pasture and open birch woodland. Farragon Hill and Meall Tairneachan are the two summits across the strath. After going through a gate halfway down there is a fine view of conical Schiehallion ahead.

Beyond a gate in a stone wall, join a gravel track above Dunskaig and turn left

uphill on it. After 400m, pass to the left of a house and go through a gate onto a grassy track that continues climbing.

Enter Bolfracks Wood and, after fording a little stream, keep left and head uphill. The track crests a rise then runs downhill to the end of the wood. Continue through open pasture, keeping to the main track, which curves downhill to the right.

At Tullichuil (grid ref. NN808472), which is screened by young trees, turn left through a gate into woodland (not ahead into a field). Follow a track that steadily climbs for 800m. Once you leave the wood, a superb view stretches to the right over the Tay to Schiehallion. Once past three old pine trees, you can see Loch Tay and Ben Lawers ahead. After entering another forest, the track bends right, downhill.

The track bypasses a white tower house and soon leaves the forest. Where it goes through a gate, leave it and continue ahead across the grass with a wall on your right. Join another track and turn left up it. Beyond a house, fork right and cross a burn.

Meet a minor road at Tombuie Cottage. Turn right across the road bridge and walk 750m downhill, ignoring a turn to a woodland walks car park. For a shortcut, stay on the road, which zigzags down to Kenmore.

3rd Leg

Start at: NN782447

For the full route, go left on a track and enter the Kenmore Hill wood. Beyond an information board, follow the grassy path that contours along the hillside through young trees. After leaving the wood, keep ahead on a track across pasture. Pass to the left of Balmacnaughton and follow a grassy way across fields.

Cross a footbridge over Remony Burn. (Just beyond, a detour 600m uphill leads to a stone circle with a wall through its middle – a fine viewpoint.) Continue along the contouring track, passing below a wood then curving downhill.

Immediately before a bridge, turn right onto a path beside Acharn Burn. Go down two flights of steps, then turn left over a footbridge where the water cascades over sculpted rocks. Climb back up to the track and go right, downhill.

Look out for the Hermit’s Cave on your right. Follow the passageway, which has a step down, and turn right inside to a balcony where the Falls of Acharn are suddenly revealed. After leaving the cave, continue down the track to the South Loch Tay road.

4th Leg

Start at: NN755438

Turn right and cross the road bridge into the pretty village of Acharn. Walk 2.5km along the road, passing the Scottish Crannog Centre. At the junction with the A827, turn left into Kenmore. Walk past the beach at the east end of Loch Tay and continue to the Square in the centre of the village.

Profile

19.5 km, n/a

The map below is intended for guidance only. You will need a compass and OS Explorer 379 or OS Landranger 52. You can zoom in and move the map around to see the route in more detail.
Click here to see a full screen Ordnance Survey map of the route


Sign up for news, competitions and offers!

 

Latest News

Winning couple enjoy luxury weekend in Breadalbane

Winning couple enjoy luxury weekend in Breadalbane

Little did Andrew Marjoribanks think when he entered a competition on the Breadalbane website that he and his wife would be enjoying a luxury break in the Aberfeldy area this autumn. But he beat over 500 entrants to the prize of a weekend in one of Scotland’s most beguiling...

Read more
Ring of Breadalbane Explorer Bus Reaches the End of the Road

Ring of Breadalbane Explorer Bus Reaches the End of the Road

The Ring of Breadalbane Explorer was a pioneering hop-on hop-off mini bus service launched in 2012 by the Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative Ltd. to help visitors and residents explore the Breadalbane area, one of Scotland's best kept tourism secrets!  

Read more
12 adventures to enjoy on the magical Ring of Breadalbane Explorer

12 adventures to enjoy on the magical Ring of Breadalbane Explorer

The “hop-on hop-off” Explorer service runs through spectacular scenery, passing alongside Loch Tay and Loch Earn. The route goes places not covered by other public bus services and links Highland Perthshire and Stirling. Its circular route connects Crieff, Comrie, St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Killin, Kenmore, Acharn and Aberfeldy and provides...

Read more
Food & Drink Expo 2015 showcases the best of Breadalbane

Food & Drink Expo 2015 showcases the best of Breadalbane

Visitors to the third Breadalbane Expo were treated to a delicious range of products in celebration of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink. Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre in Comrie hosted the event, which drew exhibitors from Crieff to Killin, Aberfeldy to Auchterarder and beyond to showcase their wares.

Read more
How to have a divine time in beguiling Breadalbane

How to have a divine time in beguiling Breadalbane

Do you love tasty food and drink, enthralling history and culture, and inspirational scenery? If so, come to Breadalbane and let its charms beguile you. Feel everyday cares melt away as you enjoy a delectable meal then sip a relaxing dram while meditating on a mountain view. Be entranced...

Read more
10 ideas for an active break in Invigorating Breadalbane

10 ideas for an active break in Invigorating Breadalbane

Being active in glorious, natural surroundings is a great way to relax and recharge your batteries. Breadalbane is very accessible, only an hour from the Central Belt of Scotland, and has magnificent Highland scenery – a visit here will refresh your senses. You will find many providers offering a...

Read more
Why Breadalbane is Scotland’s most intriguing destination

Why Breadalbane is Scotland’s most intriguing destination

Breadalbane is full of paradoxes, blending ancient and modern, rugged and gentle, exciting and relaxed to make a wonderful venue for short breaks at any time of year. Each visit is an opportunity to unearth ancient mysteries and surprising new places.

Read more
An autumn weekend of adventure in Breadalbane

An autumn weekend of adventure in Breadalbane

As the sun sets ever sooner on these last few evenings of summer, the prospect of the Scottish autumn ushers in its own attendant joys. Cycling and walking become less sweaty. Uniform verdure gives way to a thousand burning hues. Brambles bloom, horse chestnuts broaden and crack. Underfoot, a...

Read more
Breadalbane share their success with community tourism project team

Breadalbane share their success with community tourism project team

A community Tourism Project from Ayrshire and Arran Tourism have visited the high ground of Scotland to sample the Rings of Breadalbane as well as meet and learn from the people behind the successful project. The project team travelled up from central Scotland last weekend to find out more...

Read more
Scottish Communities Inspired By Award Winning Breadalbane

Scottish Communities Inspired By Award Winning Breadalbane

Breadalbane is to welcome a Community Tourism Project who are touring the high ground of Scotland to learn about the group’s award winning tourism model. Having been inspired by the work of the Breadalbane project, Ayrshire and Arran Tourism requested a visit to meet the people behind the project...

Read more
A delicious day’s jaunt on the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer Bus

A delicious day’s jaunt on the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer Bus

Non-drivers, lament not: the beauty of Breadalbane, the high ground of Scotland, has been made more accessible for everyone thanks to the Explorer bus service. Running in summer months, between early June and mid-October, the service allows visitors to the area to hop on and off as it pleases...

Read more
Doing battle with the mighty Clan Ring Walk

Doing battle with the mighty Clan Ring Walk

A challenging six day tramp for the tenacious wanderer, the Breadalbane Clan Ring walk won’t so much blow away the cobwebs, as completely refresh mind and spirit. This wild land boasts a rich and violent history to explore on the way, rewarding visitors with more natural beauty than you...

Read more
Discovering beautiful Breadalbane by bike

Discovering beautiful Breadalbane by bike

Let’s face it; everyone is looking for an excuse to cycle more frequently, and most bikes are egregiously underused. Whether you have an innocuous hybrid sulking in the garage or a mud-spattered, 27 speed beast raring to grind up a new summit, it’s time to dig out the spare...

Read more
Breadalbane Tourism Cooperative launches new brand

Breadalbane Tourism Cooperative launches new brand

The Breadalbane Tourism Co-operative has this week unveiled a new look for the region, claiming the moniker “The High Ground of Scotland”, a translation from the Gaelic name for the area ‘Braghad Albain’, in a bid to capitalise on increased tourism visitors to the region ahead of this year’s...

Read more
The Breadalbane Walking Rings

The Breadalbane Walking Rings

The Walking Rings of Breadalbane are an amazing way to discover our ancient landscapes. Young, old, fit, hoping to get fitter, experienced or newcomer, there's something for everyone in this magical land when it comes to walking.

Read more

Locals Recommend... Suggestions for day trips on the Ring of Breadalbane Explorer

The following trip recommendations by locals residents and businesses will help you experience the very best of Breadalbane. Click on a trip to view or print.  

Read more

Where to stay

where-to-stay

Discover Breadalbane

discover

Things to See & Do

things-to-do

Food & Drink

eat-drink

Maps & Directions

map

Special Offers

special-offers