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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.

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Highlights

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.

Gallery

Click on any thumbnail to see slideshow. Photography for the walking rings © Felicity Martin, Catkin Press.
View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.breadalbane.org/tayday1?tmpl=component&print=1&page=#sigFreeId33a15b73b8

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


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