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Day 2 - Kenmore to Aberfeldy



Summary

Distance

14.4km (9 miles) 

Total ascent

negligible 

Time

4-5 hours 

Download Route PDF

This walk starts along an avenue that is part of the designed landscape around Taymouth Castle. This end of Loch Tay belonged to the Campbells of Glenorchy, who progressed through the peerage to become the Earls, Marquesses and eventually Dukes of Breadalbane. Nearer Aberfeldy, it enters the ancestral lands of Clan Menzies.

The easy route follows the River Tay downstream, using waymarked paths beside it and its tributary the River Lyon. The riverbanks have a profusion of wild flowers, changing with the seasons from bluebells and cowslips to harebells and meadowsweet. Parts of the path are impassable if Tay is in flood and breaks its banks.

Tell us about your Rings of Breadalbane.

Highlights

  • Kenmore was laid out as a model village by 3rd Earl of Breadalbane in 1760 and Kenmore Bridge was built in 1774. Kenmore Hotel goes back even further, to 1572, and is Scotland’s oldest inn.
  • The River Tay is Scotland’s longest river and, by the time it becomes tidal at Perth, it has the largest volume of any river in Britain. It is renowned for its salmon fishing and this walk passes some of the most prized fishing beats and several fishing bothies.
  • Comrie Castle was the original seat of the Menzies family, but after the tower house was damaged by fire in 1487, they built Castle Menzies further down Strath Tay. The name Comrie has the same source as the village further south in Perthshire, deriving from the Gaelic comh-ruith, which means ‘flowing together’. Both lie at the confluence of rivers.
  • Castle Menzies is a 16th-century castle that was the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 400 years. After becoming a ruin, it was rescued and restored in 1957 by the newly formed Menzies Clan Society. It is open to the public from Easter to late October.
  • Wade Bridge was built by General Wade, who had been tasked with subduing the Scottish clans after the first failed Jacobite rising. It was part of a 400km (250-mile) network of military roads that allowed government troops to move quickly around the Highlands. Designed by Wiliam Adam, it was constructed in 1733 and, at that time, was the only road bridge across the River Tay.
  • The Black Watch Monument was erected in 1887 to commemorate the first mustering of the Black Watch regiment on the floodplain opposite in 1740.
  • A little downstream from the Wade Bridge is the Aberfeldy Footbridge, built in 1992 to connect two parts of the golf course either side of the River Tay. It was the world's first all-plastic footbridge, and is probably still the largest such structure.

Essential Info

Section no.

S2

Section name

Kenmore to Aberfeldy

Start

Kenmore, the Square NN773454

Finish

Aberfeldy, the Square: NN856490

Grade

Easy: waymarked paths with no climbing

Distance

14.4km (9 miles)

Total ascent

negligible

Highest point

110m (360 ft)

Time

4-5 hours

Terrain

Riverside paths and short sections of minor roads through the wide strath with open views to the surrounding hills and mountains.

Variations

The route can be extended or shortened by taking the Camserney, House of Menzies or Weem paths from the River Tay path to the B846, either to pick up the bus or for added loops, such as the 1-mile Weem Wood waymarked circuit (start from the Forestry Commission car park just east of Castle Menzies).

Driving to the start

Leave the A9 at Ballinluig and drive 9 miles along the A827 to Aberfeldy then another 6 miles to Kenmore. Parking available in the Square.

Public transport

Buses link Kenmore and Aberfeldy 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 and Kenmore from 1st June to 19th October on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays. It also stops on the B846 at Dull road end and Weem.

Refreshments

The Kenmore Hotel, Boathouse cafe and Mains of Taymouth shop and restaurant in Kenmore; Karelia House cafe; good range of shops and cafes in Aberfeldy; (or detour off the route to Highland Safaris, 1km west of Camserney, or to signposted House of Menzies).

1st Leg

Start at: NN773454

With your back to the arched gateway to Taymouth Castle, walk past the Kenmore Hotel and along the right side of the A827 road. The road bends right in front of the church and crosses Kenmore Bridge over the River Tay where it flows out of Loch Tay against a backdrop of forested Drummond Hill.

Turn right by a footpath sign on the far side of the bridge and walk downstream beside the Tay. Pass Mains of Taymouth holiday lodges before the path rises up to the folly Maxwell’s Temple. Continue through a broad beech avenue, along a level terrace above the river. Ignore a path to the right then another to Drummond Hill on the left and follow the avenue to the right around a bend in the river.

The avenue leads to a corner where there are mock battlements, once a landscape feature seen from Taymouth Castle, although these days the view is obscured by mature trees.

2nd Leg

Start at: NN788466

Both the path and the river bend sharp left from the battlements. Beyond a gateway join a track coming up from the right and approach a minor road. Just before the road, turn right on a path running through trees beside it.

Opposite an entrance to a forest car park, the path joins the road and you turn right along it. Now there is a mile (1.5km) of tarmac walking. After passing Karelia House, there is a fine view to the left of the Munro Schiehallion, the ‘Fairy Hill of the Caledonians’.

The ruins of Comrie Castle are set back on the right, before the next house. Just beyond, cross a bridge over the River Lyon to a road junction and immediately before it turn right beside a footpath sign.

3rd Leg

Start at: NN786487

The path runs beside the road then, beyond a lay-by, drops down to the wooded riverbank. Go through the first of several gates and along the edge of a field. After the next gate, the path runs along the riverbank and passes the confluence of Lyon and Tay. As the river gradually bends left, go through more gates and pass a wooden fishing bothy, then join a track continuing ahead downstream.

Further down, the track passes a substantial stone fishing bothy then bends left through a strip of tall conifers. Here keep ahead on a grassy path, still following the river. Continue on the path for about 2km (1.25 miles) with open views across fertile agricultural land to the hamlets of Dull and Camserney. If you look back, you can see the Glen Lyon Munros.

4th Leg

Start at: NN822485

Eventually the path bends left, between fences to a junction with a track. Turn right and continue along the riverside path (going left takes you to Camserney) soon crossing a bridge over Camserney Burn. It is a further 1.25km (0.8 miles), over further bridges and past another wooden fishing bothy, to the next path junction, where a signed path goes left to House of Menzies, a shop and cafe developed from the home farm of Castle Menzies.

Stay on the riverside path, with Castle Menzies now coming into view. Where the path divides around trees keep left to another footpath sign. Continue on the riverside path (left leads to Castle Menzies and Weem Wood). Beyond a gate, the path crosses a wildflower meadow and continues along the edge of a cultivated field.

Soon the Wade Bridge comes into sight. Leave the path by a gate and turn right across the bridge (the Black Watch Monument is across a grassy area on the far side). At a crossroads turn left along Taybridge Terrace. Beyond the golf course, go though a gate to walk through Victoria Park, parallel to the road. Keep right, through a play area and rejoin the road.

Go straight across, over a triangle of green and up the road ahead beside Moness Burn. Pass The Watermill then turn left along Aberfeldy High Street to The Square. The bus stop (for either direction) is in Chapel Street, to the left at the mini roundabout.

Profile

14.4 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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