HIGHLAND Perthshire is one of the best places in the world to experience autumn. Known as Big Tree Country for a reason, the array of colours taken on by the leaves is stunning.
A walk around Loch Faskally, actually a reservoir serving the hydro schemes that thread across this part of Scotland, allows you to see this display of nature at its very best. Take your time, have a picnic on the way and soak in this wonderful spectacle.
DISTANCE 9 miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED 500ft.
TIME 4 to 5 hours.
MAP OS Landranger 52 and 43.
PARK Turn off Pitlochry’s main street next to Victoria’s Restaurant and Coffee Shop and drive down Ferry Road. Once under a railway bridge continue down to a car park on the left, next to the town’s recreation ground (ignore car parks on the right just after the railway bridge).
IN SUMMARY Follow a track at the bottom of the car park and go right after about 30 yards to cross a footbridge, then go left to reach the Port-na-Craig suspension bridge, which leads over the River Tummel. Go right on the other side to follow a road to a dam with a fish ladder. Climb some steps by the ladder all the way to the top, ignoring a walkway across the dam. Go right at the top, and further on stay right at a fork to follow a path by the edge of Loch Faskally. After crossing a footbridge, the path rises up steps to emerge near the A9. Keep right and follow a path to a minor road, where you go right to follow it down and under the A9.
You pass a memorial arch to the workers who died building the Clunie Tunnel in the 1940s to link Loch Tummel to the power station on the shore below. Don’t follow the access road below the arch but continue on the road to the Linn of Tummel. At the end of the series of falls a green sign for Garry Bridge points down a path to the right. This leads to Coronation Bridge, a suspension bridge over the River Tummel built for the coronation of George V in 1911.
On the other side go right and follow a path back along the river. After the last set of falls the route goes left to cut through trees. The main route joins the side of the water again and goes up the River Garry, under a road bridge carrying the B8019. After this go right on reaching a surfaced path which leads to a footbridge high above the river. Once on the other side go right and begin the return.
The path leads back under the road bridge. After crossing a second footbridge, slightly up a small tributary, go right to follow a path by the edge of a field which eventually reaches a minor road.
Go right to skirt the water again and after about half a mile go right into a small car park near Loch Dunmore. Follow a track to the right, at the end of the car park, then keep left at a fork and go straight over a crossroads.
The track swings round the edge of Dunmore Hill, following marker posts with white flashes which eventually lead down a steep path to the right, to the edge of Loch Faskally.
Follow the path to another marker post and drop down to the right. This leads to the Clunie Bridge (a footbridge) which you cross and turn left to pass back under the A9 and retrace your steps to the start.
REFRESH There is a good choice in Pitlochry. The town’s Festival Theatre is passed near the start and has a good café/bar. Below it is the Port-na-Craig inn and restaurant, next to the River Tummel.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA Just above Pitlochry is Edradour, the smallest distillery in Scotland. It offers tastings and tours.