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The Strathearn area of Perthshire offers the walker a wide variety of rambles. Obviously the simplest and least strenuous walks entail exploring the historic streets, lanes and immediate countryside of the local towns and villages - Auchterarder, Braco, Comrie, Crieff, Dunning, Muthill or St Fillans.

The walks listed here are a few further suggestions. Since few of us set off walking with a laptop computer, there seems little point in offering a detailed description here - you'll need one of the many Perthshire Walking Guides and an Ordnance Survey Map.

Hopefully the information here will give you a taste for covering some of Strathearn's walks yourself.



1.

To the west of Crieff there are three parallel routes running east-west: Lady Mary's walk, Laggan Road to Baird's Monument and the track over Laggan Hill also to Baird's Monument. Leaving either Crieff town or the car park at Macrosty Park (western edge of town) you can walk out and back along the three routes in various permutations. The shortest and easiest is along Lady Mary's by the River Earn and back along Laggan Road, about 5km. The longest is over Laggan Hill to Baird's Monument and back via Lady Mary's about 9km.

Lady Mary's Walk is a pleasant level walk along the River Earn. Laggan hill offers good views back to Crieff, across Strathearn and north to Ben Chonzie and the Highlands.

2.

The Knock of Crieff is the wooded hill to the north of the town. You can either leave from the town or park at the car parks above the Crieff Hydro Hotel. You can walk over the Knock to Gilmerton and get the bus back. Alternatively you can walk round the Knock (either clock or anti-clockwise) much of the route being through forest track. The round trip from Crieff town centre is about 6km and from the upper car parks round the Knock about 3km.

You should however go to the top to experience the view. From here you can see the Highlands to the north and Upper Strathearn, Ben Vorlich and Comrie to the west and Muthill, the broad fertile valley floor and the Ochil Hills to the south. Also worth stopping at the Kate McNiven's Crag where a 17thC witch is said to have been executed by being rolled down the rocky slope in a barrel.

3.

Crieff Nature Trail runs in a circle from the Comrie Road up the Turret Burn to a point overlooking the Glenturret Distillery, then back via the Crieff Hydro Golf Course and Culcrieff. A short walk of about 4 km through woodland beside the Turret and back through farmland. Unusual in Strathearn walks in that refreshment is available at the Golf Centre half way round!

4.

Drive from Crieff up to the large car park at the Turret Dam. From here you can set off on a number of walks: a short stroll across the dam or along the Loch side track and back for a 6km round trip or return via Choinneachain Hill (787m) for a 9km walk. While on any Strathearn walk care must be taken not to disturb livestock or wildlife, this area requires particular care - you should not leave the tracks.

5.

The River Lednock flows from Glen Lednock down to Comrie where it joins the River Earn. From Comrie you can walk up above a narrow gorge to the Deil's Cauldron - a spectacular waterfall. Above the gorge at this point the town is overlooked by a hilltop granite obelisk commemorating Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811). This should be reached to enjoy the views of Comrie. About 1km upstream is a bridge. From here you can return down the eastern side of the Lednock through woodland to Comrie. The total walk (rising some 200m) including the monument is about 8kms.

6.

The most serious walk in Strathearn is climbing Ben Vorlich (983m), a pyramid shaped peak above Loch Earn. The view is well worth the climb. Park at the roadside near Ardvorlich House. This has been home of the Stewarts of Ardvorlich since 1589. In 1620 a Macdonald of Glencoe cattle raiding party were successfully repulsed by the Stewarts. Seven Macdonalds died and are buried near the house. The site is marked by a large stone.Walk up the Vorlich Burn, then up Coire Buidhe and on up to the summit. The total round trip is about 11kms.

7.

From Auchterarder there is a circular walk of about 3km through woodland and farmland. Starting from Tullibardine Road you follow a track by a burn, then by Lower Borland Farm and Castleton and back into town. In summer parts of the route are lined with wild flowers and there are views across Strathearn and to the Ochils.

8.

From Auchterarder it is possible to cross the Ochill Hills to Glendevon some12kms to the south (or to Dollar a further 8km). Fine views but if the walk is to be a one way trip you will need to work out travel either by train from Stirling to Auchterarder and bus from Glendevon or Dollar to Stirling. Alternatively have someone drop you off by car and pick you up at the other side.

9.

As with the above walk it is possible to walk across the Ochils from Blackford to Tillicoultry (16km). The same logistics problems arise. A simpler walk is partly up to the Upper Glendevon Reservoir, round the west side and venture into Glen Broich - then return to Blackford. This makes for a return trip of up to 20km.

10.

At Newton Bridge in the Sma' Glen there is a laybye, picnic area and toilet. You can park here and walk along the track up Glen Almond. About 1km from the bridge is the deserted and ruined village of Craignavar. The track actually leads to Ardtalnaid on Loch Tay over 20kms away. Sheep farms are found every few kms along the route and there are other 'lost villages', cairns and standing stones to be seen. On each side of the Glen the hills rise to around 700m.

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