Tay & Tummel

You are Here: Scotland; East Scotland; Tay & Tummel

Rain, rain, rain. Rain, rain, rain. That was what the forecast said. Ok, so most of it was showers, but there would hardly be anywhere within 2 hours of home that excaped all day. I was not particularly happy about that, and so set off for Perth as the least worst area. After a quick nip into Perth (there were a couple of things I needed), I headed north, expecting a day of brief explorations between lots of driving through heavy showers. I was, to be disappointed... no, what is the opposite to disappointed? Appointed? Undisappointed? Well, you know what I mean.


I have often visited the beautiful Cathedral city of Dunkeld, so today I decided to stop at Birnam. I parked up at the station, and took a wander through some woods before heading into the little village. It has some fine Architecture, perhaps not too surprising, and seems a quiet and peaceful backwater. Of course, the main road used to be the A9...

I got back to the car just before a downpour, and headed north a couple of miles to where the A9 crosses the River Tay. I had spied a walks symbol from a forestry car park here, and as the sun was out once more decided it would be a nice spot to stop for lunch. A path led under the A9 and along the bank of the Tay. Indeed, it led me all the way back to Birnam where I had been just an hour and a half earlier! Along the way, I discovered some abandoned bits of road, a ruined house and lots of trees. Sadly, views of the river itself were rather few and far between.

To get back to the car, I decided to follow the markers for the other half of the circular walk, and so after passing through the small village of Inver, I climbed up through the forestry above the road. Again, the best views were of the trees, but on the plus side the thick canopy sheltered me when the rain came back.


A few miles further north, after a wasted stop in Pitlochry (I was looking for a new cheap fleece as my 14 year old green one is nearing the end of its life, but couldn't find one I liked), I stopped at the Garry Bridge above the Linn of Tummel. Not expecting much, I took a couple of photos of the bridge, and then wandered down to the footbridge for a different view. I quickly realised just how close I was to the Pass of Killiecrankie, and as it was dry I kept walking, taking a look at the enormous viaduct that carries the A9 through the pass, and then stopping at the visitor centre. They charge for the parking here, so it seemed like a sensible thing to do. It wasn't that interesting anyway. Another path then led me down to the Soldier's Leap, where a soldier alledgedly leapt 15 or 18 feet across the river 300 years ago. He survived to dodge the bullets as he fled apparently, although it seems a little far fetched. The walk back along the old Military Road through the pass was pleasant though, passing a mighty Railway Viaduct before returning to the car just as the heavens opened once more.


My route home took me along the shores of Loch Tummel. I have never yet managed to drive this road in good weather, always encountering rain, fog or worse. Loch Tay was similarly dismal, and as I passed through Killin the rain intensified once more. However, crossing the bridge I was amazed at the ferocity of the river, the roar from which even drowned out the stereo in the car! I stopped, gave it five minutes for the rain to ease and then ran down for some photos. They're not the best, but it was very wet!