Going further afield, the footpaths around Killiecrankie offer many great opportunities to get out and enjoy the local landscape and wildlife and find out more about the rich local history.
A simple walk starts at the car park beside the Garry Bridge and follows the River Garry downstream before looping back via a very interesting historical site.
From the car park descend the stairs and then turn right at the first junction to pass under the bridge itself.
If you are lucky, you might see some brave soul’s bungee jumping from the gondola under the bridge, almost getting wet in the river below.
At this point, the river Garry leaves the narrow gorge of Killiecrankie, depositing boulders and small stones onto the ever-changing shingle beaches.
There are some very deep pools, but at one place, the shingle makes the river narrow enough to ford, allowing at least one King to make his escape – but more of that later.
Keep your eyes out along here – dippers, goosanders, grey wagtails are all present. If you are really lucky, you might catch a glimpse of an otter. And it is only a matter of time before beavers, already on the Tummel below Loch Faskally, find their way up here.
With the river on your left and a small field on your right, you eventually come to a set of steps that lead you into a woodland with some very fine and large larch and Douglas fir.
Keeps following the river until you get to a tip where the Garry and the Tummel join at the head of Loch Faskally. Right in front of you is the turbine hall of Clunie hydro power station.
If you follow the Tummel upstream, you very quickly find the Linn of Tummel, a very deep pool just below a fine set of small waterfalls and cascades. In Summer, you can watch kayakers daring the falls, some more successfully than others.
Now make your way back to the main path and head up hill. You will find yourself walking back the way you came but about 30 metres higher up the steep bank of the river Garry.
You will pass some statuesque Douglas fir and then if you keep following the woodland path ignoring for the moment the main path that crosses between two fields, you will come to an old gate.
From here you will see what looks like (and is) the ruined remains of an old house with a chimney. Inset into this old gable end is a memorial plaque to something that occurred here centuries before that ruin was ever built.
This hillside is called Coille Brochain – the wood of porridge – where, in 1306, a small group of very tired and dispirited men gathered.
They were the remnants of an army, defeated at the Battle of Methven, and led here by Robert the Bruce, recently crowned King of Scots. Bruce himself barely escaped the battle with his life but two of his own brothers were killed, along with many friends and loyal followers as the English executed everyone taken prisoner. For a version of the story, see the film OUTLAW KING starring Chris Pine as the Bruce.
Having fled north, and forded the river Garry, he found relative safety. Locals provided very basic food, perhaps all that a land under enemy occupation could afford. The local lairds all continued to support him and shelter him. Perhaps it was this support that gave him the strength and courage to carry on. The following year, he defeated a much larger English Army, again led by Valence, at Loudon Hill in Ayrshire, the start of a campaign that ended at Bannockburn in 1314.
Turning away from this historic site and back to the path, you now cross between the two fields and follow the small and sometimes muddy path back to the River Garry and hence back to the car park.
A relatively short and easy walk, but well worth the effort.