Pitlochry walks

Nature Nearby

Wee Blue Dream self catering log cabin sits on the edge of Pitlochry , Scotland with fabulous views up to Ben Vrackie from your door, and only metres from the fantastic path network around Pitlochry. walks near Pitlochry, run or mountain bike for miles, with great landscapes, history and wildlife and every turn.

Black Spout, Pitlochry

From Wee Blue Dream, a 5-minute walk along footpaths gives easy access to this lovely woodland named after a waterfall – the Black Spout.  The path leads through different types of trees including native Scot’s pine, oak, silver birch, ash, aspen, alder, hazel etc. as well as some majestic Douglas Fir, an American conifer planted here in the Victorian era.

The Black Spout is also a local dog social centre.

Walking through this tranquil woodland you can find wildflowers, here many types of bird call, see butterflies in a sunny glade or have a surprise encounter with a roe deer or red squirrels.

We often meet visitors who ask “why is it called Black Spout? “ . The answer is simple – a spout is an old word for a waterfall and the moss that grows on the rocks is wet and black.

Standing on the viewing platform overlooking the 60m high waterfall is always nice, but especially impressive after heavy rain.  The more adventurous can leave the footpaths and find many smaller waterfalls and hidden dells – but be careful. The ground can be steep and slippery with some dangerous drops.

There are other hidden gems in the woodland – an iron age farmstead is worth the search.

Black Castle Ruins

The Black Castle of Moulin is right outside your front door. Built about 1326 by Sir John Campbell of Lochnaw. He was Robert the Bruce’s brother-in- law. Robert gave all the lands of Atholl to Sir John after the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The castle is now a ruin. But you can still see the remains of a round tower and transverse wall. The castle once stood in a lochan (a small loch) but this was drained over 200 years ago.

Ben Vrackie

Ben Vrackie is on your doorstep. The Ben is a popular, wonderful outdoor place for experienced hillwalkers and beginners alike.

The Ben is “only” 841m (2,757ft) high, so it’s not a Munro, but it still needs to be taken seriously. You’ll need to be properly equipped for a hill walk (sensible hiking shoes, windproof jacket) and it will take you 3-4 hours for this walk.  Its only 13km there and back but the climb makes it feel much further.

The marked footpath starts from the Ben Vrackie car park, although you can easily walk all the way from Wee Blue Dream, past the Black Castle, the Moulin Inn, through woodland beside a small gorge, then using a moorland track over heather moorland.

The Ben Vrackie path is relatively easy until you reach Loch a’Choire which is a great walk in itself.  From here, the path gets much steeper and the last hour or so is quite hard work.

But you will be rewarded on reaching on the top of mountain with stunning views and scenery surrounding mountain. On a clear day, you can see all the way west to the summit of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain.

Ancient woodland diversion

If you want to divert from the Ben Vrackie path and work your way over open moorland, then turning left when you leave the woodland will take you to the shoulder of a ridge leading to the left and Creag Chuinnlean.  This rocky hilltop gives great views of the Tay Valley.  The hill is surrounded on three sides by forestry plantation, but the top has some lovely old Scots pine with an understory typical of native Scots pine forest. This is listed as native woodland in the Scottish Government inventory. You get a real feeling of an ancient Scottish landscape.


This lovely hill above Pitlochry Golf Course gives great views down the Tummel valley towards Dunkeld.

Walk from Wee Blue Dream on the same rout as Ben Vrackie but don’t turn right up to the hill but carry on along the Old North Road towards the golf course and follow the well signposted route through conifer plantations. A last push up some steps (thank you National Trust for Scotland) takes you to the summit amongst scattered Scots Pines and a Juniper and heather understorey. A total of about 10km there and back.

The forest is full of mountain bikes routes and is very popular.

Moulin Public Bar

On your way back from Ben Vrackie or Craigower to Wee Blue Dream, why not have a pint in Moulin Public Bar? The Moulin public Bar is an ancient inn with its own Moulin Brewery. It was one of the first microbreweries in Scotland. The pub offers home brewed Ales includes Light Ale, Braveheart, Ale of Atholl and Old Remedial.

The Linn of Tummel Walk

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.