With large expanses of tranquil woodland and some of the country’s oldest and tallest trees, Perthshire’s ‘Big Tree Country’ is an ideal place for an autumn forest walk.
If you’re planning a Perthshire holiday, here are some ideas for where you can enjoy a wonderful woodland walk.
Situated two miles west of the pretty Perthshire town of Dunkeld, The Hermitage is a historic site in Craigvinean Forest, originally an extension to the grounds of Dunkeld House. The Hermitage is now managed by the National Trust of Scotland and is home to impressively large Douglas fir trees, including one of the tallest trees in the country (at 64.6 metres). A popular walk is along the banks of the River Braan as it weaves through the woodland to Ossian’s Hall. This 18th century hall, once surrounded by wild garden, enjoys the view of Black Linn Falls as it tumbles into an inky pool. For a longer circular walk you can follow the trail to Ossian’s Cave, or you could also link a shorter Hermitage walk with either the Braan or Inver Walks.
Above The Hermitage you’ll find another place to enjoy Perthshire’s beautiful autumn displays: PineCone Point in Craigvinean Forest. PineCone Point offers sweeping views of The Hermitage, Dunkeld and the Perthshire mountains.
The walk up to the oh-so-lovely Bruar Falls, tucked behind the popular House of Bruar, is another peaceful place to wrap yourself in woodland scenery. There is a short walk that leads through woodland up to the Lower Bridge, and a longer, steeper, loop that continues to the Upper Bridge – a stunning viewpoint overlooking the falls and the surrounding Perthshire countryside.
It is difficult now to imagine a time when the waterfalls weren’t shrouded in trees but that was in fact the case until the late 18th century. After Robert Burns visited in 1787, he penned ‘The Humble Petition of Bruar Water’, appealing to the Duke of Atholl to plant trees around the falls.
Diana’s Grove, Blair Castle
Blair Castle is the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl, who became known as the ‘Planting Dukes’ after planting an incredible 27 million trees around the Atholl Estate in the 18th and 19th centuries. The estate has 30 miles of marked walking trails and 40 miles of cycling routes to enjoy.
Diana’s Grove, known for its collection of conifers, is an idyllic wooded area where you can again admire some of the country’s tallest trees (the two tallest in the grove are grand firs at over 63 metres) and bask in beautiful autumn colours.
(There is an admission charge to enter the castle grounds).
For more gorgeous woodland walks visit www.perthshirebigtreecountry.co.uk.