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Glen Guide

Walking & Hiking

Glendevon upper reservoir
“O ye'll tak the high road and I'll tak' the low road an' I'll be in Scotland afore ye”

Glossary

  • Beinn (bheinn, ben, ven, vain) – a name for hills, particularly big ones.
  • Càrn (càirn, chàrn, chàirn, chùirn) – a heap of stones or a stony hill
  • Stùc (stùchd) – a sharp peak
  • Mòr (mhòr, mhòir, more) – great
  • Gleann (ghleann, ghlinn, ghlinne, glen) – valley
  • sràth (strath) – wider, fertile valley
  • Munro – a mountain in Scotland over 3000ft. Once you’ve scaled, or “bagged”, all 282 of them you can call yourself a “Munroist”
  • Corbett – any of the 222 hills in Scotland between 2,500 and 3,000ft with a 500ft drop between them
  • Graham – hills between 2,000 and 2,499ft with a 500ft drop between them
  • Donald – hills between 2,000 and 2,999ft situated south of the Highland fault boundary.  Some Donalds are also Corbetts or Grahams!

 

Here in Perthshire, we often see four seasons in one day, but whether it’s blissfully balmy or “blowin’ a hoolie”, walking is one of the best ways to explore the dramatic local landscape.  From romantic rambles and sunrise saunters to mountain meanders and hardcore hikes, there are hundreds of trails on our doorstep that showcase Scotland’s wild natural beauty and offer the chance to blow away the cobwebs, enjoy a family adventure and gain a feeling of pure escape.

Tuck a Gleneagles picnic in your rucksack, borrow our Hunter wellies and Barbours, or head out with one of our friendly Trail Yard activity leaders who’ll keep you company, take you to the best view points, and get you back to the hotel in time for your Spa appointment to soothe those tired legs or your decadent refuelling dinner in The Strathearn.  

Here are some of our top five walks ranging from easy ambles to challenging climbs in stunning locations near the hotel:

 

1. Westerley Wander, Gleneagles

A Labrador running with a family

Looking to stretch your legs without getting out of breath? Pull on some wellies at our Playground Snug and head for The Trail Yard, where our team will show you the way. Whatever the season – whether you’re soaking up the summer sun, the trees are blazing in all their autumn glory, or the snow is up to your knees – this gentle one-hour loop across even terrain is a fantastic countryside adventure.  Finish back at the Trail Yard to say hello to our resident hotel lab Henry and warm up by the camp fire with a mug of freshly-brewed coffee.

 

2. Lady Mary’s Walk, Crieff

A forest with a lone walker
The River Tay in autumn

One of our favourite walks for all ages and abilities, Lady Mary’s Walk, which is just a 20-minute drive from the hotel, is a lovely spot for those who prefer a gentle pace and flat terrain. Start at MacRosty Park, and follow the river Earn through beautiful woodland. Avenues of ancient oak, beech, lime and sweet chestnut trees provide cool shade in summer and magnificent colour in the autumn, when the fallen leaves provide a satisfying underfoot crunch along the 3 ½ mile circular track. Toss a stick for the dog from the sandy river beaches and keep an eye out for the abundance of local wildlife – including herons, kingfishers, grey wagtails, oystercatchers and otters – which are lucky enough to call this place home.  You can extend the walk by heading up Laggan Hill, which offers stunning views of the local countryside.

 

3. Hermitage Wood

The countryside surrounding Gleneagles offers a fantastic choice of riverside walks and woodland trails. Head for the Hermitage’s iconic trees, water pools and roaring falls just 40 minutes from the hotel, and follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth and Mendelssohn who drew creative inspiration from the area’s dramatic landscape.  This patch of forest managed by the National Trust for Scotland was originally designed as a pleasure ground for the Dukes of Atholl and is beautiful through all the seasons, but most spectacular in mid-autumn when the trees are ablaze with colour. The perfect walk for all the family – including those with waggy tails – this easy woodland circular route takes around 2½ hours. There are also a number of quaint dog-friendly pubs nearby, including the Taybank which is renowned for its cosy atmosphere and live music.

 

4. Glen Sherup Horseshoe, Three Donalds – Glen Devon *

Glendevon reservoir

Ever wanted to get out into the Ochil Hills you can see from the windows in the Century Bar? Then leave the beers till later, pull on some walking shoes, and let’s go! This route can be made short or long, depending on how adventurous (and fit) you’re feeling. Follow the main track through the conifers of the Glen Sherup Forest before emerging onto a grassy path which leads all the way to the summit of a Donald, Innerdownie Hill (611m). The ascent might leave you a bit out of puff, but the stunning views across Perthshire at the top make it worthwhile. Either toast your achievement with a flask of warm slow gin before heading back the way you came if you only want a brisk two-hour country hike, or soldier on across the beautiful rugged landscape of two more Donalds, Whitewisp Hill (643m) and Tarmangie Hill (645m) for a ten-mile challenge, if you want to make a full day of it! 

 

5. Ben Ledi, Callander *

Set in the beautiful Trossachs National Park, locals have been climbing this mighty mountain for centuries. The summit, which looms high over the bustling wee town of Callander, is believed to have been the site of Pagan and Wiccan rituals in ancient times, while Victorian poet, Sir Walter Scott, popularised the mountain’s appeal in his narrative poem, ‘The Lady of the Lake’. Since then, hillwalkers have been trekking to the top of this mountain in their droves and, when you see the breath-taking views from the top, it’s not surprising! Though it falls just short of being classified a Munro – at 879m it’s known as a ‘Corbett’ – this 4 – 6 hour walk is still a steep challenge demanding a good level of fitness. 

 

6. Ben Vorlich, Lochearnhead *

The best place to begin this mountain’s challenging 985m ascent is by a path that starts at Ardvorlich on the southern shore of Loch Earn. A fantastic introduction to Scotland’s higher Munros, Ben Vorlich can be easily tackled in 5 – 6 hours and a well-trodden stony path and fairly gradual ascent for most of the route makes it relatively safe and easy for experienced hillwalkers. Nearer the top, the incline gets steeper as the path stretches up the rocky Sgiath nam Tarmachan ridge, or ‘wings of the ptarmigan’. Once you’ve reached the summit, treat yourself to a delicious Gleneagles picnic while soaking up some of the most spectacular views in the region – across the Nevis range, which is often capped with snow till early summer, and the navy blue hues of the loch below.  Head back the way you came or, if you’re in the mood for extra adventure, across the Bealach an Dubh Chorein which links Ben Vorlich to its neighbouring Munro, Stuc a’Chroin (975 m). Pack several layers; even on a hot summer’s day, it’s always cold and windy at the top!

*Exploring Scotland’s beautiful hills and mountains is a fantastic adventure, but you need to be prepared for the environment changing very quickly, even in summer, and take measures to ensure you don’t get lost. Always use a map and compass, dress appropriately and consider enlisting the help and expertise of one of our Trail Yard Outdoor Activity Leaders. Alan, David, Steven and Craig can transport you there and back, ensure you get up and down the mountain safely, and even carry your picnic and Champagne for you! 

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