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The Cateran Trail

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Homepage > Scotland > The Cateran Trail
  • Duration: 6 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2-3
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: April to September
  • Location: Blairgowrie
Tour Details

The Cateran Trail is a scenic Scottish walking holiday which starts and finishes in the Highland town of Blairgowrie. The Cateran Trail is a fully waymarked 64 mile (103km) circular route, which was named after the middle ages to 17th-century cattle rustlers of the region. The walking route follows some of the old drove roads through glens, hills and farmland. You are bound to see some stunning scenery on this walking holiday in the Scottish Highlands.

Divided into 5 walking sections The Cateran Trail explores the Scottish countryside through Perthshire and Angus. Leaving Blairgowrie, you will head towards Bridge of Cally on your way to Kirkmichael. Heading North towards Spittal of Glenshee before the route then meanders down the East side of Glenshee. Which will give you open views of the surrounding countryside before reaching Kirkton of Glenisla. From the South of Kirkton of Glenisla, the Cateran Trail then climbs up onto the moorland which gives you some fantastic views. Walking along tracks and paths before you reach the attractive town of Alyth. The final section will take you from Alyth cross country back to Bridge of Cally before following the trail back down to Blairgowrie.

The Cateran Trail has been said by many who have walked it to be one of the most beautiful Scottish walks often surpassing the West Highland Way. If you are looking for a lesser-known walking trail and stunning secluded scenery then The Cateran Trail may well be an ideal choice.

Starting Location


Price Includes

  • 6 nights bed and breakfast
  • 3 & 4 star graded hotels, guest houses and country inns
  • Information Pack
  • Navigation by Smart Phone App
  • Luggage transfers
  • GPS Files on request

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Public Transport
  • Lunchs, Dinner and Snacks
  • Transfer if required at Spittal of Glenshee.
  • Travel Insurance
Trip Info

Please Note:

In peak times we may need to start the trip in Alyth and provide a transfer to Blairgowrie on day 2. There is limited accommodation in Spittal of Glenshee and in peak times a transfer maybe required (at extra cost)

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Day 1Arrival to Blairgowrie

Arrival to Ulverston or Coniston depending on the accommodation availability.

Day 2Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael 15.3 miles 24.6km up 537m 6 hours

An initial stroll along the shady bank of river Ericht will lead us through beautiful farmland onto heath and open moorland. From Bridge of Cally the path will continue under the trees of Blackcraig Forest and will enter Strathardle, a lush Highland glen whose cattle rich pastures were a magnet for the Caterans. The glen has been farmed since the Bronze Age and in medieval times was home to 3000 people. Considerably quieter now, it still has three villages, Ballintuim, Enochdhu and Kirkmichael which offers a good choice of places to stay and eat.

We will cross several burns of pristine water that will make ideal stopping places to relax and wander about the great views across the valley. Keep your eyes open for red deer often seen in the vicinity. After a day walking mainly on flat ground we will reach the picturesque village of Kirkmichael, our final destination today.

Day 3Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee 8.4 miles 13.5 km up 465m 4 hours

Today we have a short day ahead of us but with a few metres to climb. We will walk through scattered and peaceful woodland to reach the little village of Enochdhu and the historical Kindrogan bridge before climbing slowly across the beautiful Chalamanach Wood on our way to the open hills. The trail heads north towards Glenshee (glen of the fairies), a wild highland area with spectacular mountain peaks. After passing the Upper Hut Lunch we will soon arrive at An Lairig, the mountain pass into the valley. Here we will enjoy splendid views to the distant Munros south of the Cairngorms National Park.

Day 4Spittal of Glenshee to Kirkton of Glenisla 14.6 miles 23.4km up 359m 5 hours

Shortly after starting our journey, we will visit the burial tomb of legendary Celtic warrior Diarmid sitting on top of a mound overlooking the mountains beyond. Leaving Glenshee, the trail forks after passing the peculiar, fairytale-like castle at Dalnaglar and enters beautiful Glen Isla at the foot of Mount Blair. On route, we will find two magnificent places to stop for a rest: quiet Loch Auchintaple with its amazing array of birdlife lying at the edge of a deep forest and mysterious Loch Shandra with its mirror-like waters.

Day 5Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth 10.6 miles 17km up 341m 4.5 hours

You will then follow the trail through forest and farmland to the historic and picturesque burgh town of Alyth. Arthurian legends are strong in this area. It is said that Queen Guinevere was held captive by king Mordred at his fort on nearby Barry Hill. Beautiful sections of the track surrounded by the fresh scent of pine trees are waiting for us today. Near the end of the route, we will walk at the foot of Loyal Hill and its lovely forest. If you walk quietly you have a good chance to see roe deer roaming in the nearby woods.

Day 6 Alyth to Blairgowrie 9-16.7 miles 15-26.7 km up 560m 3.5-6 hours

The Cateran Trail passes over Alyth Hill onto open moorland close by the massive standing stones of Heatheryhaugh, through atmospheric beech woods and between grass fields where the cattle roam freely. From Bridge of Cally you just need to walk over the same itinerary as the first day across heath, farmland and fields where we will enjoy a sublime array of intense colours before arriving at Blairgowrie. If at Bridge of Cally you decide not to walk the final section you can take the local bus to Blairgowrie.

Day 7Departure

Depart after breakfast.


How to get there

By Plane to Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport where trains are available to Perth or Dundee. You can then take a local bus to Blairgowrie. Travel time around 2 hours.

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