Queen’s View to Blair Atholl

blair-atholl-from-tulach

Jazz surveying Atholl

As a birthday treat my family wanted to join me on this walk: I must be mellowing with age because it was actually enjoyable.  This walk starts at the Forestry Commission car park for Allean Forest near Queen’s View on Loch Tummel.  This road is exciting for its scenery, lots of corners, and the chance to meet either a forestry lorry or dozens of tourist coaches taking up the entire road.  However, the walk soon leaves all that behind and you have the place to yourself.

Allean Forest

Allean Forest

Glen Fincastle

Glen Fincastle

Lunch spot

Lunch spot

There are a lot of paths and tracks through the forest but we were following a path less travelled by, and consequently a bit overgrown.  We were last here in 2007 and I don’t think many people have been this way since.  Basically we are heading for the top of the hill at which point the forest has been felled.  We then followed the tracks until we found the path we thought we remembered!  This leads down into the quiet of Glen Fincastle where we pass Edintian farm and then start climbing to the lunch-spot at an old ruin near some lochans on the shoulder of Tulach HIll.

Jazz having a dip

Jazz having a dip

Hawthorn on Tulach

Hawthorn on Tulach

For nostalgic reasons we headed for the trig point on Tulach.  As we climbed through the rough heather we saw quite a few Black Grouse flying off which was nice – in the past we’ve had Capercaillie in this area too, but not today, alas.  The major attraction of going up Tulach is the view from the top of Atholl: the village, castle, the hills of Atholl and lower Glen Tilt (remember: the finest glen in Scotland) are all laid out in front of you.  Superb, and luckily we had booked beautiful weather to show it at its best.

Groves on Tulach

Grooves on Tulach (Summer 2014)

From the summit it’s just a matter to descending to the point at the A9 where we can cross to reach the footbridge over the River Garry.  The descent is surprisingly steep but there are some strange hair-pin grooved tracks down the hill which make the process a bit easier.  It is going to be interesting to see the impact the dualling of the A9 will have on this section: perhaps they’ll put in an underpass so we don’t have to dodge the traffic.  And the Watermill in Blair Atholl makes great scones as a treat for finishing the walk…

Distance:10km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again:
Duration:4½ hours