(057) Blairgowrie-Cargill’s Leap-Knockie Hill Circuit (Perthshire)

Route Summary
At first following an historic passage used by Highland cattle raiders, along the River Ericht, the route then climbs gradually through hill farmland to the summit of the Knockie Hill where there are great views, near and far, in all directions.

Duration: 2.5 hours.

 

Route Overview
Duration: 2.5 hours.
Transport/Parking: Regular Stagecoach bus services from Perth and Dundee. Check timetables. There are parking areas around the Wellmeadow in the centre of Blairgowrie but they can be busy.
Length: 6.110 km / 3.82 mi
Height Gain: 166 meter
Height Loss: 166 meter
Max Height: 199 meter
Min Height: 61 meter
Surface: Moderate. A mix of surfaced paths, rough access roads and farm roads, with sections on minor tarred roads and pavements.
Child Friendly: Yes, if used to walks of this distance and overall ascent.
Difficulty: Medium.
Dog Friendly: Yes, on lead on public roads and near farm animals.
Refreshments: Options in Blairgowrie. We can recommend the Cateran Cafe on the corner of the High Street and Allan Street.

Description
This is a walk of three parts, with the initial section following the Cateran Trail along the banks of the River Ericht, passing many old mill buildings along the way. The course of the river here is, by turns, a mix of wide rippling shallows and surging rocky gorges. The route visits Cargill’s Leap, at the Keith Falls, where the Reverend Donald Cargill jumped the river to escape King Charles II’s dragoons in 1665 during the turbulent Covenanting period in Scottish history. He was later executed for his religious beliefs and activism for the Covenanting cause in 1681 at Edinburgh. Leaving the Ericht, the route then rises above the very scenic upland valley of the Lornty Burn, with fine views of distant hills. Turning back towards Blairgowrie, the path then crosses over the Knockie Hill, the last foot hill of the Grampian range. Here, there are splendid views of Strathmore and the Sidlaw Hills. The conjoined burghs of Blairgowrie and Rattray, dating back to the 12th C, sit in a pretty vale at the north end of Strathmore, nestling at the foot of the Grampian Mountains They developed over the centuries at the crossroads of historic routes to Perth, Coupar Angus, Alyth and Braemar. The Glenshee Ski Centre is 18 miles to the north at the Cairnwell Pass, on the A93 road to Braemar, the highest public road in the UK. The town experienced huge expansion in the 19th C as a result of the many textile mills which were built along the River Ericht, all now closed. By 1870 there were 12 mills along the river employing nearly 2000, and the population had increased tenfold from 400 in the 1700s. Soft fruit growing, mainly raspberries and strawberries, developed in the 20th century and are still vital to the town’s economy. The 64 mile Cateran (Highland cattle raiders and warriors) Trail starts and finishes at Blairgowrie. This signed long-distance walk follows a circular route from Glenericht to the Spittal of Glenshee, then down to Glenisla and Alyth.

Links:
Photos from walk
Download Route Guide  (PDF with illustrated Waypoints)
Download GPX file  (GPS Exchange Format)
Access Walk on Viewranger
Access Walk on Wikiloc

 

 

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