Cateran Trail ~ 62 miles (100 km) ~ 5 days walking
The Cateran Trail is an easy to moderate, fully waymarked, circular walk, named after the marauding bands of cattle thieves who used these paths in bygone days. The Cateran Trail offers a variety of picturesque landscapes following fast flowing rivers, hill paths, forested ways and over rich fertile farmland.
The walk starts and finishes in the bustling Perthshire market town of Blairgowrie and links the Glens of Strathardle, Glenshee and Glenisla passing through Alyth en route.
This often-overlooked corner offers plenty of pubs and settlements at decent intervals, a high moorland pass with great mountain views, and good wildlife spotting opportunities. It is well waymarked and can be taken at a leisurely pace over 5 or 6 days. EasyWays local knowledge will ensure you will have an enjoyable walk on this wonderful route through the Angus countryside.
The initial stage is varied, starting by the Ericht before crossing low moorland to Bridge of Cally before heading up the west side of peaceful Strathardle to end at the attractive village of Kirkmichael. Go on over a high moorland pass with descent to the Spittal of Glenshee offering great views of the surrounding mountains before a gentler section that meanders down the east side of Glenshee crossing farmland before a short road section leads to a moorland climb and a rougher, remote walk to Glen Isla.
Begin the return climbs up on to moorland south of Kirkton of Glenisla with superb views before reaching the attractive town of Alyth encountering the final stage over the hills north and taking a tranquil cross country route to return to the Bridge of Cally where the first stage section is re-joined for the final walk over moorland to Blairgowrie.
Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust manages and actively promotes the Cateran Trail.
Are you interested in this walking tour? Then Fill out our enquiry form today. Our team would be delighted to hear from you.
Easyways Suggested Itinerary
Click each day to expand.
Blairgowrie is one of the largest towns in Perthshire, sitting to the north of the city of Perth on the banks of the River Ericht. By the end of the 18th century, the Blairgowrie area was a huge centre for growing flax with 12 spinning mills in operation. Blairgowrie is now the focus of the Perthshire soft fruit growing industry (especially raspberries), and is the gateway to Glenshee which caters for year-round sports including skiing, golfing, mountain biking, abseiling, hang gliding and paragliding. Close by, the village of Meikleour boasts the Meikleour Beech Hedge which was planted in 1746 and is officially recognised as the tallest hedge in the world.
Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael (14 miles / 22.5 km)
The Cateran Trail begins in Blairgowrie along the banks of the River Ericht. An easy going route over footpaths and open field tracks with few steep climbs before descending into the tiny hamlet of Bridge of Cally. From Bridge of Cally, (almost the mid-point) the trail follows the River Ardle and Blackcraig Forest past castle ruins and on into Kirkmichael
Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee (9 miles / 15 km)
Continuing along the River Ardle the trail leads across open moorland to Enochdhu and on through Calamanach Wood into open ground through the Lairig Gate (viewpoint) and descending to Spittal of Glenshee with magnificent scenery all round. As there is no accommodation in Spittal of Glenshee, we will arrange for your transfer to Alyth or Kirkmichael to spend 3 nights in the same accommodation. You will then transfer back to Spittal of Glenshee the following morning.
Spittal of Glenshee to Glenisla (14 miles / 22.5 km)
Return by taxi transfer to Spittal of Glenshee. The early section of this part of the trail is over course moorland and paths alongside Shee Water to Dalnagar Castle before turning east towards Forter Castle under impressive Mount Blair. (There is an alternative to this part of the route by turning east earlier at the Compass Christian Centre and setting out for Loch Beanie before walking through Glen Beanie.) Both trails merge before Auchintaple Loch and continue past Loch Shandra to end at Kirkton of Glenisla. As there is no accommodation in Glenisla, we will arrange for your transfer to Alyth or Kirkmichael to spend 3 nights in the same accommodation. You will then transfer back to Glenisla the following morning.
Glenisla to Alyth (11 miles / 18 km)
Leaving Glenisla the trail winds through forest and quiet farmland paths above the River Isla, encountering small farms and livestock at close hand. Cross the Hill of Alyth with views over the lovely Perth countryside before descending into the small market town.
Alyth to Blairgowrie (14 miles / 22.5 km)
Depart Alyth by walking on moorland paths before giving way quiet minor roads beside the Burn of Alyth. Continue west over farmland and cattle grids to rise to almost 300m and view the distant Bridge of Cally. The walk ends by re-tracing the trail on the first section into Blairgowrie.
Congratulations – you have completed the Cateran Trail! After breakfast, it is time to set off on your onward journey.
Prices from £625 per person
Single supplement – On request
- 6 nights’ accommodation for 2 people sharing in quality B&Bs, guest houses, inns and hotels. Rooms with shower/wc (where available)
- Door to door baggage transfer to each stage – maximum 18 kg per bag
- Return taxi transfer from Spittal of Glenshee to Glenisla
- Rucksack Readers Guide Book
- Location details for each accommodation
- Travel information to the start and from the finish of the walk
- Suggested equipment list
- Emergency support
- Car parking can also be arranged during your walk (subject to availability)
What’s not included?
- Evening meals, packed lunches and drinks
- Travel insurance
STAGES & DISTANCES
14 miles – 22.5 km
9 miles – 15 km
Spittal of Glenshee*
14 miles – 22.5 km
11 miles – 18 km
14 miles – 22.5 km
* Transfer to accommodation from Spittal of Glenshee
Want to book an Easy Ways walk?
If so, please fill out our enquiry form.
If you have any extra questions, feel free to contact us, we’d love to hear from you.