Apart from 50m at the start and finish, this is a fully off road route which starts with a fair climb away from Blair Athol Castle. However you are soon rewarded with a beautiful track through open moorland and ancient Scots Pine forests. You then drop down a fun descent to a private road that brings you through Blair Castle parkland and back to your start point.
Total Distance: 17.2km
Total Ascent: 296m
Terrain: Off road landrover tracks, fire and private roads.
Route Category: Straightforward
Riding Time: 2 – 3 hrs
Start/Finish: Blair Atholl Visitors Centre carpark
OS Grid Ref: NN874654 / what3words: ///traps.birthing.hatch
Nearest Parking: Blair Atholl Visitors Centre carpark, PH18 5SP
Nearest Railway Station: Blair Atholl
Nearest Bike Hire: Escape Route, Pitlochry. https://www.escape-route.co.uk/
Key Facilities on Route: There are public toilets and a takeaway at the carpark. Blair Atholl also has a small shop and a bakery.
OS Landranger Map: 43 – Braemar & Blair Atholl
Points to note: This is called the Glen Banvie Trail and is waymarked by orange arrows the whole way round – although the cycle route we have made is slightly different at the start.
Avoid this route when the Blair Horse Trails are on as the area is then extremely busy and has restricted access.
After parking at the visitors centre, head for the main castle gates. The pedestrian entrance is to the right of the gates (if the gates are closed). Turn right after the caravan park and head along that track to a T-junction with a road – turn left here and follow the road until you come to a cross roads with another road – continue straight ahead onto the estate track. Follow this track for 1km uphill then bear left down and over a bridge over the river. Turn right and continue uphill.
When the track splits to go downhill to the right, continue straight on to a gate that takes you out onto the moors. On this gate there is the orange waymarker arrows that this route follows.
Continue on this track for 9km without turning off.
You will pass through ancient Scots Pines, a couple of gates and into forestry land.
Once you begin to descend you are have far reaching views over the River Garry and onto Tay Forest Park. Towards the end of the descent the track does become quite steep.
There are a few tracks leading off – but if in doubt always follow the orange way markers!
The track eventually meets another track in a T Junction. Turn right to continue downhill then shortly after this turn left. You are now on one of General Wades Military Roads. This private road will lead you all the way back past the castle where you will retrace your steps back to the carpark.
If you enjoyed this route, why not try the following?