Through a range of varying landscapes this route explores the lochs around Dunkeld on well-established paths and quiet roads.
Total Distance: 26.7 km
Total Ascent: 400 m
Terrain: Roads, cycle paths, short sections of singletrack and well-surfaced paths
Route Category: Straightforward
Riding Time: 2 – 3 hrs
Start/Finish: The Scottish Deli
OS Grid Ref: NO 02658 42649
Nearest Parking: North Car Park, Atholl St, Dunkeld, 0.3 km
Nearest Railway Station: Dunkeld & Birnam, 1.2 km – (please note that the station has low platforms)
Key Facilities on Route: Dunkeld (shops, food, cathedral, historic houses), Dunkeld House Hotel (food)
OS Landranger Map: 52
Starting at the Scottish Deli in Dunkeld, the route follows the village square (The Cross) and then passes through a small opening in a wall into the grounds of Dunkeld Cathedral and onto the Fiddler’s Path. Following this well-surfaced walking path the route passes the Cathedral, which was completed in 1501, and then through a great woodland and with large trees.
It continues along the northern bank of the River Tay to Dunkeld House Hotel. Passing through the grounds of the hotel the route follows a rough tarmac road northbound to meet Sustrans NCN 83. It then joins the Atholl Woods Path to climb on a good forest track to about 270 m, with a short downhill towards Mill Dam.
The route continues on the Loch Ordie Path past Rotmell Loch and Dowally Loch to Loch Ordie. Loch Ordie is the half-way point, a classic freshwater hill loch surrounded by wooded hills. The route continues on the southern edge of the loch and joins a well-graded path on the eastern side, which soon turns into a smooth tarmac road, descending along the Buckny Burn to Butterstone.
From Butterstone to route briefly follows the A 923 and then a path on the eastern and southern shores of the Loch of Butterstone, past the Loch of the Lowes and then rejoining a minor road on the southern shore of Loch of the Lowes, which is home to ospreys and red squirrels. A visitor centre, just a small detour, provides another good opportunity to stop and rest. From here the route follows the Loch of the Lowes Path into Dunkeld.
If you enjoyed this route, why not try the following?
Aberfeldy Grand Tour