A lovely off road family cycle, passing Murthly Castle and cycling beside the River Tay. Almost entirely flat bar two small (but sharp) hills.
For a short option for little legs, cycle to the castle and back – a traffic free* and totally flat 5km route on very good tracks.
* you may encounter estate traffic but this will very limited and slow paced.
Total Distance: 9.6 km
Total Ascent: 110 m
Terrain: Fully off road on easy tracks. Mostly flat apart from two small hills.
Route Category: Easy
Riding Time: Family with small children 1 – 2 hrs
Start/Finish: Murthly Castle Drive Carpark
OS Grid Ref: NO093393 / what3words: ///rationed.slogged.quarrel
Nearest Parking: Murthly Castle Drive car park
Nearest Railway Station: Dunkeld & Birnam (please note that the station has low platforms)
Nearest Bike Hire: Progression bikes, Dunkeld https://www.progressionbikesscotland.com
Key Facilities on Route: No facilities on route. Murthly has a village shop and a restaurant – Uisge – which is very cyclist friendly. It is advisable to book in advance if you wish to eat there as it gets very busy. You can generally still get a coffee and scone without booking if you are happy to sit outside. The nearest publicly available toilets are in Dunkeld & Birnam at Birnam Arts.
OS Landranger Map: 52 Pitlochry & Crieff
Points to note: The tracks vary between stone farm tracks and muddy/grass tracks. In wet conditions you may wish to simply cycle along the castle driveway and back as some of the tracks may become muddy.
Uisge restaurant in Murthly is a great cycling and family friendly place to visit but do book in advance as it is very popular.
Leaving from Murthly Castle Gates car park, head through the driveway stone pillars and onto the main castle driveway for approximately 2km until you reach a very straight tree lined avenue on your right, continue up this avenue towards the castle. This spot in front of the castle would make a lovely snack stop. Follow the track round to the left and continue down the other straight tree lined avenue and take a right. This track is one of two small uphill sections. Once at the top of the hill you will pass by some houses, take the right at the junction and continue down hill, bearing left as you descend, this can be a bit muddy after wet weather so care is required.
At the next junction go right then left to follow the river Tay. This stony descent may be a little rough for small children so care is required. Continue to follow the river where you will find some lovely picnic spots.
Children and adults alike will enjoy travelling under then over the beautiful stone bridge. This however does take you to the bottom of the second short climb. Afterwards you emerge from the between the rhododendron back on to the main castle drive, a left will return you back to the car park.
If you enjoyed this route, why not try the following?