A Sunday Afternoon in Blairgowrie
It is yet another wet Sunday in Perthshire. This weekend however it’s incredibly mild which means wearing waterproofs are not easy! Nevermind, it could be worse. We head out down to Rattray Primary School where the runners for Blairgowrie and Rattray half marathon are meeting to walk to the starting line. I don’t envy them today as it’s pouring with rain but yet so mild and the course is very hilly.
There is good turn out of runners (195) and walkers (86) despite the poor weather. We cheered them off at the start of the race and then Mac, Lucy and I went walking round the popular ‘Knockie’ route round Blairgowrie. This walk has various access points around Blairgowrie and we start by walking from Keathbank Mill and across the footbridge over the Ericht and over to the other side of the water toward the old Oakbank Mill which is the process of being refurbished. The river is so high today with all the rainfall and makes for dramatic viewing. Along this wal there are various small sculptures hidden in the wild garlic at the side of the paths. Look out for red squirrels too as they are often spotted on this walk.
We walked along the paths looking at the beautiful beech trees and admiring the river. It’s safe to let Mac off the lead here but it can be a busy path with walkers, runners and cyclists. There is a viewpoint at a point on the river called Cargills Leap - history of this can be found here It also feautres as one of Perthshires Top Ten Waterfalls.
After admiring the rocks and the volume of water crashing through it today, we continued on the path and turned to the right and up some very steep steps. Following these are another set of steps before heading on a narrow path up toward a road. Make sure you pop your dog back on the lead soon as the path ends on a road. Take care crossing this as the traffic struggle to see pedestrians crossing due to the corner.
The rain has gone off and it’s incredibly hot (although we have just marched up some serious steps)! With Mac on lead now, we follow this road (called Burnhead Road) all the way along. The houses up here get the most fabulous views of the Sidlaw Hills. We followed the green signs for ‘The Knockie’ and walked up a steep private road, past a few houses and up onto a path. After another short steep climb up, we are rewarded with a spectacular view of the Sidlaw Hills.
Once we stopped gazing at the view, we cut through the woods using a wee path trodden by dog walkers and headed back down toward the main trach. One can follow the main track which is a part of the Cateran Trail but this can be busy with traffic so we decided to take the wood rote. We eventually end up on this track and follow it back down which then takes us to the road we crossed earlier (but we are further up). There is another outstanding view here across Blairgowrie and Rattray. We turn left and follow the road back down - please be aware of traffic as the visibility is not too good for drivers. Once we reach the bottom of this downhill we turn right and head back along the path running parallel with the river again. There are lots of old ruins along this path which are interesting to look at. Eventually we come across Oakbank Mill having completed a good circuit around. We crossed the bridge and headed back to the car park. Walk Highlands have this walk featured on their website.
We wanted to welcome the runners home so headed to the finish line to wave and smile at the brave individuals come home. Everyone looked happy and not too taxed (they must have all been super fit)!
Around Blairgowrie itself, there are many places to eat and drink and some beautiful bespoje shops. For a cup of tea and cake, there is The Cateran Cafe , The Dome Coffee to Go or The Wee Coffee Shop. For places to have a bigger meal, there is Littles Restaurant or Littles Diner , The Dalmore Inn The Angus Hotel and many more. A wee bit further a field is the wonderful Three Witches Tearoom (about 15 minutes out of Blair back toward Perth on the A94) - they serve lovely coffee and homemade cakes.
For more information on what’s on in the fab area, please visit https://www.discoverblairgowrie.co.uk/events Click Book Stay have some fab properties nearby to - check out our holiday home map and book up to avoid disappointment https://www.clickbookstay.com/cottages-map