News News Top 10 Winter Walks in Perthshire There is nowhere better to get out for a refreshing walk in the cool winter air than Perthshire. The snow and frost cling to the trees, hills, lochs and open countryside creating a winter wonderland of much-loved walks and viewpoints. Here are some of our favourite frost-covered places to walk across Perthshire in winter. Don’t forget your camera and thermals! Cateran Trail Stage 2 – Kirkmichael via Enochdhu to Spittal of Glenshee If you fancy a bit of a hike with a view, there is none better than Stage 2 of the Cateran Trail between Kirkmichael and Spittal of Glenshee. Wrap up and breathe in the fresh winter air as you walk upland, following a moorland route to the Trail’s highest point between Strathardle and Glenshee (2,130 ft / 650 m). Don’t forget to pop into the Upper Lunch Hut to warm up a bit on your ascent and put your name next to some famous ones, like Queen Victoria, in the guest book. The high vantage point offers spectacular views of glens and rugged peaks iced with snow. Stage 2 is about 8 ½ miles / 13.7 km and takes about 5 ½ hours to explore on foot. The Birks of Aberfeldy Winter at the Birks of Aberfeldy means a snow-covered wooded walk up the Moness gorge to the roaring Falls of Moness. Birks, which is Scots for birch trees, flank the gorge and become covered in frost as the cold sets in. Visit the statue of Robert Burns in a small naturally formed seat, where it is said he sat and found poetic inspiration in the rushing sounds of the Falls. The walk is about 2 ½ miles / 4km and takes about 1 ½ hours to enjoy on foot. Cluny House Gardens Cluny House Gardens is the best place in Perthshire to see red squirrels, which should be easier to spot against the frosty backdrop. Conifers in the gardens look particularly festive after a snow fall and stand out in the winter months as the deciduous trees around them lose their leaves. Pockets of snowdrops appear around the garden towards the end of winter, brightening up the undergrowth before the spring flowers bloom. Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park Kinnoull Hill sets the scene for all of Perthshire’s spectacular wooded winter wonderlands. Feel the crunch of snow and frost beneath your feet as you explore the many miles of paths that wind around the Hill. From the 19th century folly at its summit (728 ft / 222 m), admire the frosted landscape of the Tay Valley below. Paths in Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park vary in length from ½ mile / 0.8 up to 5 ½ mile / 8.9 km and can take ¼ hour to 3 ½ hours to walk. Kinloch Rannoch Kinloch Rannoch offers a fantastic variety of winter walks, from short strolls around the village to longer adventures through Carie or Rannoch Lodge Woods, and Rannoch Forests over to Bridge of Gaur or Innerwick. Admire frosty vistas across Loch Rannoch to the Black Wood of Rannoch, Rannoch Moor and snow-capped Schiehallion (3,547 ft / 1,083 m). Warm back up at the Riverbank Café or Rannoch Station Visitor Centre with a warm cuppa. Scone Palace Gardens Scone Palace may be closed for winter, but its grounds are open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for free from 10am to 4pm. Experience a true winter wonderland as you stroll amongst the frosted giant redwoods and Noble Firs planted in the 1850s in the old pinetum and enjoy the snow covered conifers in the new pinetum too. Come the New Year, the frost gives way to swathes of snowdrops, which carpet the grounds in delicate white flowers. Johnny Mathew’s Path, Auchterarder Named for a postman who walked this route on his round every day, Johnny Mathew’s Path is just south of Auchterarder’s town centre and offers a short, crisp winter stroll under the frosted cover of deciduous trees running along Kincardine Glen. Enjoy lovely views of the snow-topped Ochils and Highland Perthshire hills across open countryside. The path is about ¾ mile / 1.1 km each way. Kirkmichael Path Network Over 10 miles / 16 km of waymarked paths in and around Kirkmichael offer a variety of walks, from short strolls in the village to a long-distance adventure through Kindrogan Forest. Snow and frost abound here in the winter months, making the ground crunch underfoot and the views even more spectacular. Enjoy the tranquil and varied landscapes of birch and pine woodland, heather moorland and open countryside all tinged with frost. Dunkeld House Tree Trail Starting from the historic Dunkeld Cathedral, the Dunkeld House Tree Trail winds through the scenic grounds of Dunkeld House Hotel and along the River Tay. In winter, enjoy the tranquil stroll among the frosted trees in the designed landscape and learn about 18 of the most iconic tree species that grow there. Enjoy a warming cuppa at the hotel half way around, before heading back out to admire the snow clinging to the conifers’ bushy branches. The circular tree trail is about 1 ¾ miles / 2.8 km and takes about 1 hour to walk. The Knock Path Part of the Crieff Path Network, The Knock Path leads to the top of The Knock hill (911 ft / 278 m). Enjoy the fresh cool air from the summit and admire panoramic vistas to the Ochil Hills, the Highlands, Ben Vorlich, Comrie and more. Red squirrels will be easier to spot in the daylight hours among the frost and snow carpeting the woodland floor. A short walk around the hill’s base is about ½ mile / 1 km, while a longer walk to the summit and down through coniferous woodland on the other side is about 4 miles / 6 km. There are plenty of cafés to visit on your return to the town centre to warm back through. - - For more winter walk ideas, visit the Perthshire Big Tree Country interactive map, which highlights the best examples of natural events in Perthshire as they happen throughout the year.