The solstice has come and gone, which only means one thing: summer is here! Take advantage of the long days across Perthshire by enjoying a good ramble in open countryside, alongside lochs and rivers, up hills and gorges, past waterfalls and down the park with the whole family.

Take in flowers in bloom, trees in leaf, birdsong, stunning views and more while exploring Perthshire at its most spectacular.

Here is Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust’s Top 10 Summer Walks in Perthshire 2018 list we can’t recommend highly enough for families and adventurers!

Person looking across the five lochs from Birnam Hill

Birnam Hill Path

Fancy a bit of a hill walk with fantastic views? Birnam Hill Path climbs to King’s Seat at the hill’s summit (1,200 ft / 365 m). Enjoy gazing across the settlements below and to the hills in the distance. Stair Bridge, just a short detour off the path, also offers amazing views towards Perth. Birnam Hill Path is a strenuous circular route of about 4 miles / 6.4 km and takes about 2 ½ hours to explore on foot. It includes forest and open moorland paths, a steep incline to the hill’s summit and some short rocky sections. It is part of the Dunkeld Path Network. Best strap on your boots!

Forter Castle © Mike Bell

Cateran Trail Stage 3

The views and flora of the Cateran Trail are unrivalled throughout the year but are particularly worth seeing during the summer months! The stage between Spittal of Glenshee and Kirkton of Glenisla (14 ½ miles / 23.5 km) follows the Shee Water south past the incredibly scenic Dalnaglar and Forter castles into the fertile farmlands of Glen Isla. Stop and admire the view down towards Auchintaple Loch, where the heather in full bloom turns the whole area into a carpet of greens and purples. Take a short diversion from the Trail to the Loch’s shores to enjoy exceptional views of Mount Blair.

Glen Lednock

Glen Lednock

Glen Lednock at Comrie is simply gorge-ous! Enjoy a tranquil walk up a hollow gorge overhung by lush green trees to where the River Lednock falls into a wide pool of madly swirling water that looks like it’s almost boiling, aptly named the Deil’s Cauldron (the Devil’s Kettle). After enjoying some refreshing mist and views of this spectacular sight, follow the path up from the gorge to Dunmore Hill for stunning views of the Ochils, Ben Vorlich, Loch Earn and the massive Loch Lednock dam.

Heather in flower at Pitcarmick

Pitcarmick Loop

The area around the Cateran Trail is an absolute must-visit in the summertime, and there is no better route to take in some of the most fantastic countryside than the Pitcarmick Loop. This stunning path meanders through varied landscapes of birch and pine woodlands, fields of livestock and heather moorland, the latter of which is particularly stunning when out in full bloom in the summer! You also have the chance to discover the historical links this area has with Bronze Age farming and round houses while you’re rambling around. It is a strenuous route of 3 ½ miles / 5.6 km and part of the Kirkmichael Path Network, for which you’d best strap on your boots.

The Hermitage is a National Trust for Scotland-preserved site and sits on the banks of the River Braan in Craigvinean Forest © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam, all rights reserved

The Hermitage

Enjoy the sounds of rushing water and birdsong under the canopy of impressive Douglas firs in The Hermitage at Dunkeld. Make your way to Ossian’s Hall, built in 1757, to admire the roaring Black Linn Falls, where the River Braan tumbles down into swirling pools. Keep eyes out for red squirrels in the lush branches of some of Perthshire Big Tree Country’s finest examples of amazing trees and on the woodland floor.

View north from Knockie path

The Knockie Walk

The Knockie Walk is a circular route that follows the Cateran Trail out of Blairgowrie and climbs the Knockie hill (about 190 m), which offers beautiful views over Blairgowrie and the Sidlaw Hills. The path follows the River Ericht upstream, meaning great opportunities to admire its waterfalls, woodlands and old mills. Don’t forget to stop at Cargill’s Leap, where Donald Cargill, a local minister and covenanter, escaped pursuing troops by leaping over the falls below…quite a feat! The walk is about 3 miles / 5 km.

Summer concert at Macrosty Park © Friends of Macrosty Park

MacRosty Park

MacRosty Park features a range of natural and man-made features and is a fantastic place to visit in the summer with the whole family. Its Victorian bandstand hosts a number of concerts throughout the season, which is a great excuse for a picnic and an ice cream. The path network throughout the park includes some incredible trees, Turret Burn and Mill Lade. If you fancy a bit of a walk beyond the park, Currochs Path (4 miles / 6.5 km), part of the Crieff Path Network, will take you to Glenturret distillery and back.

Queens View

Queen’s View

The Queen’s View is one of the most famous viewpoints in Scotland, offering stunning views across Loch Tummel to Schiehallion (3,547 ft / 1,081 m). Over 150,000 people visit the site each year, and it’s no wonder when the loch is flanked by a rich green landscape and reflects the pristine blue of the summer sky. The site is fully accessible to all users. Enjoy a cake and cuppa at the café at its visitor centre before heading off to explore nearby Allean Forest for more incredible views of the tranquil loch below.

Kirkmichael to Enochdhu © Mike Bell

Cateran Trail Stage 2

Visiting this stage of the Cateran Trail in the summer comes with an added bonus: Dirnanean Gardens. Only open during the summer, the garden consists of a Victorian Burn Walk and a designed landscape, including a shrubbery, walled garden, vegetable garden and orchard. It is well worth a short diversion from the Trail! This stage of the Trail between Kirkmichael and Spittal of Glenshee (8 ½ miles / 13.7 km) also includes the Trail’s highest point at An Lairig gate and the Upper Lunch Hut at Enochdhu, once visited by Queen Victoria.

Parent Larch on Dunkeld House Tree Trail

Dunkeld House Tree Trail

The Dunkeld House Tree Trail lies in the wooded grounds of the Dunkeld House Hotel looping from the historic Dunkeld Cathedral, gently up Bishop’s Hill, past the Hotel, and back along the mighty River Tay. Enjoy a superbly tranquil summer stroll under a stunning canopy of incredibly diverse trees and admire the summer sun sparkling off the River’s surface. You will also get the chance to learn about 18 remarkable species of tree that grow along the route and be amazed by how big some of them are. It is part of Perthshire Big Tree Country for a good reason! Take the chance to enjoy a cake and cuppa at the Hotel on your way around.

For more summer walk ideas, check out our interactive map, which highlights the best examples of natural events in Perthshire as they happen

Perthshire Big Tree Country