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Tall Trees and Tall Tales Around Dunkeld and Birnam

The area around Dunkeld and Birnam on both banks of the River Tay is often referred to as the ‘cradle of the Scottish forest renaissance’ because of the efforts of the ‘Planting’ Dukes of Atholl in the hills and glens from the 18th century.  Outside of dedicated botanical gardens, no part of Scotland, and arguably Britain, has more historic and remarkable trees within such a discrete area as well as having trees linked to such historical characters as Niel Gow and Macbeth.

This walk will explore and recount that history, starting in Birnam, and following the west bank of the Tay passing close to Inver, the Hermitage and Craigvinean Forect, before crossing over the road bridge over the Tay to come down the opposite bank into the grounds of Dunkeld House Hotel.  This is the former hunting lodge of the Dukes of Atholl and home to a fine collection of specimen trees planted originally by the Dukes in the policies which now surround the hotel. The walk will finish by returning to Birnam via Dunkeld and Telford’s bridge over the Tay.

Walk date:
Monday 13th May, 2024
Walk leader:
Syd House
Walk start time:
10:00 am
Walk end time:
4:00 pm (estimated)
Total distance / Total ascent / High point:
14 km / 150 m / 200 m
Ticket price:
Tickets are sold out or not yet/no longer on sale.
Safety notesGear requiredMap of start locationWalk T&Cs

Walk is on paths, but may be muddy in sections.

For Medium, Hard and Extra Hard walks we ask walkers to make sure they have full hillwalking gear, by which we mean definitely the following: Boots, warm clothing, warm/quick drying trousers (not denim jeans), waterproof jacket and over trousers, rucsac, hat, gloves, spare fleece, packed lunch, spare food and drink, small personal first aid kit including any medications, mobile phone, headtorch, and bivvy bag if you have one, and possibly also these other items, depending on personal preference: Gaiters, rucsac cover, walking poles, spare socks, map, compass, GPS, lipsalve, camera.

1. Risk.
The nature of hill walking potentially involves leaders or other participants in providing close assistance to others. For everybody’s protection those people classified as ‘vulnerable adults’ or young people under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an appropriate carer or responsible adult. No special arrangements are available to provide independent supervision for vulnerable people, and the accompanying carer takes full responsibility for them. The carer or parent is best placed to judge the capability of their charges.

2. Children.
We do ask that you only bring children on a walk if you are confident that they will be able to complete it comfortably. At all times, children must be accompanied by an appropriate adult who must take full responsibility for them.

3. Lower age limits.
No children under the age of 16 are allowed on Extra Hard or Hard walks. Children over the age of 12 are permitted on Medium and Easy walks provided that they are accompanied by a responsible adult.

4. Dogs.
In common with other similar events and in consideration for others, dogs are not allowed (guide dogs excepted).

5. Smoking.
Please do not smoke on walks, out of consideration to others.

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