fbpx

Overview

Walking Holidays
6 - 7 Nights
64 miles / 103 km
  • Prices from: £580 per person
  • Start: Blairgowrie, Perthshire
  • Finish: Blairgowrie, Perthshire
  • Availability: Any start date from March to October
  • Grading: Moderate
  • Way-marked: Yes

Cateran Trail Highlights

Beautiful countryside
Read more

Take in the beautiful scenery of Strathardle, Glenshee and Glen Isla – discover majestic mountains, deep lochs and peaceful glens.

Cattle-thieving history
Read more

Walk in the footsteps of the ‘Caterans’ – marauding cattle thieves who flourished in this lawless part of Highland Scotland from the Middle Ages to the 17th century.

Blairgowrie
Read more

Visit the lively town of Blairgowrie, the focus of the Perthshire soft fruit growing industry and the gateway to the Cateran Trail.

Flora and fauna
Read more

The trail’s peaceful setting provides the perfect opportunity to discover the abundant flora and fauna of the area, and spectacular scenery of Highland Perthshire.

Historic pubs
Read more

Celebrate the day’s achievements with delicious food and drink in historic pubs and restaurants along the route.

Tranquillity
Read more

The trail is well-established, but travels through a less-visited part of Scotland; you will find yourself enamoured with the beautiful, peaceful landscape and quaint villages.

A Circular Route Through the Scottish Highlands

The Cateran Trail is a delightful circular route that stretches for 64 miles through some of Scotland’s finest glens and valleys. The route follows old drove roads and ancient tracks across a varied terrain of lush farmland, peaceful forests and stark moors.

Read more

Beginning from Blairgowrie, a charming town renowned for its soft fruit growing, the trail heads clockwise towards Strathardle, Glenshee and Glen Isla. The nearest village is never more than 7 miles away, and the gradients vary from easy to moderate.

Delightful towns and villages along the trail offer a real taste of Scotland. Relax in country inns and former hunting lodges, enjoy good food and local produce, craft beer and malt whisky, and true Scottish hospitality.

Soak up the dramatic mountain views, contrasting with gentle rolling farmland and reflect on the wild and lawless times of the Caterans. An abundance of flora and fauna local to the region also adds to the excitement of this trail.

The trail travels through a neglected part of Scotland, but the route is well-established and fully waymarked. You will find yourself enamoured with the beautiful, peaceful landscape and quaint villages. The Cateran Trail is one of Scotland’s Great Trails.  

Cateran Trail Route

Recommended Itinerary

Our most popular itinerary is CAT1 which covers the route in 5 days / 6 nights.

Travel to Blairgowrie for your first night’s accommodation
Read more

Arrive in Blairgowrie, on the banks of the River Ericht, and spend the evening at your first night’s accommodation. Blairgowrie is now the focus of the Perthshire soft fruit growing industry (especially raspberries) and is popular with golfers and anglers.

Day 1: Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael (15 miles / 24km)
Read more

The Cateran Trail begins on the north side of the centre of Blairgowrie and follows a path upstream beside the Ericht. As you walk you’ll pass by a number of old mills, lades and weirs, from Blairgowrie’s past growing flax and processing jute industry. After a gentle stroll along the river, the path climbs over Cochrage Muir before descending to the hamlet of Bridge of Cally.

From Bridge of Cally, the Cateran Trail passes through Blackcraig Forest and into the peaceful glen known as Strathardle. In the past, this glen was a lucrative plundering ground for the Caterans, who seized on the cattle grazing the rich pastures.

Day 2: Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee (8 miles / 13 km)
Read more

Leaving Kirkmichael, the route is predominantly upland, following a wonderful moorland route and hill pass from Enochdhu through to Spittal of Glenshee.

The wild mountainous country on the walk from the Lairig Gate down into the Spittal of Glenshee is spectacular. The Spittal takes its name from the old Scots word meaning ‘a refuge on a remote hill pass’ – from a time when wolves roamed wild in Scotland.

Day 3: Spittal of Glenshee to Kirkton of Glenisla (14.5 miles / 23 km)
Read more

From Glenshee, the trail heads south, following the Shee Water past Dalnaglar Castle into the fertile farmlands of Glen Isla.

For those more energetic walkers, you may wish to take the alternative route into Glenisla by crossing Mount Blair. The summit offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and on a clear day, you may even spot iconic Ben Nevis in the distance. Your final destination in this stage is the village of Kirkton of Glenisla where you can relax with a drink and a hearty meal at the cosy Glenisla Hotel.

Day 4: Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth (10.5 miles / 16.5 km)
Read more

The tranquillity of Glen Isla is a real treat in the early morning, and as the Trail rises high above the river and fields it gives way to fantastic open views over an idyllic pastoral scene.

Crossing Alyth Hill, the route rises steeply, skimming the edge of the town, before making its way down Toutie Street – down which cattle were driven in centuries past – to the centre of town. The street takes its name from the noise of the herd-boy’s horn as he drove the cattle to pasture.

Day 5: Alyth to Blairgowrie (16 miles / 26 km)
Read more

Leaving Alyth, the trail again passes over Alyth Hill and follows moorland and pleasant estate roads, close to the massive standing stones of Heatheryhaugh.

The last part of the Trail back to Blairgowrie is the reversal of the first part of stage one. A diversion through the picturesque Den of Alyth and Drimmie Woods allows you to vary your return route.

When you arrive back in Blairgowrie, reflect on the journey you have taken in the footsteps of the Caterans.

Onward travel
Read more

After breakfast you will start your journey home after a wonderful walking holiday on the Cateran Trail.

What's Included?

Your Cateran Trail walking holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected accommodation along the route and trail transfers when applicable
  • En-suite or private bathroom facilities whenever possible
  • Comprehensive information pack, kit list, guidebook and map (one set per room)
  • Personalised itinerary with details of your accommodation, route and recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Traditional Scottish breakfast
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your walking holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the start and end of the walk
  • Lunches and evening meals

Itineraries & Prices

We offer 2 suggested itineraries for walking the Cateran Trail.

Our most popular itinerary is CAT1 which covers the route in 5 days.

Tour code
Itinerary
Average miles infoAverage miles per day
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty
Price per person
CAT1
5 Days / 6 Nights
13 miles per day
Moderate
From £580
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 13 miles per day
Tour code: CAT1
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

5 Days / 6 Nights (CAT1)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room. 

  • Premium: £65 per night
  • Standard: £25 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £15 per day in addition to the single supplement. 

Arrive Travel to Blairgowrie for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael 15 miles / 24km
2
Day 2 Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee 8 miles / 13km
3
Day 3 Spittal of Glenshee to Kirkton of Glenisla 14.5 miles / 23km
4
Day 4 Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth 10.5 miles / 16.5km
5
Day 5 Alyth to Blairgowrie 16 miles / 26km
Depart Onward travel from Blairgowrie

Prices

Premium
Best available Guest Houses, Inns & Hotels
£710 per person

Carefully selected guest houses, inns and hotels throughout your walk, which will be the best available in each location. As premium accommodation is in short supply on this trail, please note that some establishments will be of a higher standard than others. En-suite facilities or private bathroom guaranteed.

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£580 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

CAT2
6 Days / 7 Nights
10.5 miles per day
Moderate
From £670
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 10.5 miles per day
Tour code: CAT2
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

6 Days / 7 Nights (CAT2)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room. 

  • Premium: £65 per night
  • Standard: £25 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £15 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Arrive Travel to Blairgowrie for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally 7 miles / 11km
2
Day 2 Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael 8 miles / 13km
3
Day 3 Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee 8 miles / 13km
4
Day 4 Spittal of Glenshee to Kirkton of Glenisla 14.5 miles / 23km
5
Day 5 Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth 10.5 miles / 16.5km
6
Day 6 Alyth to Blairgowrie 16 miles / 26km
Depart Onward travel from Blairgowrie

Prices

Premium
Best available Guest Houses, Inns & Hotels
£795 per person

Carefully selected guest houses, inns and hotels throughout your walk, which will be the best available in each location. As premium accommodation is in short supply on this trail, please note that some establishments will be of a higher standard than others. En-suite facilities or private bathroom guaranteed.

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£670 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

Cateran Trail Accommodation

All of the accommodation that we reserve for you has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive database.

We will always prioritise accommodation as close to the walking trail as possible. Occasionally, your accommodation may be located a short distance from the trail, or you may need to spend more than one night in the same place, in which case we will provide return transfers.

Travel Information

As an environmentally conscious tour operator, we actively encourage the use of public transport by providing clients with a detailed breakdown of travel options in their information packs. The following information may help with your pre-trip planning.

Getting to & departing from Blairgowrie
By Air

Nearest International Airports: Glasgow International Airport and Edinburgh International Airport.

All airports run regular public transport services to the city centres. An airport shuttle bus and tram runs from Edinburgh Airport to the city centre (journey time 30 min). An airport shuttle bus operates between Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow city centre (journey time 25 min).

From Edinburgh or Glasgow, you can connect with onward train or bus services to Blairgowrie.

By Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Dundee and Perth.

Train services operate from Edinburgh Waverley Station to both Dundee Station and Perth Station (journey time 1 hour 20 min), or from Glasgow Queen Street Station to Perth Station (journey time 1 hour). 

Blairgowrie is located 14 miles northeast of Perth city centre and 15 miles northwest from Dundee city centre. From Perth or Dundee, you can get a local Stagecoach bus to Blairgowrie (journey time 1 hour).

Alternatively, you could travel by taxi. The taxi fare from Perth Railway Station to Blairgowrie is approximately £70 (journey time 40 min) and from Dundee Railway Station to Blairgowrie is approximately £45 (journey time 40 min). 

By Car

If you plan to travel by car, it may be possible to park at your accommodation in Blairgowrie for the duration of your holiday. We can advise you about parking options when you make your enquiry.

Additional Days

We would be delighted to arrange additional accommodation for you along the Cateran Trail.

You may wish to plan a rest day or have an additional night at any of the locations along the route which offer activities or sightseeing opportunities – we’ve made some suggestions below. Please request this when you make an enquiry.

Blairgowrie
Read more
  • Explore the beautiful burgh of Blairgowrie, Perthshire’s lively cultural hub hosting a wealth of museums, eateries and independent shops
  • Take a walk along the banks of the River Ericht and visit Cargill’s Leap, the site of a daring feat by a 17th century Covenanter
  • Visit the nearby Meikleour Beech Hedge, which was planted in 1746 and is officially recognised as the tallest hedge in the world
  • Climb the ‘Knockie’ and witness tremendous vistas across Blairgowrie and the fertile sweep of Strathmore
Spittal of Glenshee
Read more
  • Make the short climb up Ben Gulabin, a familiar landmark to anyone who has travelled north through the Spittal of Glenshee
  • Climb Glas Tulaichean and Carn an Righ, iconic sister Munros with very different characters
Alyth
Read more
  • Explore the ancient history of this charming town, at the Alyth Museum
  • Visit Alyth Parish Church, complete with Pictish standing stone in the porch
  • Enjoy a variety of local walks, including the picturesque Den of Alyth
  • Take a taxi to nearby Glamis Castle, childhood home of the Queen Mother

Make an enquiry

Cateran Trail

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

Back to top