Scottish Towns The Hermitage & River Braan
Length: 1 - 3.5 miles
Height climbed: 150ft/45m
Grade: C
Parking: Hermitage Car park or Rumbling Bridge
Toilet facilities: At Dunkeld

The centrepiece of this pleasant woodland walk (maintained by the National Trust for Scotland) are the River Braan, which breaks into a number of waterfalls and rapids along the route, and two follies dedicated to the semi-mythical poet Ossian - who is supposed to have lived and written his heroic verse around the 3rd century.

To reach the walk, drive one mile north of Dunkeld on the A9 and follow the signposts to the car park on the left hand side of the road. Follow the path under the railway line and on top of the river bank until you reach Ossian's Hall. This folly - built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the turbulent Black Linn Fall - was built for the 2nd Duke of Atholl in 1758, in an area already set aside for exotix trees. Unfortuately, the fruit trees and flowering shrubs have now vanished, as have the mirrors which lined the inside of the building in order to reflect the waterfall. However, you can still get a fine view - especially when the river is in spate - and a large cedar of Lebanon still stands near the building. Apart from this tree, the mixed woodland also contains a large number of pine and fir trees (including a Douglas fir which is reputed to be the tallest tree in Britain) and a wide variety of deciduous trees.

From the hall, continue up the bank to Ossian's Cave. This is not so much a cave as a group of large rocks with a cleverly constructed stone roof, built to represent a hermit's shelter.
From here the nature trail turns hard right and doubles back through the wood to the car park. Alternatively, you may wish to continue up the river. If so, follow the path (which veers to the right) until you reach a crossroads; walk straight across the larger track and follow the path opposite. This continues through the woods, over a footbridge, across a field and (turning left) down a metalled road to Rumbling Bridge, a small one span bridge over a cleft in the rock through which the river surges with impressive power.
© The Perfect Solution
Last updated November 1999