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walking stories  |  europe | scotland  | birnam hill summary | birnam hill story  
Birnam Hill (404m / 1325 ft), near Dunkeld, Perthshire, Scotland

Summary

This was a short winter walk, which would have been shorter if we had taken the right route!  We gave up on the idea of a longer hike due to snow and stopped at Birnam on the edge of the Highlands.  The first craggy hill you see on the left, driving north on the A9, is Birnam Hill, and this was our objective.  Hiking around here isn’t that easy because of the lumpy terrain, rocks, forestry and thick bracken.  We had snow as well to contend with, but managed to get a decent walk and a good view from the top.  The conditions resulted in some striking photos.

 

  • I’ll remember this walk for the thick soft midwinter snow
  • The best bit was the sunlight through the trees, laden with snow
  • The worst bit was trying to scramble up the loose stones at the quarry
  • I didn’t expect we’d make such a mess of what should have been a straightforward walk
  • The word of warning would be to take care in planning your route if you try out this hill

Read the Birnam Hill walking story with photos >

< Return to Scotland page with links to other walks

Contributed by:  Andrew Llanwarne

John near the top of the steps up Birnam Hill, looking south

John near the top of the steps up Birnam Hill, looking south

Key Facts

Location near Birnam and Dunkeld, 15 miles north of Perth on the A9
When it was walked 2 January 2005
Walk type countryside and easy hills (but not so easy in the snow!)
Difficulty Requires a reasonably good level of fitness and strong footwear
Distance approx about 4 miles / 7 km, maybe more with the wrong turns!
Height climbed approx about 360m / 1100 ft
Time taken approx 3 hours including lunch break on top
Map used if any OS Landranger no 52, Pitlochry to Crieff
Source of info on walk The map, distance memories of an earlier climb, and intuition that was misleading!
Getting there

An hour by car from Dundee, half an hour from Perth, or train to Birnam station

Places to stay In Dunkeld, Birnam or Perth
Places to eat/ buy food Shops and cafes in Birnam and Dunkeld
Any other local attractions or facilities Information boards on Beatrix Potter in Birnam;  Dunkeld conservation village and Cathedral; Tay river banks, the Hermitage, "Big Tree Country".