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The Hosh and Glenturret Distillery, Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland

THE STORY

A run before breakfast

Detour across the golf course

Down to Hosh and a strange encounter at Glenturret Distillery!

Alongside the Turret Burn

Back through Culcrieff Woods

Panoramic views of Strathearn

 

< Back to Crieff and Strathearn page

< Back to Scotland page with links to other walks

 

 

A run before breakfast

 

This is a relatively short and easy walk to describe, although it was another of those which I completed as a run.  We were staying at Crieff Hydro Hotel for a family holiday, and I woke early enough to be able to get some exercise before breakfast at 9.00.  During a spell of remarkably hot July weather it was the best time of day for this – on the previous afternoon it had been too hot to enjoy a game of tennis.

 

Setting off at 8 a.m. I headed up through the holiday lodges above the hotel to the upper road, where a large walkers’ information board marks the start of the main climb up the Knock (see the Knock walk for more details).  There was a car park nearby with a view towards the hills in the west.  I hadn’t really decided which route to follow, but having been up the Knock the previous morning I decided to try the Hosh walk for the first time.  The description on the board wasn’t entirely clear, but the route followed the surfaced road north-west for the first kilometre/ half-mile or so.  The road bent right then left as I ran downhill, with various trails leading off into the woodlands beside the road. 

 

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Detour across the golf course

 

Soon I reached the modern buildings being used for the outdoor activities run by the hotel, next to the golf course.  This would be 15-20 minutes’ walk from the start.  I was keen to get a photo of the view from the golf course and ventured along the broad track on the right just after the buildings.  The first golfers were starting their rounds, but it was wonderfully peaceful. 

 

The track continued gently uphill through an area planted with young trees, and I continued along it.  After perhaps half a mile it turned to the left and back on itself, running below the new trees along the edge of one of the fairways.  From here the views were particularly fine towards the hills around Ochtertyre and Monzievaird.

 

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Down to Hosh and a strange encounter at Glenturret Distillery!

 

So that was a detour which you don’t need to include, but I thought it was worth the extra effort for the views.  Back at the road, I turned right to continue downhill.  It became an unsurfaced track with loose stones, which would still be easy for walking but required a bit more care as a running surface.  Landing awkwardly on a stone could result in a twisted ankle.

 

There were open fields now on either side, before the track entered an area of woodland lower down in the valley and then bent left and right towards a ford across the Shaggie Burn.  Fortunately someone had built a wooden footbridge nearby!  After crossing it, the track curved round the edge of the woodland.  I hoped to get a photo as I passed the ford, but it was too dark under the canopy of trees. 

 one of several good signposts along the route

However, there was enough light in the lane itself, and I passed one of several good signposts along the route (above).

Soon the track reached the road at Hosh, with a fork to the right and a farmhouse standing between the two roads.  The left-hand turning was marked as the route to Loch Turret.  I wasn’t taking either of these roads, instead turning left, past a large complex of farm buildings and whisky warehouses and then turning left again towards the distillery itself.

 

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This is Glenturret Distillery, one of the most accessible Highland distilleries for visitors from central Scotland and hence a very popular visitor attraction at least since my days with Perthshire Tourist Board over 20 years ago.  Now the marketing emphasis seems to have shifted: as I ventured through the trees beside the car park to try to catch a good photograph, I was confronted by a strange and enormous figure.  Emerging from the trees, I realised it was a massive statue of a bird, and saw that it was emblazoned with the message “The Famous Grouse Experience”.  It was quite an experience just to see it, and no doubt it provides an unusual backdrop for many visitors’ photos.  

 

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Alongside the Turret Burn

 

If you’ve got plenty of time for your walk, you might want to combine it with a tour of the distillery.  I was there before it opened and had to get back for breakfast.  So I set off again along the winding road which led south.  There were no more buildings after leaving the distillery, and it was an attractive and peaceful road, with the sunlight shining through the trees on the slope above the Turret Burn on the left.  There was no footpath for walkers and later on in the day it would be busier with holiday traffic so that walkers would have to take care.  However, it can probably be avoided (see below).

 

It was under half a mile along this road to the junction with the main A85 road on the north-western outskirts of Crieff.  I wasn’t sure of where to go next, but turned left on the main road then spotted the start of a footpath just the other side of the bridge over the Turret Burn.  This seemed to go in the right direction, back up towards Culcrieff.

 

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Back through Culcrieff Woods

 

Now I’m looking more carefully at the Crieff Walks leaflet, it looks as though there must be a crossing of the burn at the distillery itself, which would avoid the walk along the road and lead down the other side of the burn to join the path which I had now taken.  No matter, I was on the right track now.  The path went through thick woodland, bending right to climb up the side of the valley, and emerged into the sunlight at a narrow country road.  Turning right would take me straight into Crieff, so I turned left and followed the road around to the cottages at Culcrieff, with more fine views of the golf course to left then right.  By now there were more golfers in action in the sunshine.

 

There was a junction here and a wide track turned off to the right, headiing back towards the hotel.  It provided more splendid views as it followed the contours around the edge of Culcrieff Woods to the left, with the ground sloping away to the right.  Then, back into the woods again for a final stretch, before emerging onto the drive leading to the hotel.  It turned out to the the continuation of the roadway that leaves the front of the hotel past the little belfry and crosses the path leading up to the Knock.

 

We would walk along the final section again in the evening, spotting bats flashing past in the tiwilight, and enjoying the atmospheric view along Strathearn!

 

 

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< Back to Crieff and Strathearn page

< Back to Scotland page

Contributed by Andrew Llanwarne - August 2006

 

 

 

Early morning view of Crieff from the field next to Crieff Hydro

Early morning view of Crieff from the field next to Crieff Hydro Hotel

Looking west across the golf course

Looking west across the golf course

(see panorama below)

New trees planted beside the fairways

New trees planted beside the fairway

The lane just after the ford, close to the Hosh

The lane just after the ford, close to the Hosh

The Hosh Farmhouse with the route to Loch Turret to the left

The Hosh Farmhouse with the route to Loch Turret to the left

Emerging at the Distillery to see the Giant Grouse

Emerging at the Distillery to see the Giant Grouse

Sunlight through the trees along the roadside

Morning sunlight through the trees along the roadside

And the trees on the path uphill towards Culcrieff

And the trees on the path uphill towards Culcrieff

Super view across the golf course near Culcrieff cottages

Super view north across the golf course near Culcrieff cottages (another view below)

In Culcrieff Woods

In Culcrieff Woods

Looking back at the track from Culcrieff (the left fork)

Looking back at the track from Culcrieff (the left fork), near the hotel

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View north-west across the golf course towards the Brae of Monzievaird and Ochtertyre

View north-west across the golf course towards the Brae of Monzievaird and Ochtertyre

View wouth-west over the golf course towards Laggan Hill

View south-west over the golf course towards Laggan Hill

Panorama westwards from the edge of Culcrieff woods, approaching the hotel

Panorama westwards from the edge of Culcrieff woods, approaching the hotel

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