The Cateran Trail, used by the caterans or cattle thieves of old, starts and ends in Blairgowrie, Perthshire.  It follows waymarked paths through the beautiful Perthshire countryside and part of north west Angus.

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The Caterans were marauding cattle thieves who inhabited the Highlands from the Middle Ages until the 17th century.  Cateran raiding parties numbered anything from 50 to 500 fierce warriors.
Part of the Cateran Trail

 

See www.caterantrail.org

Today, walkers can follow the same routes.  The Trail can be walked in one go - over 4 or 5 days - or in stages.  It follows old drove roads, ancient tracks and minor roads and passes through farmland and forests.   Signposts, stiles and bridges marked with the Trail logo and direction arrows allow for easy route identification.

The Cateran Trail begins in Blairgowrie and follows first the Ericht and then the Lornty Burn, passing through farmland.   A high path over Cochrage Muir leads to Bridge of Cally, well known locally for its hotel and a popular base for field and winter sports.

Next, the Cateran Trail enters Strathardle, a lush Highland glen.  The glen has been farmed since the Bronze Age and the gentle contours and rich pastures attracted the caterans.  In medieval times the Strathardle was home to over 3,000 people.  Less populated now, it still has three villages, Ballintuim, Kirkmichael and Enochdhu offering accommodation and places and eat.

From Enochdhu - the 'black meadow' or moor - the Cateran Trail heads north towards Glenshee (glen of the fairies) a wild highland area with spectacular mountain peaks. The Cateran Trail crosses a bealach or pass here between the hills at An Lairig. Spittal of Glenshee (spittal = a traveller's refuge and/or inn) is popular with munro baggers and walkers and offers a variety of accommodation and meals.

Leaving Glenshee, the Cateran Trail continues beside Shee Water past Dalnaglar Castle.  Here the walker has a choice of routes around Mount Blair:  a new off road section leads via Little Forter and Glen Isla to Loch Shandra or quiet single-track roads pass by picturesque Drumore Loch into the rich farmland of Glen Isla.  The main village of Kirkton of Glenisla offers accommodation.

The Cateran Trail then snakes through forests and farmland to the historic and beautiful town of Alyth.  The route next passes over Alyth Hill and out on to open moorland by the impressive standing stones of Heatheryhaugh.  The Trail now leads back to Bridge of Cally and returns to the start point in Blairgowrie.

Cateran Yomp - www.soldierscharity.org/yomp

Ready yourself and your team for the ultimate challenge - a 24-hour 54-mile hike along the Cateran Trail in the remote and beautiful glens and hills of Highland Perthshire and Angus.

The inaugural Alliance Trust Cateran Yomp took place on 25 and 26 June 2011.  This great event is not only a massive personal challenge but will be raising vital funds to support ABF The Soldiers' Charity, PSYBT and the Alliance Trust Staff Foundation.  Your support will have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of soldiers, former soldiers and their families, along with community groups across the UK.

 

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