Scotland's Great Trails

The Cateran Trail

The Cateran Trail is a superb circular long distance route that straddles the border between Perthshire and Angus. The Trail explores this neglected corner, taking in secluded Strathardle together with parts of Glen Shee and Glen Isla. Taking its name from the maurading bands of cattle thieves known as Caterans which brought terror and bloodshed to these glens in times past, the landscapes are now a peaceful idyll.

With plenty of pubs and settlements at decent intervals, a high moorland pass with great mountain views, and good wildlife spotting opportunities it is offers a well waymarked and moderate route which can be taken at a leisurely pace over 5 or 6 days - or the 104km (65 miles) circuit can be tackled as a challenging shorter route.

Stage descriptions Length Time
Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael 24.25km 6 - 7 hours
Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee 13km 4 - 4.5 hours
Spittal of Glenshee to Glenisla 23.5km 6 - 7 hours
Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth 17km 4.5 - 5.5 hours
Alyth to Blairgowrie 26.25km 6.5 - 7.5 hours


The walk is well waymarked, with a mix of paths, tracks, short sections of minor road and some moorland stretches. The route is rough in places and can be very muddy in others.


The Cateran Trail has accommodation available at the end of each stage.

Blairgowrie is a small country town with a range of bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels. There is also a good choice of shops and places to eat.

The Bridge of Cally has a hotel and shop and offers a possible place to split both the first and final stages of the walk. Nearby is a B&B which offers a drop-off pick-up service throughout the length of the Cateran Trail.

Kirkmichael is a small village with a shop and a choice of two hotels.

The Spittal of Glenshee has 2 hotels - one a couple of kilometres off route; there is also a hostel here.

Kirkton of Glenisla is a tiny village; the pub/hotel here offers the only accommodation..

Alyth is a small town with a choice of bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels, places to eat and shops for supplies.


The Cateran Trail is a circular route and starts and finishes in Blairgowrie - a small town with bus links to the cities of Perth and Dundee (with an additional service from Deeside in the summer months). Alyth is also well served by bus.

The rest of the trail has more limited public transport. Kirkmichael and Kirkton of Glenisla both do have a service that links them back to Blairgowrie. The Spittal of Glenshee is passed by the Blairgowrie to Deeside bus which runs in the summer months.

Timetables for all the routes can be found on Traveline Scotland.

The following users have walked the Cateran Trail:

Paul Webster  helenw  beth grant  whitey333  JimGibson  overthecrowroad  rucsacs  dougcurtis  brodie  mmaciocia  Paderlan  deuchary  markohakli  coopar  paulgold23  mamacgregor 1444  northfacedave  GEOFFCARSON  cobblergreen  lacacz  embo636  alithornton  Kerrycash  Knocknairn  zhickman  BlairYompers  Fraoch  joe.cassidy  Andy Geo  slioch69  anxious-ambler  raykilhams  dburness  choupacha  LGreenaway  robertgrahamstorey  angusharris  kolschbitte  frosty  marcoamerika  cal1974  JamMikie  trekker53  ledgie  Paracaba  pnecelt  donald macleod  johntherambler  Buggiba  k9rst5n  Becs  fastedi  Gordie12  TDrexel712  RustyGuy  smarijsse  cali  alnes  Albalad  Mike_R  froggy  jenp23  chapmanpi  williamkirk101  tyrant2  cemills  JHL3  chirpol5  m horn  ABTyke  bonsyde  markwils  walkingcookie  smcairnx  kazik  slioch691  Rhienne  fionafish  josiet1950  hunkywhyte  sjstony  anneke  mushy63  skintbint  marygray7  summitchaser  mikegillan83  nscnick  Joppe  Wilfwolf  smaddocks  Calum run  Malkie  McDries  bilarm298 

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