Atholl Woods Circuit

Route: Atholl Woods circuit, Dunkeld

Date walked: 17/11/2011

Time taken: 3.75 hours

Distance: 12.5km

Ascent: 421m

As we were staying at the Dunkeld Hilton (Dunkeld House hotel on the map), we varied the route as published to start and end at the hotel, and include the hotel drive leading to Polney Loch, which added 1.8km to the total distance. When we started out, the sky was clear and the sun shining, although clouds developed during the walk. It stayed dry until we were returning along the hotel drive.

Hotel drive leading to B road at Polney Loch

Reflections on Polney Loch

The route is clear throughout, and we followed the many signposts (“Atholl Woods Path”) and the frequent yellow way markers (with a single exception - see below). The outward leg, as far as the Mill Dam is mostly on metalled, driveable road; the exceptions being the stretch above Cally Saw Mill from Polney Loch to the car park, and the short (ca 250 m) section beyond The Glack, which was closed to road traffic.
Although the route is clearly marked with yellow way makers, there was a bit of confusion at point 3 in the published description: The signpost for the Atholl Woods Path is clearly pointing through a gate to the left of the main path but the yellow way marker points onward on the main path along the Lunan Burn towards Rotmell Loch. We followed the signpost, which proved to be the correct way. The next kilometre started on a stony rough track but deteriorated into softer ground which, latterly, was at least 50% of bovine origin judging from the hoof marks thereon! It certainly didn’t look like the pleasant grass track shown at point 4 in route description!

Start of stony path at point 3 in description

Once the path enters Rotmell Wood, it improves and becomes a decent forest track which, because of the yellow way markers, was easy to follow to the stile mentioned in the description. Beyond that, the route descends quickly through a zig-zag to meet a roughly N-S path which leads back into the woods. From here, the path descends gradually over 2.5 km to meet the B road leading back to Polney Loch and, thence to the hotel. The 450 m on the road can be walked on the grassy verge, starting on the N (E bound) side and crossing after about 50 m to the S (W bound) side.
All in all, a clearly marked route which provided a pleasant late autumn walk. What better way to celebrate one’s 61st birthday?
More photos here:

(Time taken posted does not include stops.)

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Comments: 3

Cartland Rambler

Activity: Hill Bagger

Munros: 1
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Trips: 1
Distance: 12.5 km
Ascent: 421m

Joined: Nov 12, 2011
Last visited: Feb 12, 2019
Total posts: 2 | Search posts