Autumnal Birnam Hill

Route: Birnam Hill, Birnam

Sub 2000s: Birnam Hill - King's Seat

Date walked: 17/10/2015

Time taken: 3 hours

Distance: 6.25km

Ascent: 340m

This walk has been on my list for a while and in fact, I'd attempted it a few months previous but I decided against making for the summit at the time due to poor weather upon arrival in Birnam. I started my walk in Birnam, passing under the A9 and the railway before following signs for the Birnam Hill walk. After passing some houses, the signposted route then takes you into the woods.


The path ascends and descends regularly before emerging at an old road that leads to a quarry. At this point, the arrows were pointing downhill and the signs mentioned that the Birnam Hill walk was leading me to a car park. Feeling a little discouraged by this, I decided that if I actually wanted to climb the hill, I'd have to take matters into my own hands. As such, I marched up the old quarry road with a sense of determination. At the back of the quarry, a path snakes its way up the hillside with the views improving with every step taken.

Eventually, the path levels out, following but not climbing a steep ridge to the north. Once it begins to ascend again, the route is marked by a small, slate cairn which I stopped to photograph. From here the path becomes steeper and rejoins what I assume is the official route.


I wasn't the only one enjoying the fine weather.

Once on the official route, the summit isn't too far away and after climbing some steps, the cairn which marks the highest point of the route should be visible. Just as I reached the top, the cloud which had been threatening to block out the sun finally did. I decided to spend ten minutes at the top admiring the view and waiting to catch some moments of sunshine for the photography side of things.


The mist down in the Tay Valley was beautiful.

Once I departed from the King's Seat, I began to make my way back down. The path gets a little boggy in places where the land flattens out but the woodland did provide a great place to spot dew covered cobwebs. Before I started the walk, I had seen a few great photos of Dunkeld and it wasn't long before I found the viewpoint which overlooks the town. I stood on the rocks taking many photos and chatting to the two people who also happened to arrive here at the same time as myself.




From here, I walked back down the hill and a thought occurred. Originally, I had planned to climb straight up the north of the hill but I'm really pleased I accidentally ended up going around clockwise as the approach from the north looks to be a brutal, relentless slog whereas the route I took had a few steep moments but for the most part, I was able to march on without having to stop and catch my breath.

This is a great walk and one I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys beautiful viewpoints but who maybe only has a few hours to spare as it really didn't take me too long to complete the circuit.

Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Comments: 1

Climbing Clachnaben

Attachment(s) Date walked: 02/10/2015
Distance: 9km
Ascent: 483m
Comments: 8
Views: 3446

Creag Gharbh Gamble

Attachment(s) Grahams: Creag Gharbh
Date walked: 19/09/2015
Distance: 7.5km
Ascent: 600m
Comments: 5
Views: 2398

Glen Esk: The Grampian Conquest

Attachment(s) Date walked: 10/09/2015
Distance: 15.75km
Ascent: 400m
Views: 1534


User avatar
Location: Fife
Activity: Mountaineer
Pub: Speedwell
Place: Glen Lethnot
Camera: Canon 550D

Grahams: 1

Filter reports



Trips: 4
Distance: 38.5 km
Ascent: 1823m
Grahams: 1
Sub2000s: 1

Joined: Oct 18, 2015
Last visited: Dec 13, 2017
Total posts: 15 | Search posts