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.

The link route from Cray to Kirkmichael enables the Cateran Mini-trail option - making for a great two day circuit with stopovers at Kirkmichael and the Spittal of Glenshee.

Stage descriptions Length Time Done
Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael 24.25km 6-7 hours
Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee 13km 4-4½ hours
Spittal of Glenshee to Glenisla 23.5km 6 - 7 hours
Kirkton of Glenisla to Alyth 17km 4½-5½ hours
Alyth to Blairgowrie 26.25km 6.5-7.5 hours
Mini-trail link: Cray to Kirkmichael 9.5km 3 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.


Click to find organised Cateran Trail walking holiday packages and baggage transfer providers.


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 no longer has a hotel.

Kirkton of Glenisla is a tiny village with a single hotel.

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

There are self-catering cottages, a hideaway and a yurt available where the Trail heads through the Bamff Estate.



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.

Users' walk reports for the Cateran Trail

There are 333 Walkhighlanders who have completed the Cateran Trail. To record if you have completed the route, you must register and be logged in. Our users have contributed 13 public walk reports for the route. These are ordered below with the most popular ones first.

Title AuthorDate walked Likes
Cateran Yomp - Ahead of the game  andrewl7642 11/06/2015  14
Cateran Trail, 4 nights solo wild camping.  Alan J 21/08/2016  11
Alyth Circular on The Cateran Trail  ronnie962 27/04/2021  9
Avoid, avoid, avoid  Inkie100 30/08/2022  7
Cateran trail  bootsandpaddles 06/04/2012  7
Cateran Trail (Day 1) - Scorchio!!!  Graeme D 23/07/2014  5
Not so much the Cateran Trail, more of a capering fail..  basscadet 30/03/2013  5
Cateran Trail completed, and some advice  Crinan 03/07/2016  4
A great 3 days out on the Cateran’s Trail  mrmanben 29/07/2016  4
Cateran Trail (Day 3) - Aún más scorchio!!!  Graeme D 25/07/2014  4
Cateran Trail (Day 2) - Mucho scorchio!!!  Graeme D 24/07/2014  3
Cateran Trail update  Scottk 19/04/2019  1
Cateran Trail Walk  zhickman 24/08/2012  0

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Walking can be dangerous and all walkers must take personal responsibility for their own safety. You should always carry a backup means of navigation and not rely on a single phone, app or map. Walkhighlands strives to provide accurate information but cannot accept responsibility for changes, errors or omissions.