Thanks to Brenda for taking the time to answer our interview questions. If you liked this post, please feel free to share it.

Meet the Explorer

When Brenda gets a bit of time off work, she’s usually either out exploring with the dog or out on the bike. Here’s her advice for folk that want to explore on foot or by bike:

Are there any good maps or guided walk resources for the area?

We have loads of river and forest walks which are suitable for bikes and we’ve got a lot of quiet country roads too

Walking-  the Dunkeld Paths Network map is excellent. You can buy them at the tourist office or find them online at  http://bit.ly/2vW2l7f

Cycling – National Cycling Network route 77 runs right through Dunkeld & Birnam, so check out the Sustrans website and books. If you want to explore using rides that people have planned, the Perth & Kinross Cycle Campaign website has links to the various rides that it runs regularly exploring the area:  http://bycycle.org.uk/

Can you suggest a day long walk that’s suited to a family?

The Hermitage, because it’s got variety. It takes about 30 mins to walk from Birnam. Then you can explore Ossian’s Hall which overlooks a waterfall, search for the trees with hundreds of coins hammered into them and find the cave made out of boulders. Find the folly which is hidden in the woods and finally make your way up the wheelchair friendly zig zag path for a picnic at the gorgeous wooden Pinecone Shelter which as fantastic views. Then race home to the brilliant chip shop.

Any good walks that you can take a pram or a wheel chair on?

The path up to the Pinecone from the Hermitage is pretty good – it’s an all ability path. There’s quite a network that start from the carpark there. People often take prams and all terrain type mobility vehicles along the path from Birnam to the Newtyle fishing hut or past the famous Birnam Oak towards Dunkeld.

What are your favourite walks?

The loop around Birnam Hill is great if I have 2 ½ hours to spare. I really like exploring quiet paths and there’s one that takes you down Glen Carr to Bankfoot where you can get a pint and a bus home. Or a real cross country 17mile one that pops you out at Aberfeldy which has brilliant cafes.

Do you have a network of cycle paths?

Sustrans Route 77 runs through our villages. It means that we’ve got excellent connections as far as you want to cycle. We have loads of river and forest walks which are suitable for bikes and we’ve got a lot of quiet country roads too.

Can you recommend a cycle route that’s completely away from traffic?

A family friendly one runs along the River Tay, over Jubilee Bridge and back through the stunning grounds of Dunkeld House Hotel (they have a Sustrans route going through). The Hermitage and the forests behind it have loads of paths to explore too.

Any cycle routes on quieter roads that go near good cake shops?

Pitlochry (15 miles) has loads of cafes including an excellent bikey one. Sustrans Route 77 takes you there and it’s on quiet or old closed roads. There are lots of backroads that take you through Murthly (coffee opportunity) and onto Spittalfield (6 miles) which has a bikey café too.

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