Walk: Crieff to Muthill - fishy business by the River Earn
|[River Earn south of Crieff]|
Anyone up for a riverside ramble with an excellent restaurant at the end? We definitely were, and the Barley Bree's lunch menu didn't disappoint, dishing up elegant portions of local game and animals you're likely to see on this one-way jaunt through farmland by the River Earn. Starting in the busy market town of Crieff and finishing at Muthill village (pronounced MOOTH-ill... probably), navigation isn't just a case of following the water course (take a map). The route is also far from direct, taking 10 km to achieve what the road manages in 5. But there's plenty to see, both beside the river and in it: the Earn is a well-known fishing destination, and we enjoyed watching a heron engaged in an almighty battle with a huge fish. The heron eventually won, but not before dropping the fish and nearly losing it in the process. Later on, we were tempted away from the main trail onto a side path which follows the river bank more closely, but a tricky tributary needs to be leapt in order to get back onto the proper path at the end.
|[Farm track near Strageath Hall]|
Name: Walk: Crieff to Muthill - fishy business by the River Earn ★★☆☆☆
Length: 10 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 80 metres
Points of interest: Crieff; River Earn; Muthill & Old Church
Start: James Square, Crieff town centre, G.R.: NN 864216 ///backhand.fancy.mess. N.B. this is not a circular route.
Finish: Muthill village centre, G.R.: NN 867170 ///skirting.hiking.deleting
Transport to start: Park at the finish and take a bus to the start (hourly, but less frequent on Sundays, and check times in advance).
Route: Start & Crieff - west side of Gallowhill Cemetery - Crieff Bridge (A822) - Alichmore Cottages - Stuart Crystal shop - path junction at G.R.: NN 880187 via south bank of River Earn - Strageath Hall - Sallyardoch Wood - finish, Muthill & Old Church
Terrain: Mostly clear footpaths, with a couple of wet / boggy sections; short stretches of minor road. Route signposted, though not continuously.
Wildlife today: Lots of mallards, goosanders, sheep, horses; grey heron attempting to swallow a fish; geese in fields.
Weather today: Mostly sunny with a few snow flurries; around freezing with frosty ground, fresh snow on hills and a dusting on some of the approach roads.
>> see separate post for Crieff ★★★☆☆
>> see separate post for Muthill Old Church & Tower ★★☆☆☆
|[View from Crieff Bridge]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands
|[Looking north-west from near the start]|
|[Sculptured gateposts along the route give info about the local area]|
|[View into the Highlands from near Alichmore Cottages]|
|[Woodland above Stuart Crystal]|
|[Down by the River Earn... finally!]|
|[Geese flying in to feed on the fields by the river]|
|[Grey heron battling with a fish]|
|[Further on, some fishy business]|
|[The river cliff has eroded right up to the path here, but it's OK for now]|
|[Old railway bridge]|
|[Following the old railway bed towards Strageath Hall]|
|[Boggy final stretch in the woods]|
|[View of Crieff near the end of the walk]|
|[Muthill Old Church & Tower]|