|Alyth via Bridge of Cally to Blairgowrie
16.2 miles / 25.9 kilometres
Starting altitude - 367 Ft / Highest point - 948 Ft / End altitude - 195 Ft
This section of the walk starts from the top of Toutie Street where the original Market Cross was originally sited. Toutie Street gains it name from the tradition of the local herdsman blowing their horns (tooting) at the start and end of the day when the cows and sheep were herded up and down to be grazed on Alyth Hill.
At the start point there is a plaque detailing the Herdsman tradition and also a small stone cross that marks the general location of the original market cross which was erected in 1670.
Leaving this location, the trail quickly turns north and starts the climb up to the Alyth Hill along the line of the old drove road, but unlike the herdsman of past centuries you are unlikely to encounter any cattle on the way to the hill.
The image below is taken from the Old Drove Road and looking back to the market town below and across the wide expanse of Strathmore to the Sidlaw Hills on the horizon.
The hardest part of this climb is soon over as the track passes close to Kirklandbank farmhouse. Shortly after, the land changes from cultivated fields into the common land which is Alyth Hill, now opening up views not just to the south but east into Angus and west towards Blairgowrie.
Once on top of Alyth Hill even further views open up especially to the NW and North.
In the distance to the north west are the modern wind turbines of Drumderg. They are erected on a high point
(422 metres) in the area know as the Forest of Alyth. These turbines have been seen before on the first
section of the Trail as the walkers were crossing Cochrage Muir on their approach Bridge of Cally. It is, however,
later on this section of the walk that they are at their closest.
The Trail does not go in a straight line, and it now heads north and passes very close to the previous section of the route around the Bamff area. The walk is now in very fertile farming land, which is also nicely broken by deciduous trees.
If you are navigating from an Ordnance Survey map you may become confused at this point if your maps are not of a
very recent version. The trail has been improved by its new line through the grounds of Bamff House and round the
Old Dairy Brewhouse.
After Bamff there is a section of walking on a quiet single-track country road. This is pleasant countryside passing by what would appear to be prosperous farming at Creuchies then entering more moorland countryside when the Drumberg turbines are at their closest.
On the skyline ahead as the way approaches Burnside of Drimmie the walker can see the narrow band of trees that will soon be entered on the way to Bridge of Cally.
One of the great attractions of this overall long distance walk is the variety of countryside and terrain that is experienced. This next section through the long ribbon wood and then down to Cloquhat and Netherton is one example of this feature, it being particularly attractive when the photograph was taken in the autumn with the attractive mixed trees full of shades of brown and gold. It is also attractive from the small community's relative isolation while not being as remote as some of the other locations that have been passed.
After Netherton that is a short walk till you reach Bridge of Cally with its small community shop and busy Hotel. Just behind the hotel on its south side the track enters the east corner of the Blackcraig Forest and the walker soon arrives at the common point of the Trail.
At this point walkers again reach one of the informative display boards that reminds them of the very different
times that existed in this area and from which this walk takes its name. The panel below tells the bloody tale of Chalmers of Morganstoune.
At this point this section has covered just over 9 miles and the remaining 7 miles are over countryside that has previously been walked and detailed on this website, but in the reverse direction.
One could conclude the walk at this point and get transport back to Blairgowrie, but for may the final leg is something that they will want to do and it offers views that were not enjoyed when undertaking the path in the northerly direction.
It is perhaps worth remembering that on the section east of East Gormack there is an option to break from the designated path and follow a locally waymarked path into Blairgowrie via Mayfield and Newton Castle. Newton Castle dates from the 14th Century and is known for the story of Lady Jean Drummond and her encounter with the local witch. It is now the home of the Clan Chief of the MacPhersons.
If choosing this option continue past the grounds of Newton Castle along Newton Street till it reaches Perth Road, turning left and following the road for a short distance into the centre of Blairgowrie.
|Blairgowrie to Kirkmichael via Bridge of Cally | Kirkmichael to Spittal of Glenshee | Spittal to Kirkton of Glenisla | Kirkton to Alyth | Alyth toBlairgowrie via Bridge of Cally|
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