By Colin Hogarth

Perched above Pitlochry, the summit of Craigower is perfectly placed to offer excellent views over some of the most spectacular countryside in Perthshire. The climb to the top ' through fertile upland fields and sheltered woodland - is strenuous in parts but once there you can savour vistas extending as far as Glencoe.

Set off from the tourist information centre and head north-west along Atholl Road, through the centre of Pitlochry. Continue straight on until your reach Larchwood Road on the right and follow this as climbs steeply through an avenue of B&B establishments to The Cuilc, a reedy pond where there are ducks just waiting to be fed. There is a fine view across the water to the heavily wooden slopes of Craigower.

Stay with the road - following a brown National Trust for Scotland road sign for Craigower - and it passes Pitlochry Golf Club a short way on before rising alongside a neatly mown driving range. The single-track strip of tarmac becomes increasingly narrow here and continues to climb, now through open fields. It curves round the farm steading at Lettoch to reach a junction at the top. Turn left here ' following another NTS Craigower sign ' and the way runs west on what was the Old North Road, an ancient highway once the main route for traffic heading through these parts.

Hemmed in by open fields, the road runs past a house and steading at Balnacraig to reach the golf course. On entering the fairways a junction is reached. Bear right here and follow a solid track up towards the cottage at Upper Drumchorry. Stick to the track, give the golfers priority and watch out for stray balls.

At the top of the track, bear left along a narrow path signed for Craigower. Initially, this skirts between the leafy garden of Upper Drumchorry and the golf course. It turns right and then left a short way on and passes through a kissing gate to enter forestry. With dense woodland on your right, the way continues to follow the edge of the golf course ' running alongside a stone wall ' and there are views south-east over Pitlochry and the Tummel valley.

A little further on, the way bears right, climbing through tall pine trees to reach a forest track. Go left and walk a few yards to a wooden post on the other side of the track marking the start of a path. Take this and prepare for a strenuous climb as the way rises steeply through the trees, emerging in due course into open ground below Craigower.

The path bears right here, climbing round the slope to reach the top where there is a viewfinder board and a great vista north-west over Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch towards Glencoe in the distance. The prominent peak of Schiehallion can also be seen. A path heading west from here leads to another good viewpoint overlooking the Tummel valley and Loch Faskally. Craigower is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, having been gifted to the organisation in 1947.

A small wooden sign just below the viewfinder marks the start of the descent to Pitlochry. A path drops through the heather, curving right lower down. It heads south-east through the trees to eventually join a forest track. Turn right here and descend past a fenced compound housing a telephone mast.

Stay with the track until you reach the junction where you first joined the forest track earlier in the walk. Go left here and follow the path back to Upper Drumchorry and the golf course and from here retrace your steps back to Pitlochry.


Distance 6 miles/10km.
Map OS Landranger sheets 43 and 52.
Start Tourist Information Centre, Atholl Road, Pitlochry.
Parking Atholl Road Car Park.
Grading A moderate walk following quiet country roads, tracks and paths. There are some strenuous sections of ascent and dogs must be kept on the lead when crossing the golf course. Some sections of the route can be muddy after heavy rain.