The husband and I are lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the tiny, picturesque village of Kenmore, right at the eastern tip of Loch Tay. The scenery is spectacular, the locals are very friendly, and best of all, it’s a doggy paradise. There are so many great walks, providing all kinds of sights and smells that a city dog would otherwise miss out on. Here are Kimber’s three favourites.
This hill is practically on our doorstep, and we can walk to it from our holiday home. Although there was one time when I had to drive to the car park to fool Kimber into going for a walk, rather than do what she wanted to do, which was stay home and play with her ball!
There are lots of different routes you can take on Drummond Hill, and most are quite well signposted via the usual colour-coded post system. There’s a map in the car park, so you can decide how far you want to walk or how long you want to stay out for and then choose your route. The most popular, and quickest route, is to walk to the Black Rock Viewpoint, and then come back the same way.
Two thirds of the walk up is pretty steep, but it’s really worth it. I think there’s something special about this hill, and I always feel a lot calmer when I come off it. Kimber does a lot of sniffing around, and can disappear up a bank and reappear several hundred yards ahead on the path a few minutes later. A couple of times she’s chased some deer, but they’re way too fast for her!
The last third of the walk to the Viewpoint is to the left of the crossroads you reach at the top of the steep climb, and is a lot gentler. At the Viewpoint you’re rewarded with a sweeping view up Loch Tay to your right, and the entirety of Kenmore in miniature to your left. There’s a bench up there if you want to stop for a snack, or just to appreciate the view. Kimber loves it up there. She scampers around, jumps over the wall, and plays with the pine cones that scatter across the earth. Here’s the view of Kenmore village:
You can walk back the way you came and treat yourself to a gentle downhill amble, or you can mix things up by heading straight ahead at the crossroads you’d otherwise turn right at, and follow the rest of the Red Route. This takes you quite a way downhill, before turning sharply right so that you’re almost doubling back on yourself. You’ll walk through some woods, and the path undulates along, before delivering you almost to the car park.
The walks on Kenmore Hill offer a lot more in the way of spectacular views. You can walk up the Amulree road to get to the walks, but we prefer to drive up the steep, narrow, twisty road, to the small car park. There you’ll find a map, showing you the various walks, but our favourite is the one that follows the red posts up to the Cairn, and back down the other side.
You begin the walk by going behind the map. The first time we went on this walk we didn’t notice that, and ended up on an entirely free-range hiking adventure from the other side of the car park. I don’t recommend this unless you have a map or know what you’re doing. Kimber loved bouncing through the heather, whereas we were a little more concerned about being stranded on the side of the hill forever…Here’s a blog post I wrote at the time 🙂
The first part of the walk is pretty steep, but keep going, you are about to be rewarded for all your hard work! At first there’s not much in front of you, but by the time you’re approaching the Cairn, the views are of Loch Tay, Kenmore, Taymouth Castle, and Drummond Hill.
The view from the Cairn is pretty special, as is the view for the entire descent. This is one of views from the Cairn:
Be careful on the way down, as it’s quite a steep descent and it can be slippy in places. It’s a beautiful walk though, and well worth a few stops on the way down to appreciate the view. I like that this walk takes you alongside the loch, so you see more of it than you do from Drummond Hill. Kimber loves the landscape and all the scents that come with it.
When you get to the end of the path, you come out a tall, metal gate onto the road. It’s a short walk up the road to the car park. If you prefer a flatter walk, park at the car park and walk down the hill to this gate, then follow the path as far as you like. It eventually takes you down into the village of Acharn, so if you don’t want a steep climb, turn back once the path starts to descend.
Banks Of The River Tay
There are some lovely walks along the riverbank on both sides of the river. On the Southside, walk behind the Kenmore Hotel, and follow the path to Taymouth Castle. This is a nice walk, but my favourite riverside walks are on the Northside of the River Tay.
To start the walk, either join it from Kenmore Bridge, or if you’re staying at Mains of Taymouth, there’s a gap in the hedge next to the zipwire.
If I go for a jog this is my route, and I love it for a walk too. Follow the path until it starts to ascend to the Memorial, and look for a path on the right hand side. It doesn’t look like much, but if you walk on a diagonal towards the river then you’ll find it. You’ll then find yourself on a path that’s right next to the river. It looks like this:
The path follows the river and you may find some fallen trees along the way. It’s a truly beautiful and peaceful walk, and at this point, completely flat. After a while you’ll come to a clearing, which makes it easier for you and your dog to get to the water. The currents are unpredictable, so keep an eye on your dog or small children that they don’t jump in! Not far past the clearing it’ll seem difficult to keep following the path. At this point look for a short, steep slope on your left and take it. This is the only uphill part of this walk and it’s over before you know it.
The slope brings you to the upper river path. And it looks like this:
You can continue to follow the river in the direction of Aberfeldy if you wish, or you can turn left at the top of the slope to go back the way you came. I normally use the riverbank for a shorter Kimber walk, so I usually do the latter. There are some horses in the fields, and the Mains of Taymouth golf course to the right of the path. They’re separated from the path by a ditch, but there are parts of the ditch that don’t seem to pose a barrier to Kimber, so if you see some golfers and your dog isn’t great at recall, maybe put him or her on a lead for a few minutes. Or get ready to duck behind a tree…
Towards the end of the upper river path you get a good view of Kenmore Church, and before you descend the slope to retrace your steps to Kenmore Bridge, there’s a monument. If the door is open, be aware that there’s nothing to stop dogs or small children falling out of the top. Kimber is not allowed into the monument for that reason!
There are many more great walks in Kenmore and throughout the surrounding area. And for humans who feel the need to recharge their batteries after a hike up a hill, or along a riverbank, there are several good, doggie-friendly eateries. In Kenmore, both The Kenmore Hotel and The Courtyard welcome dogs inside and out, while The Waterfront has plenty of outdoor seating for a sunny day. Around the other side of Loch Tay, the Taymouth Marina restaurant welcomes dogs inside until around 5pm. After that you’re welcome to sit with your dog on the terrace, which has fantastic views of the loch and Drummond Hill opposite. If you’re going to sit there in the evening, just remember that you’re right on the water, so you might want to wear some midge repellant!
If you ever end up in Kenmore, I hope you make as many happy memories as we have.
If you keep meaning to write blog posts for your business, but never get around to it, I can help. Click on this link to find out more 🙂