6 Amazing Sections of Heart 200
The Wooded Western Edge
Nobody expected Monty Python on the Heart 200, but yes, there is a connection. Doune Castle played the part of Castle Swamp in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and more recently has been used as Castle Leoch in Outlander. The Western edge of our route dips into the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park where you can zip from tree-to-tree at Aberfoyle or take a boat trip on lovely Loch Katrine.
The Highland North
The largest loch on the Heart 200 and surely one of the most beautiful in Scotland, Loch Tay is a wonderful sight whether viewed from the road or high on Ben Lawers. Then visit Scotland’s oldest tree, the Fortingall yew, or if adrenalin floats your boat, head to Aberfeldy for a spot of white-water rafting, or Killiecrankie to experience the thrill of bungee jumping. What better way to end this section of the route than experiencing Britain’s largest national park, the Cairngorms.
The Riverside East
The Rivers Tummel, Braan, Ericht and Tay provide the backdrop to the scenery along this side of the Heart 200. Take a riverside walk to the River Tummel from Pitlochry or walk to the Hermitage waterfall on the River Braan near Dunkeld, or visit Cargill’s Leap on the River Ericht at Blairgowrie. Then there’s the Loch of the Lowes Nature Reserve where you can see ospreys from April to August, as well as red squirrels and maybe even a beaver. Returning to the River Tay, take time out to visit Scone Palace set in its own grounds on the eastern banks of the Tay.
Explore the green city of Perth with its two Inches. The North Inch and South Inch are Perth’s two spacious parks where you can take a leisurely stroll and marvel at the River Tay as it passes through the city. Then there’s the Perth Concert Hall and recently renovated theatre, plus the Black Watch Museum, impressive array of restaurants and cafes, and busy shopping area.
The Historic South
Visit historic Loch Leven where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned on Castle Island and marvel at the sight of hundreds of geese taking off and landing on this inland loch. Make your way through Glendevon to the famous Gleneagles Hotel and onwards to the attractive market towns of Crieff and Comrie.
So much of Scotland’s history is woven into this beautiful city. Stirling Castle, where several Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned, is a must-see destination, along with the National Wallace Monument and site of the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre. For a magnificent view looking down on Stirling, take a brisk walk up nearby Dumyat or, if you’re not feeling quite so energetic, just enjoy a stroll in King’s Park.
Main Photo Credit: VS/Kenny Lam