Probably one of the most famous Munros, Schiehallion ranks 58th out of 282 for height. It was also used in a scientific experiment to ‘weigh the world’ back in the 1774. One of the scientists who was on the experiment devised a graphical system to represent large volumes of heights… later to be known as contour lines. The ones you find on an ordinance survey map. This time, I went with my mates Boab and Gord but also joined by Gord’s 5 year old daughter, Ellie. What a trooper, conquering Schiehallion at 5! From one side, Schiehallion looks like an average mountain, with a gradual incline. Then from the Tummel Valley road, it looks like a majestic pyramidal mountain.
Category – Munro
Height – 1,083 metres (3,553 ft)
Location – Tummel Bridge, Loch Tummel
Difficulty Rating – 5/10
Approximate Timing – 4 – 6 hours
Pronunciation – Shee-hal-yan
There are a number of ways to get to Schiehallion (fairy hill of the Caledonians). If you have a sat nav, you can search for Schiehallion or Breas of Foss car park. If not, say you’re heading from Stirling, you can head up the A9. Just after Pitlochry, take the cut off onto the B8019 and follow it until you reach Tummel Bridge. From there, follow the signs for Schiehallion (B846 road). After a short time, you’ll see a sign for Schiehallion Road, which leads you directly to the car park. Alternatively, you can make your way off the A9 at the Greenloaning cut off (A822) and head for Crieff. Follow that road, following signs for Aberfeldy. Follow the A826 through Aberfeldy and join the B846 on the other side, driving through villages like Weem and Dull. Shortly after you’ll see the sign for Schiehallion Road.
The path begins at the end of the car park, marked by a sign post. Just in case you miss it though, head right at the fork. The other path will take you on a forest walk. For the first wee while, it’s a nice leisurely stroll with not much of an incline. When you get to a gate and ruins of a stone house, it gets a little steeper. I might be wrong but I think the ruins might be from the scientific experiment! Possibly dating further back! Once you pass that, and the route gets moderately intense, you’ll notice a few cairns along the way as well.
It won’t take long to reach the first of the false summits. Don’t let it de-motivate you, just keep pushing! At this false summit, the path leads right and all of a sudden stops near one of those cairns. My advice would be to head left on to the grass, the boulder field is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still have to cross boulders but just not as many. There’s no right or wrong way to complete the final mile, just head straight for the top. Remember to watch where you’re stepping. It took us an hour to get over the boulder field, but we reached the summit eventually.
There’s a spectacular view up to the Cairngorms from the summit. You can also see all over the Highlands as Schiehallion is an isolated mountain and there’s not much around. If you look to the Northern foot of the mountain, you can see over Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel. Once you’ve had your rest, piece and photo, it’s time to begin the descent. It’s just the same route you took for the the way up. Navigate your way over the boulders and rejoin the path at the false summit. Overall, the route took us around 12.5km, up and down.
Despite being such a famous mountain, Schiehallion disappointed me. I was enjoying the hike up until the boulder field. It’s not difficult to navigate, more of an inconvenience. My ankles were slightly sorer than usual from crossing it as well. With that being said, it’s also one of the easiest Munros that I’ve done. Possibly the easiest. It’s an excellent Munro for starters. If you want to get a cracking view of Schiehallion, turn left after exiting the car park and head to Kinloch Rannoch. On the banks of Loch Rannoch, you’ll see Schiehallion looking more like a mountain than a gradual hill. On that wee road, you’ll also pass by a filming location from Outlander!
Craigh Na Dun
In Outlander, Craigh Na Dun is the mystical stones that send Claire back in time. Unfortunately the stones aren’t there but you can clearly see it is the location they used. It’s open to the public but be aware that it is a working farm and respect the property. Based at the foot of Schiehallion, and looking over the River Tummel and Loch Rannoch, you can see why this location was chosen for the mystical Craigh Na Dun.
I’ve attached a few photos, as always, have a wee look through them and let me know what you think! We were meant to be doing a Munro today but with the horrible forecast, the boys have pulled out. I’ll be waiting to see what the weather is actually like before deciding if I’ll do a Munro or not. If there’s a post on Tuesday, that means I’ve done it, if not then I’ll aim to have one done midweek again.
Thanks for reading,