Glen Rannoch

This Glen Rannoch guide provides the mountain biker and walker with information on an intended route so they know something of what to expect. One of the problems is that O.S. maps give no indication as to whether an 'other road' is a path, a forest fire break, or anything in between. Many bridges shown on O.S. maps do not exist. Rivers are difficult to judge in size from the map, and a building may be anything from a pile of stones to a maintained bothy. All is revealed without removing the sense of adventure and exploration. Gradient profiles help to assess how strenuous a route is, and each hand-drawn page contains a wealth of information. The object is to save wasted leisure time and enable the armchair explorer to plan ahead or relive experiences. Glen Rannoch includes: Lochaber and the Mamores, West of Drumochter, Rannoch and Orchy to Killin.

The Perthshire Scottish Highland village of Kinloch Rannoch lies on the River Tummel, at the eastern end of Loch Rannoch in the Breadalbane country of beautiful and historic Highland Perthshire. The river flows eastwards through Dunalastair reservoir, which is part of the Tummel Garry hydro-electric scheme, while power-houses are situated at the far western end of the loch, and also at Tummel Bridge. To the south-east of Kinloch Rannoch, is Dalchosnie, where English invaders are said to have fought Robert the Bruce in 1306, and farther south extends Glen Sassunn, beyond which rise the peaks of the extensive 3,000 ft Carn Mairg group of mountains.

Rannoch was devastated by government troops after the 1745 rebellion. The Atholl Brigade, the fighting men from Tummelside suffered the greatest number of casuaties at Culloden. The government knew that the Jacobite flame burned fiercely in this area, and they intended to put it out for good. The fugitive Jacobites hiding in the hills and forests could only watch from the crags above as their homes were destroyed. Near the point where the roads meet, a mansion, known as The Barracks, was erected for the troops after the 1745 rebellion.

Loch Rannoch has well-wooded roads on both north and south shores, these roads converging some five miles east of the remote Rannoch Station, which lies almost on the Argyll border. The desolate expanse of Rannoch Moor stretches westwards from the railway station, and contains Loch Laidon and Loch Ba. Beyond the ridge of the Black Corries are the large Blackwater Reservoir and the small Lochan a Chlaidheimh, the latter associated with a sword thrown into its waters by a 15th century Earl of Atholl in connection with a land claim against the Camerons.

The Moor of Rannoch can be a terrifying wilderness for the walker when it is shrouded in mist or lashed by driving rain or snow. In good weather, however, it is a place of bird-haunted waters and unique views. It floors a huge cauldron, or basin, at 1000ft above sea level.

Return to Lochs and Glens