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River Braan at The Hermitage © Philip Stewart

The Hermitage

Douglas firs have grown to over 400ft. Little wonder David Douglas wanted to see such giants here.

The Hermitage

The waterfalls, rapids and swirling pools of the River Braan provide the focal point for this wild ‘tree garden’.

Information

Close up of River Braan at The Hermitage © PKCT

Created by the Dukes of Atholl 250 years ago as an extension of the gardens of Dunkeld Hilton House Hotel, it includes two romantic ‘follies’.

A short nature trail takes you through varied woodland, following the edge of the River Braan towards Ossian’s Hall and Bridge.

In autumn you can witness the amazing sight of the salmon jumping up the falls on their way to spawn.

An impressive stand of Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) provides a dramatic setting for the pathand the concentration of so many ‘big trees’ creates a cathedral-like atmosphere. Views across the waters of the Braan take in a stately Douglas fir measured at 64.5 metres/ 212ft one of the tallest trees in Britain.

For added interest a totem pole is nestled within the forest near to the Hermitage, carved by a group of First Nation Canadians from the Squamish Nation. Using Douglas fir felled in the Hermitage, the symbols carved on the pole include an eagle and two salmon – one a Pictish design, the other a Squamish design. The sister totem pole sits within the grounds of the Royal School of Dunkeld.

Easy & moderate-going walks from 1 mile/ 1.5 km to 3.75 miles/ 6 km, described in the Dunkeld and Birnam Path Network leaflet.

Directions

1 mile / 1.5 km west of Dunkeld, on the A9.

Facilities

Two car parks at The Hermitage provide car, coach and mini bus parking. Designated disabled parking bays and cycling racks are in the lower car park.

Toilet and refreshment facilities are available in Dunkeld.

Opening Times

Visit any time of year.

Public Transport

Take the bus or train to Dunkeld & Birnam and walk from the station or either town centre.

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