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Cateran Trail

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| | |-+  Advice on accommodation and baggage from a hiker (June 2008)

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Author Topic: Advice on accommodation and baggage from a hiker (June 2008)  (Read 8673 times)
hilaryd
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« on: June 18, 2008, 10:44:43 am »

A great success all round – highly recommended.  Distances just right, scenery varied and gorgeous, excellent places to stay.  For these last, don't rely on the guide, as some of the hotels mentioned therein have changed and anyway B&Bs are often cheaper and more attractive.

If you start from Blairgowrie, I suggest Gilmore House where you can leave your car and they take very good care of you.  At Kirkmichael Cruachan Cottage B&B was good also.  The Log Cabin Hotel appears to be no more, at least for individual travellers.  Did not have time to check it out myself but asked around and everyone had a different story, including that it had closed, was being refurbished, had become a conference centre.  It was not visible from the trail when I was there and I couldn't find it on the internet.

At Spittal of Glenshee the hotel is a real disappointment - its claim to be the oldest operating inn site in Britain is completely misleading, as it is one of the very few structures on the whole walk I'd call modern and ugly.  It is also rather tacky inside and caters almost exclusively to coach parties.   It has been reported to Visit Scotland for refusing to provide packed lunches to walkers.  There are no shops in Spittal  and nowhere to eat between there and Glenisla, so anyone unprepared would be in for a very hungry day without supplies from the hotel.   I stayed at the excellent Dalhenzean Lodge B&B, a couple of miles south of Spittal and easily reached from the trail.   This does mean being driven back to the hotel for dinner where the buffet is average (bar food has to be ordered by 5.30!) and picked up at your convenience.

The recently altered section of the walk (offroad from Dalnaglar to Kirkton of Glenisla, see upgrade card) is terrific.  Note that the path to climb Mount Blair is not signposted. 

Rather than pay the higher prices (especially for singles) at the Glenisla and Alyth hotels, I stayed at the very nice West Freuchies B&B where the only possible disadvantage is their minimum of two nights.  You can have dinner at the B&B or the Hotel - both good.  Access from the trail is very easy and the owners will pick you up from and drive you to Alyth.  All of the above B&Bs can be found on line by googling their names.  Most have their own websites.

Happy to say I found an excellent and inexpensive luggage transfer service by calling around.  Tony Harrington of Central Taxis in Blairgowrie (01250 873348) picked up and delivered 2 bags for us daily without a hitch.  I should mention here that the Glentrek bag transfer people were very helpful - their service is expensive because they are not local, operating out of Kirriemuir, but their prices do drop with larger numbers of people.

In the first week of June we had the trail and much of the accommodation to ourselves, there were wild flowers everywhere and the local architecture is lovely.  Enjoy!
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