PART 1. 3 of us set out at the end of March 2010 to complete the Cateran Trail in three days. The Trail appealed primarily as it is a circular walk, hence finishing in the same place as you start. We stayed B+B in Blairgowrie before setting off to walk to Kirkmichael. A pleasant and relatively easy walk in good weather. Stopped for 'lunch' at the Bridge of Cally Hotel. By the time we got to Kirkmichael the wind had changed and it started getting colder. We stayed in the Kirkmichael Hotel which was fine, except that it didn't open until 5pm!!
Had to kill an hour in the local Post Office cum cafe. The Strathardle Hotel appears to be a better bet. Started snowing as we left the Strathardle for the night.
Left the Kirkmichael Hotel at 6am the following day, in snow, not much, and it was still dark. We had reserved accommodation at the Glenisla Hotel in Kirkton of Glenisla. The weather deteriorated as we headed towards Spittal of Glenshee (not surprisingly) and snow was now lying thickly on the ground, but not the roads. It was very windy and I was grateful for my ski gloves and woolly hat. The fire at the Spittal of Glenshee hotel at lunchtime was welcome, as was the coffee, but the hospitality left a little to be desired. Set out to tramp to Kirkton of Glenisla but, being mindful of the weather, we decided to take the road route (now unwaymarked) from Dalnaglar as the countryside was now white over. Had a very pleasant night at the Hotel.
Woke the next morning at 5am. Looked out onto a completely white world. Three inches of snow had settled overnight in the valley. We estimated that there was about three feet up on the hills. Decided to abandon our last day as the trail would be impossible to follow, phoned for a taxi and returned to Blairgowrie before driving home to the Midlands, bitterly disappointed.
PART 2. 2 of us drove up to Bridge of Cally in early July 2010, stayed at the Hotel and then the licensee kindly offered to drop us off at Cray. Sadly, due to a misunderstanding, he took us to The Spittal of Glenshee Hotel again. Set off walking at 9am and this time took the 'new' route via Auchintaple Loch. Lunch at Kirkton of Glenisla and then pressed on to Alyth. Stayed at the excellent Airlie Mount Mansion in Albert Street overnight.
Early start again next morning and completed the 10 miles back to Bridge of Cally by lunchtime, just before the rain set in.
Had purchased the Rucksack Reader prior to our first attempt and found it to be superb. I was not aware that a Footprint Map existed for this walk but we did manage to collect a pamphlet which had a large scale map and details of accommodation available for the different stages of the walk. The waymarking is generally good although we did manage to get lost a couple of times. Pay particular attention at the wild boars. We were so intent on taking photos that we missed the adjacent waymarker among the rhododendrons and lost 45 minutes retracing our steps.
Should anyone require any further information about this walk please do not hesitate to get in touch.