Sunday, 20 June 2021

Ride Guide: A wee Perthshire loop - 70 miles

From shaded tree lined lanes passing shallow clear stream to twisty and challenging climbs through the Perthshire hills, this route can be a relaxing bimble or a challenging thrash along surprisingly quite roads.

The RT parked up in the Sma' Glen

Heading north from Rumbling Bridge the road quickly starts to wind and sweep its way to Yetts o' Muckhart setting you up for the tight turns ahead as you head through Glen Devon.  The road hugs the route of the river Devon before peeling away and climbing and twisting to Gleneagles before diving back downhill, equally as fast and twisty as the climb before crossing over the A9 and bringing you into Gleneagles village.  Heading for Crieff the road seems sedate after Glen Devon, but views over the Perthshire hills to the right more than make up for it.  Always a problem after starting on a high!  Leaving Crieff the road drops down to the turn off for Dunkeld at Gilmerton through a series of tight 'S' turns, watch out they are tighter than you think and you will hit at least one of these way too fast!  Now on the A822 the low hills of the Tay Forest Park start to rise ahead of you as the road carves it's way through the sparse trees and scrubby fields on either side of the fast and flowing road.  Once the road starts to drop down to the River Almond and the Sma' Glen the corners become tighter and just pull you in with a new challenge, literally, around every corner.  It is worth a stop in the Sma' Glen next to the river where you are totally encircled by the low hills and the gentle sound of the river.
Climbing out of the Sma' Glen the road surface is superb, giving you bags of confidence as the road carves it's way through the bleak scenery to Amulree.  After Amulree the road runs low along the river Brann, the road is almost as meandering as the river.  The long sweeping almost 180 degree bends are interspersed with tight and challenging curves on an absolutely brilliant road surface.  As you approach the point where you have to cross the A9 there are a couple of bends that may well challenge you pegs, or bravery!  Crossing the A9 for Dunkeld you cross over the mighty river Tay, before turning right for Blairgowrie.  Immediately the road starts to climb steeply through a series of fast and tight 'S' bends before calming down a wee bit as it passes through small villages and along the shores of small lochs.  Don't be fooled though, there are still some interesting riding to be had before you hit Blairgowrie.  Turning south onto the A93 at Blairgowrie sees the last few relaxing miles back to Perth.  Leaving the sharp twists and turns behind the fast, lazy curves of the Perthshire lowlands bringing you past Scone Palace and to journeys end on the outskirts of Perth.

Turn by turn
  • Start at Rumbling Bridge on A823 (56.177762, -3.585702)
  • After 1.5 miles turn right onto A91 and A823 for Crieff
  • After 8.5 miles continue over roundabout on A823 for Crieff
  • After 5.1 miles turn right onto A822 for Crieff
  • After 5.1 miles turn right onto A85 for Perth
  • After 2.1 miles turn left onto A822 for Dunkeld
  • After 19.7 miles cross the A9 onto A920 and Dunkeld
  • Continue through Dunkeld for 0.8 miles on A923, then turn right on A923 for Blairgowrie
  • After 12.1 miles turn right onto A93 for Perth
  • After 14.9 miles arrive at Perth and the end of the route (56.399464, -3.423167)
Looking back to the Sma' Glen


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