SCO-058-Perth-River Tay North Inch Circuit
Duration: 2.5 hours.
This is a straightforward but satisfying “there and back” walk along the River Tay from the centre of Perth. The initial section passes the verdant North Inch park and golf course on the west side, with the grand villas and grounds at Bridgend stretching out north, on the east side of the river. The mid section gets wilder on the east side of the river but more urban, relatively speaking, on the west. Towards the turning point at Inveralmond Bridge, Scone Palace and Perth Racecourse are visible across the Tay. The River Tay is the longest river in Scotland at 117 miles. The Tay originates in western Scotland on the slopes of Ben Lui then flows easterly across the Highlands, including through Loch Tay. It becomes tidal at Perth, before reaching the sea south of Dundee. It is the largest river in the UK by measured discharge. The fine old town of Perth has been known as “The Fair City” since the publication of the story “Fair Maid of Perth” by Sir Walter Scott in 1828. During the later medieval period the city was also called “St John's Toun” or “Saint Johnstoun”, hence the eponymous local football team. The area surrounding the modern city is known to have been occupied since Mesolithic hunter-gatherers arrived more than 8,000 years ago. Royal Burgh status was granted to the city by William the Lion in the early 12th C, with the city becoming one of the richest burghs in Scotland, doing trade with France, the Low Countries and Baltic Countries. Perth is graced by two large main parks close to the city centre, namely the North Inch and South Inch (the word "Inch" being an anglicised form of the Gaelic “innis” meaning island or meadow). The North Inch is still famous for the “Battle of the Clans”, a staged “grudge contest” between two sets of clans in September 1396. 30 men were selected to represent each side in front of spectators that included King Robert III of Scotland and his court. The Clan Chattan warriors killed all but one of their opponents from the mysterious “Clan Kay”, at a cost of 19 deaths on their own side.
Our website link: https://themackwalks.wordpress.com/2019/02/21/058-perth-river-tay-north-inch-circuit-perthshire/
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(1) Start at viewpoint on Tay Street(56.39690; -3.42566)Start the walk at the river viewpoint opposite the end of the High Street, on Tay Street. Walk north along the pavement and follow the river walkway under the Smeaton Bridge. Note the historic flood levels on the north side of the bridge as you pass. Keep going past the Lynedoch Monument, following the North Inch river walkway, with the river on your right and the North Inch park on your left. There are a couple of river viewpoints that you may wish to briefly divert to. Eventually the walkway starts to swing left away from the river.
(2) Right for Inveralmond(56.41140; -3.43728)After 1.8 km, at a signed paths junction, near the stone wall enclosing part of the golf course, turn right in the direction marked for Inveralmond. Follow the path as it heads back towards the river, turning left to proceed on a parallel course with the river when it reaches the riverbank. Now keep going on this riverside path for 2.7 km until you arrive at the Inveralmond Bridge. (1.8 km)
(3) Turn at Inveralmond Bridge(56.42277; -3.46618)After 2.7 km, with the River Almond now on your right side, the riverside path takes you to the Inveralmond Bridge on the busy A9 road. This is your turning point on the walk. Now re-trace your steps for about 800 m, looking for a rough path on your left as you approach a section of woodland and the main path you are on starts to veer slightly away from the riverbank. (4.5 km)
(4) Left down rough path to riverbank(56.42207; -3.45487)In approximatley 800 m from Inveralmond Bridge, as you arrive at a section with woodland on your left and right, go left down a steep bank to take a rough grassy path to the riverside. At the riverbank, the path swings right to follow the river downstream, with the wooded area now on your right side. You will note the good views of Scone Palace and grounds across the river. After walking along the grassy riverbank for about 350 m, follow the path as it veers right into the woods, with a creek on the river on your left side. Soon this narrow path through the trees will take you back to the main riverside path. (5.3 km)
(5) Left back onto riverside path(56.41860; -3.44986)In 500 m, having emerged from the trees, you are back on the main riverside path. Turn left here to re-trace your steps back to the walk start-point on Tay Street, a distance of 3.25 km. If you wish to divert to the Black Watch Museum at Balhousie Castle on Hay Street, follow the signs at the paths junction passed at Waypoint 2 on the outward journey, then make your way back to Tay Street on the path at the west side of the North Inch park. (5.8 km)
(6) Finish walk back on Tay Street(56.39703; -3.42578)In 3.25 km you will have arrived back at the walk start-point on Tay Street. (9.05 km)
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