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Aberfeldy, Scotland

Schiehallion Aberfeldy Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
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Schiehallion Apr 18, 2014
Schiehallion is a popular Munro with hikers, because of its accessibility from Perth and Edinburgh, its nice gentle slopes, and the absolutely stunning view from the top. The name means “fairy hill of the Caledonians”. It’s hypothetically a four hour round trip, but took us six because we had two separate picnics, a long chat at the top, and because snow slows you down significantly and the top was still icy.

The path has been recently moved and restored, because of heavy erosion, and at the moment it could not be better – nice smooth surface, shallow steps, and none of the enormous boulders to jump off you get on Nevis. The views are absolutely incredible on a clear day, stretching towards Glen Coe, several other mountain ridges, and the Tay Forest Park.

The car park is on Foresty Commission land, but most of the hillside is managed by the John Muir Foundation, with a strong emphasis on wildlife preservation, and you’ve got a good chance of seeing some interesting animals if you are there on a quiet day. On a busy day, the stream of hikers going up and down scares most of it off, but there is still some interesting plant life. You pass from pine stands up through peat bog into arctic conditions, which has a surprising range of things that blossom and buzz in the spring.

Although this is a popular hill and that makes it reasonably safe, it’s important to know that you are high enough altitude here to enter into arctic tundra conditions and you need to respect the mountain. Wear sturdy footwear, carry water, and make sure you have warm enough clothes to deal with sudden changes in weather conditions. Don’t leave litter, and remember even biodegradeable litter like bread or banana skins can harm wildlife in high enough quantities, especially at the times of year when they have babies. Also, there are sheep at low levels on the hill so keep dogs under control.

Entrance to the hill is free, but there are car park charges when the machines are working. Unusually, there is a spotless clean and free toilet block at the car park where you can get changed when you come down. I have seen five year olds make it up the hill, so it’s not that hard, but it is a challenge if you’re out of shape.
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