When I had visited Pitlochry two years ago, I had noticed a sign near Bell’s Blair Atholl Distillery for a path to Black Spout Falls. You’ve probably worked out that I love waterfalls, and I would have loved to explore this one when I first found out about it, but two years ago I was not as accustomed to hiking longer distances and more hills, so I dismissed it as out of my walking range.
This time, though, I not only had more hiking miles under my belt and felt I could cover the distance with no problem, I also had a route mapped, thanks to the little book on Perthshire walks I had found at a bookstore in St Andrews.
So after a lovely tea break, I headed down the main road to the outskirts of Pitlochry, passing under the railway, beside the distillery, and beyond a row of cottages until I found the signpost for my path.
I followed it back past a car park and up and along a hotel golf course. Soon it turned right and climbed through the woods. The guidebook described this as a “gentle climb,” but let’s not forget that to the Scots, my idea of a difficult hike back home translates to a gentle walk here. And that means this “gentle” climb was a breath-stealing, knee-wobbling haul up the slope.
My effort was rewarded, though, when I reached a wooden viewing platform at the edge of the gorge. I kept my eyes downcast while I caught my breath, prolonging the suspense, and when I opened my eyes, I ended up gasping all over again.
Though I viewed it from a distance, it was obvious that this was a high waterfall with several levels of cascades. I couldn’t fit the entire falls in one shot on my camera! It was truly impressive, and its thundering echoed across the glen.
Given that distance, a truly good photo of it wasn’t likely, so I didn’t linger on the platform. (I was getting a little bit dizzy from the height anyway.) So after a last glance, I headed back down the hill, retracing the steps to town. The path did go on in the opposite direction to reach another, smaller distillery, but as I wasn’t interested in whisky, I didn’t bother with the full loop trail.
While this wasn’t one of my original hiking goals set before I left home, I found myself thoroughly pleased to check off this last-minute addition to the list!