Torlum Hill is the highest point near Crieff south of the A85 and east of the B827. At a height of 393 metres Torlum Hill is good 114 metres higher than The Knock of Crieff. This hill can be walked from a very small parking area at Ballochargie approximately 3km south west of the A822 on the outskirts of Crieff. However this route is walked from James Square. On a nice sunny day this walk has everything.
Distance = 16km, Ascent = 500m, Time Taken = 4 hrs (it may take 5 or 6 hours if you are not so fit or have small children with you.)
Leave James Square and head down King Street. Pass Market Park on your left and continue downhill to join North Bridge Street and cross the bridge over the River Earn. Stop to marvel at the fast flowing water and see if you can spot the famed salmon, trout or grayling that inhabit these waters. If you are lucky you may see birds such as kingfishers and herons on the water feasting on minnows and sticklebacks but you will need to be quick to capture them in action on camera. Leave the bridge as the road bends left and after 10 metres or so take a right turn into Alichmore Lane. There is a signpost here indicating the River Earn Path Muthill 5ml / 8km
The lane bends left then right and after a further 100 metres it turns sharply to the right. At this point there is a gated access to a steep field and a small track heading left. On this occasion cross the gate and head directly up the steep field in the direction that you were travelling, approximately south west, to reach a small stile leading to a nice woodland area. The track heading south beside the gate is the track that we will return on, all being well.
Once into the woodland there is a nice clear path ahead but it can be particularly boggy in wet conditions. It’s now approximately 1km to the summit of Knock Mary Hill after passing a small farmstead and taking the centre of three paths at a junction. You are now on Knock Mary Hill scene of the battle of Knock Mary between the Murrays and the Drummonds of Strathearn in the early 1500’s.
This is a lovely area with beech and elm trees and wild wood undergrowth of lichens, mosses and various fungi species. Don’t forget to look up and see how many bird species you can name. Continue for another 1km as the track descends and ascends up onto the road at the end of the forest.
You will have a feeling of remoteness at this point although you are only a few kilometres from Crieff town centre. After being enclosed within the woodland the small road with a high sided wall on one side just adds to the feeling of adventure whilst on this walk. Turn left onto the road and follow it as it bends and descends for 1km to the cottage at Ballochargie walking past the small Loch of Balloch situated on your left along the way and notice the huge plate like fungi growing from the trees. You may find a car or two parked here for it is a popular spot for a walk in the woods even for those not ascending to the top of Torlum Hill.
Turn right off the road and onto the forest track. You are now entering a deep dark coniferous forest full of tightly planted fir trees. After a small bend you will be able to see for about 900 metres straight up the track as it ascends slowly. Continue for as far as you can see then take the left fork in the track. After 100 metres or so you arrive at a rather large gate. Pass through and follow the track for another 100 metres or so and pass through another gate. Follow the track as it bends right and slowly ascends up the hillside. The track levels out and a small track to the left heads directly up the hillside. (This track is covered by ferns in the autumn). You can head up this steep track or continue for a further 150 metres and take a less steep track up the hillside which ascends the final 200 metres to the top of Torlum Hill. Well done if you have made it this far. You will be rewarded with an excellent all round view of the Crieff and Strathearn area.
Have a rest and break out the tea and sandwiches that you have brought with you and enjoy a well earned rest.
Dont delay if you started out late because you have a fair way to travel to get back to James Square. On a lighter note…. it’s all downhill.
Retrace your steps down the small track, along the larger track to the kissing gate, down the main track turning left then right and all the way back to Ballochargie. Now you can retrace your steps back over Knock Mary Hill but it will be easier to turn right at the roadside walk for approximately 250 metres then turn left on the road to Crieff, past Loch Balloch on your left continuing for another 2.5km to rejoin the A822 to Crieff.
However do not walk along the A822. Instead take the path left into the forest just before the road and continue for 600 metres to meet a kissing gate. pass through into a field turning right staying close to the fence through yet another kissing gate and continue to rejoin the small road at Alichmore Lane. Now head back to the bridge over and back up King Street to James Square. Superb.
Torlum Hill Walk Route GPX file Download
Click the image to download a .gpx track for this walk here.