Bell tents near Kinloch Rannoch with climbing

Self-titled “The Warm Heart of the Highlands,” Kinloch Rannoch is an inviting hamlet with first-class wilderness access.

78% (9 reviews)
78% (9 reviews)

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Bell tents near Kinloch Rannoch with climbing guide


Formed largely after the Jacobite Rebellion in the 1700s, the settlement of Kinloch Rannoch is accessible only by a few meandering minor roads leading in from Blair Atholl, along Loch Tummel and Aberfeldy. The village sits on the banks of Loch Rannoch, behind which stretches the infamous Rannoch Moor. The pointed tip of Schiehallion, the mountain that helped scientists calculate the weight of the world, is a beacon for many munro-baggers. The steep slopes of Craig Varr begin just behind Kinloch Rannoch, offering unbeatable views from the top. A campground on the south shores of Loch Rannoch, and more toward Loch Tummel, provide a peaceful retreat from the busier parts of Perthshire. 

Where to go

Loch Tummel and Loch Rannoch

Forest and lochside cycles are a popular way to experience the beauty of Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, 11 kilometres west. The Queen’s View toward the north end of Loch Tummel offers unbeatable views as far as Rannoch Moor. Short walks from the village take you along The Clan Trail and to MacGregor’s Cave, a hiding place for the outlaw Rob Roy. At Loch Rannoch and Dunalastair Water, trout fishing is king.

Glen Lyon

The “longest, loneliest and loveliest glen in Scotland,” as described by Sir Walter Scott, runs for more than 50 km roughly between Keltneyburn and Bridge of Orchy. In Fortingall, what’s thought to be one of the oldest living things in Europe, the Fortingall Yew, sits in the village churchyard as it has for around 3,000 years.

Rannoch Station

At the edge of the vast and brooding Rannoch Moor stands Rannoch Station, well known as one of the most remote train stations in Britain. It services the West Highland Line running from Glasgow to Mallaig via Fort William through some of the most iconic scenery in Scotland. On the other side, walkers following the 155-km West Highland Way crest the far edge of the heathland on their way to Kingshouse.

When to go

Perthshire’s summer crowds may be less noticeable in off-the-beaten-path villages like Kinloch Rannoch. Still, popular routes like Schiehallion will mean the roads and tracks in the area will be busier. Visiting in September and October may mean having the open country more to yourself. In May, a 130-km cycling event, Etape Caledonia, passes along the Loch Rannoch road.

Know before you go

  • Weather in the remote Rannoch region can change abruptly, and it’s important to plan your excursions accordingly. 
  • If you see tour companies pulling off beside a hill outside of Kinloch Rannoch, it’s likely filled with Outlander fans, stopping to visit the location of the fictional stone circle of Craigh na Dun, a centrepoint in the television drama. 
  • The West Highland Line runs from Glasgow to Rannoch Station, from where a bus service connects to Kinloch Rannoch, but it’s important to check timetables before you travel.

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