Dunkeld – A Walk for Kids to the Cathedral

20160719_185418_resizedWhen we woke up in the extremely homely Atholl Arms Hotel it was bucketing down outside so we thought a walk was the obvious choice?!  We’d loved the hotel’s award winning beer garden right next to the river and Perthshire’s greenery is really lush (it’s such a beautifully overgrown region), add to that that Dunkeld is such a picturesque wee town that we wanted to continue to explore alone the river whatever the weather.


The wet tots with the Atholl Memorial Fountain in the background.

I’d thoroughly recommend this gentle walk for kids who like the great outdoors. From our hotel.  From there we ventured past the dinky 18th century merchant cottages which have been restored by the National Trust and then let out to tenants or sold to keep the town centre bustling and lived in.

20160720_110812_resizedWe then made a beeline for the cathedral on the banks of the Tay.  Apparently its construction was started in 1260 and finished in 1501, then it took a battering in the reformation, so if anyone is anxious about their own extension or decorating project this may make you feel a bit better.  The cathedral once housed the relics of St Columba but for us it was a welcome haven from the rain.


20160720_111720_resizedWe didn’t stay long as Mr Toddler preferred being outside jumping in the puddles (I blame a certain pig for this fascination).  The trees along the river are gentle giants- Perthshire isn’t known as Big Tree Country for nothing.  From the cathedral we followed the river, and the heavy canopy of the trees kept the rain off us to a certain extent.  A clear path led the way and the mist lay low in the hills creating the Scotland that Americans pay thousands to visit and photograph.  Atmospheric is a bit of an understatement.  The greenery was profuse and must be utterly stunning in autumn when the golds, red and oranges come into play or when the winter frost makes the woodland sparkle.


We followed the river till we arrived at Dunkeld House Hotel.  Here our bedraggled tribe had a coffee and a ‘snack’, and the staff were remarkably welcoming considering how ‘outdoorsy’ we were (i.e. mucky).  From here we retraced our steps and returned to the sanctuary of the Atholl Arms Hotel, a little wetter and a little wiser.


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  1. Reply


    November 13, 2016

    What a gorgeous walk – rain and all!!

  2. Reply

    fifi + hop

    November 15, 2016

    Love that mist – looks out of a fairytale!

  3. Reply

    Anabel Marsh

    November 18, 2016

    I love Dunkeld. We’ve stayed in the Atholl Arms but with elderly parents. We did this walk in the evening after they had gone to bed!

    • Reply


      November 21, 2016

      What a coincidence. I loved the food and the homeliness of the Atholl Arms, not to mention the riverside beer garden. The sun was splitting the sky. Your romantic evening walk sounds lovely, not possible for us yet as kids need to be put to bed!

      • Reply

        Anabel Marsh

        November 21, 2016

        Elderly parents can do that themselves 😉

  4. Reply

    Bespoke Traveler

    November 21, 2016

    This looks like a fabulous way to get lost in the local atmosphere. Your photo of the cathedral surrounded by lush green woods feels straight out of childhood stories.

    • Reply


      November 21, 2016

      We was magical, almost eery, depending on your mood!

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