Ben Vuirich from Tarvie Loch

Ben Vuirich from Tarvie

Hillwalking route up Ben Vuirich from Glen Brerachan

Starting from near the highest point on the road travelling from Pitlochry to Blairgowrie, this route minimises the ascent to Ben Vuirich and for half its length is on a fine estate track. On higher ground, heather and grass clad undulating slopes that are for the most part pathless.

Route outline


Ben Vuirich

Ascent 630m (2060ft)
Distance 15km (9m)
Time 5:00hr
Start/finish Tarvie
Grid Ref : NO019638
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Access to the foot of Ben Vuirich is along excellent estate tracks and paths. Higher up the ground is heather clad ground and fairly pathless, testing navigation skills, even in clear conditions.

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Route description

1. Getting to Tarvie

The first view of Ben Vuirich from above Tarvie

The first view of Ben Vuirich from above Tarvie

The A924 road travels from Pitlochry uphill to Glen Brerachan eventually making a way through Strathardle to Bridge of Cally a few miles north of Blairgowrie.

A couple of kilometres to the north-east of the highest point of the road, the road crosses Brerachan Water, nearby is a flat roadside gravel area with room for a few vehicles to park.

The route to Ben Vuirich begins by the entrance to Tarvie, which is around 500m east of the parking area.

Around half of this route is on a decent estate track, good enough to cycle on !

2. Tarvie Burn

Loch Tarvie, Ben Vuirich's Carn Dubh on left

Loch Tarvie, Ben Vuirich's Carn Dubh on left

At the entrance to Tarvie there is a white house, to the right of this is a tarred road - head up this for 500m throuugh woodland. You'll come to Tarvie House - an impressive architect designed contemporary house. Go northwards and round the house, out of woodland and to a gate.

Through the gate and into a field (most likely with sheep), the track is faint making a route uphill and over grass towards a fenced-off area of forestry. Beyond this grouping of trees, the track's incline becomes more gentle as it makes its way to the edge of the field and to another gate. Through the gate and Tarvie Loch with its small boat house is met. Carn Dubh, the south 'top' of Ben Vuirich can be seen ahead.

Continue northwards past the loch on the track. The track crosses Tarvie Burn by a foot bridge, then later again by a ford. A bit further on the track comes to a junction - if you're cycling, best leave bikes here.

3. Ben Vuirich

Carn Liath from Ben Vuirich's summit

Carn Liath from Ben Vuirich's summit

From the junction, the track on the left carries north-west for around 500m then stops abrupty below deep heather. The track on the right follows Tarvie Burn further, to easier ground to climb up Ben Vuirich. Therefore, I took an anti-clockwise route leaving the deep heather-clad ground for the descent.

So, from the junction , head north following the now faint track for around 500m, crossing the Allt an Fheadain burn on the way, while keeping Tarvie Burn on your right. As the track begins to turn slightly north-east, leave it and head north-west crossing tussocky ground, quite damp in places to the base of Ben Vuirich's south-east top, Carn Dubh.

Ahead the ground steepens and becomes more heather-clad with no path to be found. A bit of a trudge up the steep ground through heather leads onto the crest of the hill just south of Carn Dubh.

Once on the crest, aim for the bealach between Carn Dubh and Ben Vuirich where a faint path can be picked up and followed. This leads to Ben Vuirich's summit where a trig point stands encircled by a stone shelter.

4. Return

Bothy above Tarvie Burn

Bothy above Tarvie Burn

You could simply return by the same route !

Alternatively, after retracing your steps for around a kilomtre and a half to just south of Carn Dubh, take a slight detour by heading south-west. A route travelling over Druim Mor which in most conditions should be drier underfoot than the way up.

Gradually turning south-east, a path forms which drops to an old building beside which a track is picked up. This track is followed for around 500m back down to Tarvie Burn and the track hiked up earlier is traced back to Tarvie.

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Alternative and nearby routes »

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