The Hermitage and River Braan Circular – Dunkeld

An Autumn walk at the Hermitage near Dunkeld in Scotland with some incredible weather, phenomenal views and two (yes two) beautiful waterfalls - here's how an afternoon of wandering/walking/hiking at the Hermitage went.


I managed to squeeze in a few days of hiking time back in October last year. Hiking with a companion who was not long post surgery meant opting for relatively low level walks. Neither of us had previously done any walking around the Hermitage, near Dunkeld. So with the Internet promising us waterfalls and wonderful views and general excellent walking, we headed off there to take in an 8km circular covering two lots of waterfalls!

Hike date13th October 2023
Weather conditionsA warm and sunny Autumn day for the most part. Lovely.
Distance hikedJust over 8km
Walking timeJust over 2 hours excluding a lunch stop
Elevation gain total191m (relatively flat one this one)
TerrainExcellent paths throughout

The Hermitage and River Braan Circular (With Two Waterfalls!)

The route we took is this one and it is well signposted throughout.

There are a whole host of signposts for this one. Parking is at the National Trust car park and you follow the simple path through to the first set of falls. At that point it becomes more “woodlandy” but the signposting is still clear enough. Eventually you come to Ossian’s Hall, which I believe has incredible views over the Falls of Braan. However, there was a wedding on that day so the little hall itself was closed. Instead we walked around the hall and scrambled a little to the river bank on the opposite side to get some awesome views and take some snaps.

Falls of Braan

This was the first photo stop point of the day – Falls of Braan. 


You can go off path to get right to the falls and if the water level isn’t too high (and you are happy enough doing so) you can hop onto some of the rocks in the water for some awesome views.

The Autumn colours were just coming in but the sky was a beautiful blue with just a few clouds. It was such a perfect day. I could’ve sat on a rock in the midst of those falls for hours. It was utterly glorious.

Ossian’s Cave

Not too far from here we came across Ossian’s Cave, an ehhanced natural cave type house made from boulders. 

I wasn’t hiking with kids that day but I couldn’t but think how much they would LOVE exploring there.

The Woodlands and the River Braan

We followed the river from here at first but the path soon veers off right and then runs slightly further away from the river through the woods. 

The views are magnificent and the path is incredibly well maintained.

Eventually though, we came back down to the river for what was, in my view, the real highlight of this walk.

Falls of the Braan

Note this second set of fall is referred to on the map as “Falls of THE Braan,” while the first set is “Falls of Braan.” Confusing, I know! 

This was spectacular. I enjoyed getting out onto the rocks, close to the water and just listening and watching.

See how utterly delighted I look with myself! Like a kid at Christmas.

Seriously though, look at this place:

It was beautiful.

The Remainder of the Walk

From here, the footpath wandered its way back up into the woods, meeting the main road. Across the road, back on the path and you end up completing a circular which takes you right back to the National Trust car park you began at.

How was it?

Beautiful. This was such a wonderful walk and we were so lucky with the weather. I would go back and redo this in a heartbeat.

Can you take a pushchair?

For the whole route, I’d say not. Parts of it would’ve been inaccessible.

However, the first part and right up to Ossian’s cave (perhaps further) could you get a pram there so you could certainly take any tots to see the first set of falls. However, for the whole route, baby/toddler hiking carriers would be a better option than pushchairs. 

Is the Hermitage and Falls of Braan Child Friendly?

Yes. For children who are able to walk this is definitely a child friendly route. I hiked with grown up company that day but I did think to myself on a number of occasions how wonderful a route that would have been for my two eldest sons.

All in all…

An absolutely beautiful walk with two incredible sets of waterfalls, a stunning river and some beautiful autumnal colours… all under a blue sky in Scotland. What more could I have asked for?!


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