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Trip report: Loch of Clunie

We were looking for a day to relax and unwind, following on from a mad busy week of seeing family we hadn’t seen in ages and what felt like days travelling.

Deciding on canoeing as a definite favourite to relax, but wanting to avoid our usual A9 hotspots for our canoe trips, including Loch Tummel and Loch Tay we fancied a bit of a change. Loch of Clunie is about 4 miles West of Blairgowrie, and took us about 40 minutes to get to, so a lot closer to home which isn’t always a bad thing with a pre-schooler in tow.

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Reading about other peoples experiences canoeing here, we thought there were literally only a couple of car parking areas which would be suitable to get down to the water, but there were loads! We passed a few that were already full with fisherfolk making the most of the great weather, and we could see small fires dotted around the lochshore. There’s also plenty of parking around the back of the church with a short walk to the loch shore.









It was still early, the water was mirror flat and the mist was slowly lifting. We saw a few fish jumping out of the water as we went on our way. For such a small loch, there was plenty to explore: our sons favourite was definitely a little river that you could go upstream a bit which he loved and was soon speaking like a pirate and calling us scallywags!! Cheeky!

With some trepidation, the young explorer set off on his adventure upstream, with trusty scallywags in tow
With some trepidation, the young explorer set off on his adventure upstream, with trusty scallywags in tow
Aaaargh, no treasure fills our hold...this time
Aaaargh, no treasure fills our hold…this time










There’s also an island that had the remains of Clunie Castle on it, the ruins all overgrown with trees. It was a little spooky with the sun twinkling through the trees and shadows dancing.

Castle Clunie ruins
Castle Clunie ruins


We stopped off at a little beach and got out our firestove, ready to toast the marshmallows we’d been putting off until a more reasonable time of day.. we were surprised at our will power too!








The sun was bright, our son was still wanting to explore so we went up the river again. Once back out on the loch he decided he wanted to get in a bit more practice at paddling, so was bossy in telling us he was the engine and we weren’t allowed to do anything…. oh the hardship! He’s getting really good at it, but tired quickly. He’s still catching up on sleep and quiet time after a busy week, so after a whopping 4 hours on the water which is the most we’ve been able to do with him, we pottered back to the car for a quick bite of lunch before heading back home, with our son snoring all the way.


All content including pictures are those of An Outdoors Family

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