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One of the oldest recreational signs in the world, now lost.  Taken by an unknown photographer. Heritage Paths Project
ScotWays
Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society
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Path of the Month
Bealach Breac, The Speckled Pass (Old Post Road)
Bealach Breac, The Speckled Pass (Old Post Road)

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Ardeonaig to Comrie Drove Road

Start location: Loch Tay at Ardeonaig (NN 666 362)
End location: just south of Coishavachan (NN 743 273)
Geographical area: Perth, Kinross and Stirling (part)
Path Type: Drove Road
Path distance: 14.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians

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Route Description

Newsflash: in March 2021, this old drove road featured in BBC Scotland's Grand Tours of Scotland's Lochs with ScotWays' Field Officer Karen Inkster and presenter Paul Murton trekking along it together on horseback. The programme also includes a guest appearance from the former Callander & Oban Railway along with stories of Rob Roy. It's available on the iplayer until February 2022 and is well worth a watch.

Our route description runs from south to north. A quiet public road runs from Comrie up Glen Lednock. Just before Coishavachan, take the left fork which after 1km crosses the bridge over the River Lednock (NN732279). Continue by the tarred road on the south side of the reservoir, then go around its head across the river and climb north-east up grassy slopes for almost 1/2 km to reach the old indistinct track which climbs north-west up the hillside. Careful route-finding is necessary as there are many sheep tracks over the south-west shoulder of Creag Uchdag, and the col that you are aiming for between Ruadh Mheall and Creag Uchdag is rather featureless. Beyond it go NNW down the grassy glen, with barely any trace of a path, to the site of old shielings at the head of the Finglen Burn. Below there a path appears and leads down the right bank of the burn to Ardeonaig.

OS Landranger 51 (Loch Tay)

Heritage Information

According to ARB Haldane's 1962 book New Ways Through The Glens, in 1807 Lord Breadalbane and others proposed a road from Ardeonaig to Comrie in order to improve communication and to effect Improvement. It was stated that there existed only "unformed Tracks, and accessible only to Horses or the lightest Country Carts with very small loads". By 1811 Thomas Telford refers to it as the "new Road through Glen Lednaig" in the Fifth report of the Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges, but despite his approval, the new road was never constructed. However, the route was already established as a link between Loch Tay and Comrie, for Haldane's earlier book The Drove Roads Of Scotland (1951) indicates that the route was well used for cattle droving in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Loch Lednock is a reservoir, built as part of the Breadalbane Hydroelectric Power Scheme to provide storage for the St Fillans power station. The OS 1" 7th series map (surveyed 1954-61) shows the dam under construction - carefully designed to cope with earthquakes because of its proximity to the Highland Boundary Fault. The resultant flooding of the glen submerged the original line of the drove road, hence use of the newer tarred road on the south side of the reservoir to regain access to the older route beyond its head.

 



Copyright: Andrew Spenceley

Copyright: Gordon Brown

Copyright: Alan O'Dowd

Copyright: Dr Richard Murray

Copyright: Elliott Simpson

 

 

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Copyright: Richard Law Copyright: Richard Webb

 

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