Tucked away along the rhododendron-clad banks of the River Braan, just west of historic Dunkeld, the Hermitage is an idyllic woodland walk through Craigvinean Forest, created in the 18th century and little changed today.
Passing through a gorge amid Douglas firs (including Scotland's tallest at 60 feet (18 meters), an easy 15-minute stroll reaches the Black Linn falls, which are overlooked by the Georgian folly of Ossian's Hall, so-named after a third-century hermit. A step further on is Ossian's Cave, created to represent the hermit's dwelling place. Both were built for the Duke of Atholl in 1757; the Hermitage walk has since been enjoyed by the likes of poet William Wordsworth, painter JMW Turner and Queen Victoria. However, the follies fell into disrepair in the early 20th century before being donated to the Scottish National Trust and renovated in 2008; today Ossian's Hall once more contains a magical Hall of Mirrors. A 1770 stone bridge and a totem pole carved from a magnificent Douglas fir sit nearby.
The Hermitage walk is connected to a hiking network around Dunkeld, and although lovely at any time of year, is at its most glorious in fall, when the deciduous trees turn golden and the Black Linn waterfall is at its most spectacular.
Located on Old Military Road two miles (3 km) west of Dunkeld, the Hermitage is freely accessible. By car, the site can be found off the A9 Perth-Pitlochry road, while trains run 1.5 miles (2.4 km) away to the Dunkeld-Birnam Station. Car parking is available.