Walking the ‘outdoor capital of Scotland’: 25 years of the Cateran Trail

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Straddling Perthsire and Angus, the five-day, 64-mile hiking route takes in soaring mountains, golden glens and some beaver-curated rewilding

The carved face of a cateran stares out of the waymarker before me. Deriving from the Gaelic word ceatharnach, meaning a lightly armed warrior, “cateran” later came to denote the cattle raiders particularly active here in Strathardle, Glenshee and Glen Isla up to the 18th century.

The signpost directs me through plantation forest to an undulating moor, darkened by heather and lightened by grassland. The bushy auburn of a fleet-footed fox stands out like a light tumbling down the glen. There is a rough grandeur to Perthshire landscapes such as this, ringed off from the world by mountains – in this case the snow-sprinkled bulk of Ben Earb and ridgelines of Creag an Dubh Shluic and Meall Uaine.

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