Crieff To Dunning By Muthil And Aberuthven

Perthshire Circles

ROUTE LENGTH: 28 MILES

By Road

From Crieff, take the A822 south, to Muthill. Turn onto B8062 to Innerpeffrey and then Kinkell. Follow the B8062 east to Aberuthven. After Aberuthven, take the A9 north to Perth, turning right onto the B934 to Forteviot and onto Dunning.

By Cycle

From Crieff, exit by Burnell Street south (accessible from Comrie Street). At the end of Burnell Street, where it becomes North Bridge Street, turn left onto B8062, passing the park and school. Follow this road past Innerpeffrey and take it over the Kinkell Bridge. Follow to Aberuthven. From there, ride A824 northeast, joining the A9 via a left turn. At the next junction, turn right and follow the road to its end junction with the B934. Turn left for Forteviot and right for Dunning. Ifvisiting Forteviot, return along B934 and carry onto Dunning to visit St Serf’s.

By Public Transport

It is not easy to reach these steps by public transport, relying on connections in Dunblane and Perth. Take the 15 to Perth from Crieff. In Perth, take either the 19 or 17(A) to Aberuthven. From there, take the 17 backaways, passing through Dunning and then to Forteviot.

To check times go to Traveline Scotland and click on Plan your Journey on left side of page.

You can travel directly from Crieff to Parth, passing the slight remains of Inchaffray Abbey beyond Gilmerton and visiting Fowlis Wester with its ancient Church of St Bean. Our route follows the Earn south towards Muthill which was the site of an early Celtic monastery and a significant medieval church, now roofless though retaining its tower. The area is rich in Roman remains and the name ‘Moot Hill’ – place of assembly- suggests somewhere more significant than the present settlement. Turning to the left onto the minor road beyond the church you soon discover how important this part of the Earn valley once was in religious terms.

Follow the signs to Innerpeffray which sits on the banks of the river, with a castle, medieval church and an ancient library. A little further on is Kinkell where the original church, in a garden opposite the more recent building, is also dedicated to Bean who seems to have been an Irish missionary working on the frontiers between the British Celts and the Picts. Kinkell is famous for its bridge and for a scandalous rhyme:

Oh what a parish, what a terrible parish,
Oh what a parish is that of Kinkell;
They hae hangit the minister, drowned the precentor,
Dang doon the steeple and drucken the bell!

An early minister was convicted of child murder and hanged at Muthill to the outrage of the parishioners who then wrought the havoc described.

Aberuthven is another ancient parish with a substantial former church just southwest of the village. It was dedicated to Blane’s uncle St Catan, and is the burial place of the Dukes of Montrose, and of the local Grahams. Aberuthven is now part of Auchterarder parish where the ancient dedication is to St Kessog. Going north in the opposite direction towards Perth, turn right to Forteviot, once a great royal homestead of the southern Picts, surrounded by the fertile acres of Strathearn. Only aerial photos and the little church remain as clues to what was once here, along with the richly stone-carved Dupplin Cross, now in St Serf’s Church at nearby Dunning. From Forteviot two peaceful country roads lead south to Dunning.

I will lift my eyes to the mountains;
From where will my help come?
My help comes from the maker of heaven and earth;
He will not let you stumble,
But remains awake to guard you;
He shall not sleep or be drowsy.
(Psalm 121)

Pilgrim Journeys

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