Route info: MacGregor’s Cave, near Kinloch Rannoch

An Outdoors Family

We’ve just returned from a weekend away in the van around the Loch Rannoch area, somewhere we’ve been to many times before but there’s always little gems hidden away that we never can fit in for a short weekend. This time, we sought out the route to MacGregor’s Cave, a short walk through some woods to a cave where clan members of the Macgregor’s would hide after King James VI outlawed them in 1603 due to cattle raiding, banditry and lawlessness. In Victorian times, changes were made to the cave to make it feel more cosy, including a window, doors, tiles up in places and even a chimney.

 

The walk starts at Lassintullich forestry car park. It’s only a short walk along the minor road to where the track starts, taking us down towards the shores of Dunalasdair Water before heading right, uphill through the trees. This time of year is always a treat, when the colours are starting to turn. It’s gorgeous!

An Outdoors Family

We had read on the route info on the WalkHighlands website that a river crossing could be interesting after rain. It wasn’t too awful but I wouldn’t have wanted to try crossing it if the water was as high as the biggest of the stepping stones! Thankfully it wasn’t too deep though, so we picked our way across with Keith carrying our son across for it.

An Outdoors Family

A short while later, we were suddenly at the cave entrance. You can see where it’s been built up, it’s all very straight lined and sharp edged. Not what we thought it would be like.

Just across from the cave is a viewpoint with spectacular views down across Dunalasdair Water and down to Loch Rannoch.

An Outdoors Family

From there, you can see a house straight across, “The Disney Castle” is what our son called it. It is actually the ruins of Dunalasdair House, used to house Polish refuges during the Second World War but was vacated in 1952.

An Outdoors Family

To get back, simply retrace your steps. The track isn’t particularly well-trodden and is so quiet so keep your eyes open for frogs, beetles, red squirrels and deer on this walk. We saw them all!

All in all, it took a couple of hours for us to do this walk. We weren’t rushing, just taking our time and enjoying the views. It really is a great family walk, easy to do with kids of all ages, or if you have a back carrier for littler ones.

Route info:

  • Nearest town: Kinloch Rannoch
  • Start point: Lassintullich Forestry car park
  • Distance: 5km
  • Length: 1-2 hours
  • Ascent: 154m
  • Pushchair friendly: No
  • Back carrier: Yes
  • Remember waterproofs, food and snack. This walk might be better suited to walking boots or wellies for the kids if only for the river crossing section. The river wasn’t too deep at the time, and we were able to pick our way carefully between the stones across the shallowest bits else it would have been a very wet crossing!!!
  • Other comments: Parking is a short walk along a minor road from the starting point. Nearby munros include Schiehallion (though parking can get very busy here). If you’re interested in TV locations, the Outlander location of Craigh Na Dun is nearby.
  • Detailed route info can be found on the walkhighlands website here.
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