Menu

Birks of Aberfeldy



Follow in the footsteps of our national bard, Robert Burns

Over the centuries, thousands of visitors have been inspired by the natural beauty of the gorge. The Birks of Aberfeldy is a popular circular walk through wonderful mixed woodland on the outskirts of Aberfeldy. The Falls of Moness tumble through the gorge and provide a dramatic centrepiece, especially impressive after heavy rainfall. Robert Burns visited in 1787 and was so inspired that he wrote the poem 'The Birks of Aberfeldie'.

A quote from one of the verses sums up the splendid scene:
"The braes ascend like lofty wa's,
The foaming stream deep-roarin' fa's
O'erhung wi' fragrant spreading shaws
The birks of Aberfeldy"

A narrow, well defined path is overhung by mature trees and rises to a height of 150 metres at a bridge directly above the Falls of Moness. From here there are splendid views of the roaring white water beneath and, in winter, fine views over the top of the woodland to the valley of Strathtay. This 4km circular walk is accessible from the centre of Aberfeldy or from the Birks Car Park off the A826. There are seats and viewpoints along the way. For those not so mobile, there is a picnic area at the car park which gives a good flavour of the walk. There is also a short tree trail identifying a large number of species. The gorge is a place of immense natural power and beauty in any season but perhaps most photogenic in the cooler days of late autumn.

The Birks (Scots for birch trees) still cloak the steep slopes of the Moness gorge, along with oak, ash, elm and willow. Remnants of the ancient Caledonian Forest can be found in steep, inaccessible parts and it is likely that, in places, there has been continuous woodland cover for around 5000 years. More recent tree planting took place in the area in the late 1780's.

Many woodland plants flower in the spring and early summer before the leaves of the trees fully unfold. A stroll through the Birks in May or June will reveal wildflowers such as red campion, yellow pimpernel, bugle and sweet woodruff. The aromatic smell of wild wood garlic or ramsons is another lovely spring feature - look out for clusters of starry, white flowers on the woodland floor.

Much of the gorge is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its rich plant and animal life. The cool, damp climate is perfect for mosses and it is possible to see at least ten different kinds, in a small area, on the bank near Burns' Seat. In Japan, mosses are highly valued and moss gardens are popular for their tranquillity.

Birds seen and heard most frequently are those of the woodland and waterside. The variety of habitats provides shelter, nest sites and a variety of ready meals. Warblers, Flycatchers and Woodpeckers are among many species that make their home in the trees. Pied and Grey Wagtails flit busily across the water, wagging their tails up and down. Dippers are recognisable by their strange dipping motion and striking white bib. They also have an amazing ability to walk along stream beds, underwater and against the current, as they search for grubs and insects amongst the stones.



Crieff Road
Aberfeldy
PH15 2BJ

Spotlight on...

Golf in the Aberfeldy Area

Golf in the Aberfeldy Area

For lovers of a "good walk ruined", there is a great choice of golf courses in the immediate area and plenty more within half an hour's drive. But always remember... Read more

Fun for the Family - Under the Sun!

Fun for the Family - Under the Sun!

There is nothing better than getting outside to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air, running through the lush green grass, watching the butterflies flutter, listening to the sound of nature,... Read more

MAGICAL RING OF BREADALBANE EXPLORER BUS

MAGICAL RING OF BREADALBANE EXPLORER BUS

Ring of Breadalbane Explorer Bus Commences 3rd July 2016 The award-winning Ring of Breadalbane Explorer mini bus service starts its new season on Sunday 3rd July. It will operate on Tuesdays,... Read more

Summer Walks With The Bus

Summer Walks With The Bus

Nothing beats getting out and about to explore. Many of us know that feeling when you are out walking, knowing you need to walk back, but the sun is beating down... Read more

Walking around Aberfeldy, Loch Tay and Glen Lyon

Walking around Aberfeldy, Loch Tay and Glen Lyon

Aberfeldy, Loch Tay and Glen Lyon offer the widest possible choice of walking, from gentle riverside strolls to challenging long distance routes. A large part of the Rob Roy Way is... Read more

Follow Robert Burns to Our Area

Follow Robert Burns to Our Area

On Wednesday 29th August 1787, Robert Burns arrived on the shores of Loch Tay as part of his famous “Highland Tour”. Over 200 years later, every place he mentions, or... Read more

History and Archaeology

History and Archaeology

The Aberfeldy, Loch Tay and Glen Lyon area can take you on a journey that spans thousands of years of human habitation. Usually, we'd start at the beginning, but just... Read more

Accessing our Countryside

Accessing our Countryside

We all love to get out to enjoy our countryside; exploring the woodlands, along the river banks, up the hills... but we must be responsible. Read more

Your Pictures

Your Pictures

Last year we introduced the "Your Pictures" feature and over the last few months we've received pictures submitted to us by visitors to the Aberfeldy area, from just down the... Read more

Reminiscences from 50 Years Ago

Reminiscences from 50 Years Ago

Ted Schinbein from Mitchell, Ontario was kind enough to share his memories of coming to Aberfeldy in 1965 with us in the "Our Pictures" section  - but we loved his... Read more

Fun for the Family - Under a Roof!

Fun for the Family - Under a Roof!

Ok, so it's raining! But whether the sun shines or not, we love Scotland and of course the Aberfeldy and Loch Tay area in particular - and if you've got... Read more

Two Amazing Waterfalls!

Two Amazing Waterfalls!

One of the best things about the, ahem, slightly damper months of the year is that they give us the chance to see our fantastic waterfalls at their very best... Read more

Aberfeldy and Area from the Air

Aberfeldy and Area from the Air

We found this lovely video of the area from the air, featuring the town of Aberfeldy itself, Castle Menzies, Taymouth Castle, Loch Tay and Kenmore. With thanks to www.iainstruthers.co.uk   Read more

The Birks Cinema

The Birks Cinema

The Birks Cinema is a state-of-the-art, 100-seat digital 3D Highland Perthshire cinema. The Birks is also a great venue for meetings, conferences or events, or a place to relax with friends... Read more

Walk fom Dunkeld to Aberfeldy

Walk fom Dunkeld to Aberfeldy

If you're staying in the Aberfeldy area and you're looking for a great day's walking, why not try taking the number 23 bus to Dunkeld and walking back, just in... Read more

Your Pictures

Your Pictures

Why not share your favourite pictures of this beautiful area on our new "Your Pictures" section? Read more

Tour Our Area

Loch Tay Circular Tour

Loch Tay Circular Tour

This 48 mile-long circular route travels along the main road on the north shore of... Read more

Fortingall Way Tour

Fortingall Way Tour

Head north out of Aberfeldy on the B846, passing the Black Watch Memorial before you... Read more

Strathtay & Grandtully

Strathtay & Grandtully

As with the Fortingall Way Tour, head north out of Aberfeldy on the B846 along... Read more

Kenmore & Acharn

Kenmore & Acharn

The conservation village of Kenmore enjoys a strategic location at the foot of Drummond Hill... Read more

A Tour of Glen Lyon

A Tour of Glen Lyon

Glen Lyon has been described as Scotland’s longest, loneliest and loveliest glen. Stretching for over... Read more

Discover Aberfeldy

Discover Aberfeldy

There are many different routes you can take to explore Aberfeldy. This is just one... Read more

Login or Register