The Dunbarney Loop

One of the major advantages of working from home (thanks, COVID) is that it has dramatically increased our opportunities to run together. The kids aren’t quite old enough yet to leave at home, so for the next few years our Miles Together are either at lunchtime, during a day off or with kids in tow on bikes!

Our usual regular weekly outing is the “Dunbarney Loop”. At just over 4 miles it’s the perfect length to fit into a lunch break and still have time to shovel down some food before going back to work. It’s also a bit of a go-to run when you can’t quite be bothered to actually plan a route as we’ve both done it so often it’s easy to follow on ‘autopilot’. It also has a nice mix of road and trail, but without any extremely technical bits, or significant climbs – the total elevation gain is only 120ft!

You can find a typical lunchtime outing linked below. Despite being mid-May, there was a strong wind blowing which made it quite chilly, and although it was mostly dry during the run, there had been heavy rain the night before, making for muddy conditions underfoot! If you’re in the area and fancy trying it out, the rest of this post is a description of the route with photos.

Starting from Main Street in Bridge of Earn outside the school and Co-op, follow Manse Road and Chaise Road round behind the school, then turn right onto Station Road / B935 up and over the railway. There’s pavement all the way to where the road turns sharp left – cross and go straight on here onto the Dunbarney Drive. The drive goes dead straight, passing through the 1 mile mark as you start a gradual climb up towards Dunbarney House. There are good views to be had across Strathearn to Kirkton and Mailer Hills on the right. Follow the road round to the left, where it becomes a gravel twin-track, and continue on for about a quarter of a mile until you reach a T-junction. The main track turns right, but take the path on the left to the “Dunbarney Walk” which narrows and twists and turns down a wooded border between fields. This can either by hard-packed with a few roots, or like today a bit of a slippery mud-fest! As you reach the end of the path at the 2 mile mark you’ll emerge suddenly onto the B935 – be on the lookout for traffic before dashing across the road.

Cross over, turn left and follow the pavement for a short distance before turning right into the road to Pitkeathly Wells. There are great views here of Castle Law and West Dron Hill as you run the short downhill. Where the road bends right, take a little step down onto the Silver Walk on the left. This is a half-mile tree-lined footpath with a little burn running alongside it. After heavy rain it can flood, so be prepared for possible puddle dodging! It also happens to be a Strava segment, if you are looking to put in a fast interval and the underfoot conditions allow. Shortly after crossing a footbridge, you’ll pop out onto Forgandenny Road and go left to head back towards Bridge of Earn. As you pass 3 miles you’ll see Kilgraston Walled Garden and the back of the school on your left.

The road turns left and you’ll have houses on your right as you re-enter Bridge of Earn. Keep going straight, ignoring the streets to your right and the main entrance to Kilgraston school on the left. Immediately after ‘The Roost’ restaurant, turn right and follow the footpath that bears left past a play park. Sidestep through the barrier and cross over Balmanno Park, taking the footpath between houses immediately opposite. Follow this path (known as Badger Lane) as it winds along beside the burn and eventually pops out onto Main Street near the bus stop. Take a left and follow Main Street up and over the railway again, past Victory Park on your left (4 miles done!) and either enjoy a gentle cool-down jog or a sprint finish back to where you started in front of the school.

We hope you liked the route, and if you try it do let us know! If you have your own favourite routes to share, post a comment below. See you on the trails!

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